The Kelly green shirts, hats, socks and fanny packs — yes, fanny packs — brightened up a dreary day in downtown State College on Saturday as Penn State students and visitors marked the unofficial St. Patrick’s alternative — State Patty’s Day.
Meanwhile local, regional and state law enforcement and EMS were kept busy throughout the day, responding to the aftereffects of daylong drinking.
As of 4 p.m., State College police Capt. Chris Fishel said calls for ambulances were delayed by 10 minutes, and he expected it to get worse.
“What that will do is people who are having heart attacks or other events are being delayed because of the poor decisions of people who are doing other things,” he said.
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Due to the high volume of EMS calls, Fishel said police were helping out with responding to alcohol overdoses, but could only remain with the person until the ambulance arrived.
Drinking started as early as 9 a.m., according to some revelers, and by 4 p.m., EMS calls were starting to peak.
The amount of calls for service this year, Fishel said, was worse than last year, but not as bad as past years. Their biggest issue this year, he said, was breaking up large house and apartment parties, where too many people were gathered in one place at one time, and causing disturbances.
“A couple hundred people gather inside for a party, then they go from one to the other ... starting on the west side of Atherton, and moving east toward Pugh and Prospect,” he said.
State police, mounted on horses, could be seen traveling the streets of State College, stopping to clear out a house party at 241 S. Barnard St., around 4:45 p.m., as revelers were packed on the porch, waiting to see what would happen.
The state police, along with officers from Penn State, Ferguson and Patton townships, Bellefonte, the Centre County Sheriff’s Office, Centre Region Code and the sate Liquor Control Board came in to assist State College police in responding to calls and disturbances.
According to the scanner and the police log at 4 p.m., many of those calls included alcohol offenses such as underages, furnishing alcohol to minor, conscious and unconscious alcohol overdoses, public urination and public drunkeness, as well as noise violations.
The full account of charges and damages will be released later, once police have time to tally up the data.