The Los Angeles Fire Department, in conjunction with other City agencies, volunteers, and event organizers devoted a significant amount of time preplanning the various aspects of the 22nd Annual Los Angeles Marathon. A Unified Command was implemented and strategically positioned at the City's "Piper Tech" facility including, 6 Battalion Command Teams, 14 EMS Supervisors, 25 Fire Apparatus, 14 ALS Rescues, 12 BLS Rescue Ambulances, 6 Bicycle Teams, and 2 “Gator” teams, under the command of Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas.
In an effort to provide rapid Paramedic intervention during a medical emergency, the LAFD deployed six Bicycle Paramedic Teams and two “gator” Teams. The “gator” teams consisting of two Paramedics operating a six-wheeled All Terrain Vehicle outfitted with Advanced Life Support tools, a “med bed” anchored to the vehicle providing a platform for patient care, and other crucial equipment. The agile response of both the “gator” and cycle teams, enabled firefighters to bridge the gap between foot patrol and rescue ambulances to provide paramedics the opportunity to navigate crowds, circumvent traffic, and deliver critical care with greater ease.
Throughout the day, along the twenty-six mile route, and at the med-station positioned near the finish line, well over one hundred patients were treated for various medical problems including, musculoskeletal injuries and a variety of heat-related emergencies, amplified by the combination of heat and humidity this year. Of the numerous patients treated, most were assessed, treated onscene and released by the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department as their condition improved. Only 20-25 patients required transport to local hospitals for further medical evaluation. Regretfully, one of the participants did loose their life during this event.
At the intersection of Catalina and Exposition Blvd. Firefighters were called to render aide to a 50 year old male who suffered a cardiac arrest while competing as a cyclist in this years strenuous marathon. Paramedics arrived quickly, rendering the highest level of Advanced Cardiac Life Support and transporting the critical patient within 15 minutes. Sadly, the man was pronounced dead upon delivery to California Hospital.
The firefighters assigned to the Los Angeles Marathon took pride in the opportunity to support the competitive athelete as well as those people visiting our fine city, some for the very first time, to share our vision during this global event as we interact within the diversity of cultures, ready to render aide and emotional support should a crisis develop.
One such crisis was avoided when, at approximately the 22 mile marker, a participant of the wheelchair portion of the race was potentially sidelined when the battery pack feeding his motorized ride rendered him immobile. As a last ditch effort, two boys pushed the 18 year old, with cerebral palsey, toward a nearby Fire Apparatus for a solution.
Engineer Joe Everett of Fire Station 37, having been a past marathon participant, decided to forgo recharging the defunct battery. The determined Engineer, remebering the pride he had felt when he finished a past race, was undeterred by his cumbersome steel-toed boots and uniform; choosing instead to push the boy the 3.2 miles to the marathon’s end. The twosome formed a lasting friendship as they crossed the finish line triumphantly together.
Submitted by Melissa Kelley
Los Angeles Fire Department
Tuesday, March 06, 2007 | Posted by LAFD
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