(08/22/13) - Runners and walkers in the Health Plus Crim Festival of Races can rest assured. They will never be far from a team that can handle a variety of medical issues.
Crim competitors and spectators will see an ambulance at each mile marker on the course. Other resources will be deployed, too.
"Every half mile marker we have a golf cart with a physician and paramedic on it. It has medical equipment and medications as well," said Dominic Foster, Genesys emergency medical services manager.
Last year, 80 patients needed attention, usually for minor problems like scrapes and sprains.
"The busiest year we ever had, we saw 189 patients. That was two years ago," Foster said.
Near the finish line is a tent with 25 cots.
"If something serious happens on the course itself, the ambulances go right to the hospital. They don't come to the medical tent," Foster said.
On hot humid race days, medical responders tend to see more patients.
"Some runners don't train properly for the Crim. They run the Crim to lose weight, get back in shape, and they're not prepared for it and then the heat comes in and the humidity come in and they're not equipped to handle it," Foster said.
Low blood sugar can also cause problems. But whatever the medical issue, doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians are close at hand.
"This year, we have the most volunteers. We're close to 80 people that volunteer in total for all the medical staff," Foster said.
From a scratch to a heart attack, the team will be ready.
"Very rarely do we have a serious event. We're equipped to handle it. We plan for the worst," Foster said.
Crim officials say there are more medical personnel on hand per mile than just about any other race in the country.