Houston firefighters had no radio contact with Astroworld medics

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Houston firefighters had no radio contact with Astroworld medics

Firefighters who stood outside the Astroworld Festival during Travis Scott’s ill-fated show in Houston were not in radio communication with medical personnel hired by the event’s organizers during the erupting chaos, according to a report.

Patrick Lancton, president of the city’s firefighter union, told CNN that the department had asked the organizers to provide a radio to communicate with ParaDocs, the emergency medical providers, but were only given cellphone numbers.

The officials said cellphones are unreliable during emergencies because of possible signal weakness.

“Seconds matter, minutes matter in emergencies,” Lancton told the network.

On Tuesday, a man told the city council that cell service did not work during Friday’s event, adding that the service was so bad, he couldn’t even text friends standing mere feet from him, according to CNN.

A total of 528 cops, 755 private security officers and members of the ParaDocs medical team were inside the venue for the festival, according to the news outlet, which said it has reached out to ParaDocs for comment.

Officials lift concertgoer out of crowd.
A total of 528 cops, 755 private security officers and members of the ParaDocs medical team were inside the venue during the festival.
Brennon Moore via Storyf

Fire Chief Samuel Peña said his department had set up outside as a proactive measure and was in radio communication with police.

“We were in direct communications with the Houston Police Department, and we were in communications with the Harris County Emergency Corps, which was providing some of the transport units for that event,” Peña told CNN.

He confirmed that the fire department “did not have direct communications” with the event organizers. Firefighters went on to transport a dozen “very critical” victims from the venue.

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena.
Fire Chief Samuel Peña said his department was set up outside the venue as a proactive measure and confirmed that his crew “did not have direct communications” with the event organizers.
Daniel Kramer/REUTERS

Meanwhile, investigators are working to determine whether a batch of counterfeit pills possibly laced with fentanyl played a role in the tragedy, according to CNN, which cited a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Peña told CNN that while there was evidence that drugs may have been involved, investigators did not have information on what kind they were.

“All that is going to be fleshed out, I believe after the investigation,” he said.

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