Biggest Demoflush Since 1992!
When dinosaurs staffed Dodge Type II, Suburban and Cadillac ambulances, the Town of Ocean City's implemented a unique measurement of weekend crowds:
Estimating resort weekend population based on the amount of sewage generated is a unique Ocean City tradition.
It started in 1971 as the city struggled to develop a health services plan for a narrow penninsula resort that went from 1,493 permanent residents to summer weekends with 50,000 to 250,000 visitors.
A 1973 seminar in Operations Research in Health Planning included reports on the Ocean City project:
The statistics yielded by the surveys were detailed by Peter G. Goldschmidt, also a graduate student at Johns Hopkins. (he went on to become a physician and PhD)
A clinic operated by a local physician with summer assistants provided most of the care for the visitors; the clinic saw about 160 patients on an average August day but was forced to turn away another 20.
Of every 1000 accidents or episodes of illness reported in the survey, only about 200 cases were actually treated and carried to the point of discharge; the rest either did not seek care, were unable to obtain it, or did not follow up on the initial visit.
Visits from permanent residents were found to make up 20 percent of all visits in 1971; this was projected to increase to 35 percent in 1980, with planned development of the area, and the summer population by that date was projected to increase to 300,000. Apart from accidental injuries, the major complaints reported were "nervous anxiety" and high blood pressure.
On completion of the study, the team recommended immediate establishment of first-aid stations on the beach and the development of a disaster plan for the area, with all health activities to be coordinated by a health care corporation in order to provide continuity of service the year round. The city council endorsed the plan and charged the medical commission to carry it out.
Two first-aid stations, staffed by nurses and aides, were opened the following summer and handled 1600 calls for service, most of which did not require physician care.
The health care corporation was established but is still without a staff; political realities intervened with the discovery that the health care of the summer visitors had low priority on community funds raised from the permanent residents, and efforts to raise funds from other sources have so far been unsuccessful.
During that time a "rogue" physician established a clinic near the convention center, complete with a private ambulance that never moved from it's perch on the corner of his lot.
In 1974 the town had one Maryland Cardiac Rescue Technician on the job. Frank Muller took one of the first CRT classes in Baltimore. The nearest hospital was 30 miles away in Salisbury. We transported to a clinic in order to stabilize patients before the 45 minute transport.
Our operating medical director (OMD) taught us to set up ekgs, start IVs and do minor suturing when we brought patients into his clinic. It was just-in-time training as the need arose. We worked under his direct supervision, supplementing a thin clinic staff.
The OMD taught me how to set up an EKG after transporting a large, panic-strickened, 40-something guy with chest pain who was profusely sweating and slick with suntan lotion. The patient arrested in the clinic and did not get to Penninsula General Hospital. My first time using a defibrillator.
Peter G. Goldschmidt and Andrew W. Dahl published the results of their work. "Estimating Population in Seasonal Resort Communities" published in the April 1976 issue of growth and change: A Journal of Urban and Regional Policy
Tex Jobe, US Army Corps of Engineers photo, June 1998 via Wikipedia
Joan Shriner, writing in Friday's Maryland Coast Dispatch provided the details:
According to (Town of Ocean City) Communications Manager Donna Abbott, this year’s demoflush population calculations for the holiday weekend saw an estimated 281,895 people, which is well over last year’s estimate for Memorial Day weekend, which was set at 254,717.
“I have demoflush figures back to 1992 and I could not find a higher demoflush estimate for Memorial weekend then what we just had this past weekend,” Abbott said.
read more here: Holiday Weekend Gets Season Off To Booming Start
Memorial Day Crowds
- 2011: 281,895
- 2010: 254,717
- 2009: 270,421
- 2008: 226,748
- 2007: 259,823
- 2006: 239,789
- 2005: 216,371
- 2004: 242,286
- 2003: 197,725
- 2002: 237,791
- 2001: 216,038
- 2000: 242,730
- 1999: 248,446
- 1998: 234,961
- 1997: 204,972
Demoflush figures courtesy of Ocean City Tourism.
Ocean City is the second largest city in Maryland on summer weekends.
Mike "FossilMedic" Ward
Related post: August 21, 2007 Beach Patrol First Responders