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LISTEN: The Art of Staying Safe In Summer Crowds, Both Friendly And Not


Now, 11 people died. We didn't even know what occurred. At first, the city thought it was bad drugs. [The victims] were in their mid-teens to 20's; some were even parents already. All appeared to be, in fact, good kids. There was a vilification -- you know, these hard rock fans, they're wild, they're crazy. And it's only a problem of Rock 'n' Roll. Back then there was still that stigma that Rock 'n' Roll was somehow a bad thing. - Paul Wertheimer on The Who concert disaster in Cincinnati, 1979.

I'm going to admit it: I love crowds. I love density, I love cities, I love parades, I love concerts. 

But I also know there is something inherently dangerous in them. We've heard the horror stories -- from nightclub fires to Black Friday stampedes. As another season full of gatherings begins, with the Fourth just around the corner, I thought it would be a really good idea to talk about crowd safety. 

Paul Wertheimer is the founder and head of Crowd Management Strategies. He's been called the foremost industry expert on the topic of crowd crushing, and the "Marshall of the Mosh Pit." I spoke to him this week about what I -- or anyone -- could do to protect themselves from the mob. 

Listen in to hear about Wertheimer's early days taking notes from within the mosh pit, the best way to duck and weave if you feel a crowd starting to encircle you (hint: it's sort of the same as how to deal with a rip tide), and why the first people to come to your aid in a crazy crowd... might just be the people standing next to you.

Security Mom is a podcast hosted by Juliette Kayyem that aims to unpack how the strange and secretive world of national security works. Subscribe to the Security Mom podcast in iTunes.

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