Earlier this summer some of our team members made the annual trek to the Sierra foothills to volunteer for one of the toughest races around. Thanks to Lucas Marciniak and Ben Yaffe for sharing the experience via this write up:
On Saturday June 29th, BAMRU staffed the medical checkpoint at mile 85 of the Western States Endurance Race. This 100-mile ultra-marathon takes runners from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California on a grueling trail of steep switchbacks, swift-water river crossings, and mountain passes; this year with a record temp of 102° F.
For the 5th year running, BAMRU supported the event with technical member and emergency RN Lucas Marciniak as the medical captain for the aid station, as well as a team who brought a variety of experience levels. Regardless of medical background, teamwork is crucial. The hours are long, and as the night goes on the medical tent can gets increasingly intense. As each runner reaches mile 85 of the race, the team assess them, paying close attention to their mental status and weight compared to their starting weight (as an indication of fluid status). Along with a host of other ailments, the team provided extensive blister care and addressed dehydration, hyponatremia, hypoglycemia, muscle/skeletal injuries, and exhaustion. With the race having their own ALS protocols, we were able to provide a broad range of interventions.
This is a perfect event for BAMRU, as our medical, rescue, and communications are put to good use.Everyone on the team has experience in emergency settings and knows how to keep their cool under pressure and with limited sleep. BAMRU staffs the aid station with experienced/professional medical providers but also leverages the event to give the EMTs and WFRs on the team who don’t work in the medical field an opportunity to get an incredible amount of hands-on experience. Looking forward to 2014!
BAMRU Team: Marciniak, Lass, Yaffe, Allen, & Barbour