Unless Mother Nature decides to provide an unusual late-July cold front, the heat of a Kansas summer may end up frying the thousands of people expected to attend the dedication of the Dole Institute of Politics.
"It's going to be 60 degrees and cloudy," Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical Chief Jim McSwain jokingly predicted.
Richard Norton Smith, the institute's director, said he's received many complaints about Kansas University staging the dedication event in July.
But he said he and Dole wanted the event to coincide with Dole's 80th birthday.
"I assure you, I wish he wasn't born in July, too," Smith said.
And because many of the expected attendees have lived long enough to have served in World War II, officials are working to make sure that medical care will be readily available during the weekend.
Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical will have members stationed at key locations and events throughout the weekend.
"We're going to have a medic unit out at the airport all three days while the planes are out there," McSwain said. "We'll have medic units and other teams of people at the Dole center anytime there's activities going on.
"We're pretty much deploying all our reserve medical equipment, and extra people with medical supplies when they're having their special events," he said.
Lawrence Memorial Hospital also will be prepared.
"There are plans for large numbers of people," said Belinda Rehmer, hospital spokeswoman. "We have procedures that we do to make sure we're ready for large crowds, and we've been reviewing our procedures to make sure they're up to snuff.
"It's not exciting," she added, "because it's the same thing we would do for a football game."
Joan Harvey, director of emergency services for the hospital, said an extra emergency room physician would be on duty during the weekend.
"Additional staff will be on because of the additional people who will be in Lawrence," she said. "That's more for the volume (of people), not for the dignitaries."
McSwain said attendees would be urged to take it easy.
"We do have some concerns, and that's why we're going to have people up there," he said. "We're hoping people will use good common sense, rest and not try to overdo it."
|Concessions to set up on west campus; free cold water will be availableJ-W Staff ReportsVisitors and participants at the Dole Institute of Politics dedication ceremonies won't have to leave west campus for food or drinks.Kansas University Memorial Unions and two professional contractors will provide concessions during the weekend.Jay Glatz, food services director for the unions, said his booth would include bottled water, soft drinks, hamburgers, bratwurst, hot dogs, nachos and other traditional concessions food.The stand's hours will be 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sunday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m.-noon Tuesday.Several other concession carts will be open during similar hours throughout the three days:¢ Traditional concessions offered by Festival Foods.¢ Sugar Daddy's Frozen Lemonade.¢ Scimeca's Italian Sausage.Glatz said there also would be concessions inside the Lied Center, which will operate from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m.-noon Tuesday.For those not wanting to spend money on concessions, free cold water will be available from four military "water buffaloes" on west campus.|