First responders prepare for big crowds ahead of Battle at Bristol

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BRISTOL, TN (WJHL) –  Around 150,000 people are expected to come to the Tri-Cities for the Battle at Bristol. First responders told us Monday they’ve been preparing for this weekend for months now.

Monday evening, we stopped by the Bristol, Tennessee Fire Department where Battalion Chief Tommy Castle said they will have extra equipment and staff on hand for the big game.

“We’ve been planning probably, I guess since this announcement came out. We will add additional staffing, which will actually be devoted to around the race complex itself,” Castle said.

Emergency personnel are preparing for more than just the game itself, as thousands are expected to attend the Battle at Bristol tailgate concert the night before the game.

The concert features acts like Kenny Chesney, The Band Perry, and Old Dominion.

“I understand probably around 49,000 people at the concert, so you have to plan as different things are announced and come out,” Castle said.

At Bristol Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department, they too have been preparing for months.

Assistant Director of the Emergency Department, James Kneff, said there will be additional staff both at the hospital and the speedway.

“I think we’re probably staffing 20 to 30 percent up from a normal day, additional radiologists if needed, our trauma services, and trauma surgeons are always on standby,” Kneff said.

All emergency personnel we spoke to say they plan for the worst, but hope for the best.

“We are hoping we are going to have a great day, and everyone is going to really enjoy it,” Kneff said.

“We are ready, and were just excited about it, and go Vols,” Castle said.

The Battle at Bristol is Saturday, September 10th.

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