It takes a lot of work to put together a music festival, hiring a crew, building stages, food vendors, beverages and alcohol, merchandise, and the musical talent. But the one thing we take for granted is the medical tent, only when we need it the most. Throughout the years of attending and covering festivals, you see a lot that goes on. Some incidents are out of your control, and there is no one to call to help you. Then there's the medical tent, where you can receive help when you may need it the most.
That’s when ParaDocs World Inc started, Alex Pollak (President) started when he least expected. A there was a fashion show that was being held in NYC and in dire needs of a paramedic.
“My cousin was on the subway and overheard two women fretting over where they would find a paramedic for their fashion show the next day. He gave them my number, and I covered the event for them. A few months later, the security company (who worked the fashion show) called and said that they were in contract with a large venue that needed medical coverage and asked if I could help them find staff. I said sure, and the next day, I purchased a small insurance policy, a jump bag, and an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and ParaDocs was born.”
What is ParaDocs you may ask? It’s a medical company, you know the medical tent that you see at music festivals such as Mad Decent Block Party, Governor’s Ball, and Okeechobee Festival. That medical tent is ParaDocs which covers numerous events within fashion, sports, and music across the country.
“ParaDocs is an event medical company comprised of doctors, nurses, paramedics, and EMT’s. While we cover any event large or small, we specialize in festivals and mass gathering medicine. Our larger events, we set up what is essentially a field hospital with ICU’s (Intensive Care Units), triage areas, and almost everything you would find in a modern day emergency room. Our medical tents have evolved tremendously over the years, and they are staffed with some of the best doctors, nurses and medical personnel in the world. Our red shirts are a standard sight at almost every large event in the country, as well as in Canada, Mexico, and even London.”
We asked Alex if there was a specific incident that leads him to decide to get into the medical field? His response was intense to hear at first, completely taken back. For a moment I was lost for words.
“I started in the medical field as a volunteer for my community’s ambulance corp. As a brand new EMT, I was the first responder to the 9/11 terrorist attack, and I watched as the second plane hit the tower. From that moment on, I knew I was always going to be involved in emergency medicine in some manner. Both my undergraduate and graduate degrees were in finance, yet here I am still involved in a career I love and care for. ParaDocs has allowed me to combine two of my interests, business, and healthcare, into a company that provides the highest level of care for our patients.”
For Alex, there are some glamorous moments and not so pretty sights to see. In the end, it's rewarding to him and the patients.
“The satisfaction of helping people is a reward unto itself. We have put together an amazing team of like-minded medical professionals who really love their profession, but who also have some amazing side careers. International model, violinist, body builders, future medical school students – they are all part of our ParaDocs family. We’ve even had eight ParaDocs couples find each other through our network of professionals!”
Alex recalls a few favorite moments throughout his career,
“I love when a festival attendees come into our tent asking for a paramedic by name or send me an email after the event describing the extraordinary service that they received while under our care. I love the connections and the community that we make with each other, and also with our clientele. The name, ParaDocs, is becoming synonymous with medical in the EMS sphere. We once had a DJ scream out on the mic, “be careful or we’ll need to call the ParaDocs” - best feeling ever.“
What does the future hold for ParaDocs? Where can you find them next?
“We just did our large festival which was the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival in Florida, and it’s one of my favorites because of the people who we work within central Florida. Last year was its inaugural year, and it was an amazing experience. The weather was great, the crowd was positive, and the venue was stunning - I can’t wait for next weekend! The events we work are eclectic, and each one is a new and exciting venture. Last week, we covered New York Fashion Week, we are covering an MMA event in Chicago, the X-Man movie premier, a Tiësto warehouse party, Desert Hearts, and about 30 other events. I guess if I had to choose my favorite, it would be The Victoria Secret Fashion Show (sorry Kate).”
“We recently signed our first big stadium contract, and we are looking towards signing on more permanent venues. We are in some serious talks with large sporting leagues and will be announcing exciting partnerships in the coming months. The majority of our work tends to be in the summer months in large outdoor spaces, and we lose a lot of good staff during the slow winter months. My vision is to see a redshirt at every major event in the country, and maybe even the world.”
When we declare someone MVP at a festival, we would choose an artist, the food, a certain DJ. The real MVP goes to ParaDocs Worldwide Inc, traveling all over the country to cover events, of all kinds. Each event that was in the hands was a success outcome every time. If you ever find yourself needing medical attention think in the back of your mind ParaDocs.