South Dakota Emergency Workers Gear Up for Sturgis Rally - News - @ JEMS.com


South Dakota Emergency Workers Gear Up for Sturgis Rally

Despite motorcycle crashes and stabbings, more than half of calls related to dehydration, chest pains


 
 

| Monday, August 5, 2013


STURGIS, S.D. (AP) — Emergency workers are gearing up for everything from stabbings to vehicle crashes at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that starts Monday in western South Dakota, the city's ambulance director said.

The Rapid City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/16TVuEM ) that Shawn Fischer is directing 32 emergency workers who will tend to rally-goers. Her crews are supported by medical professionals from other agencies as Sturgis' population temporarily swells from 7,000 to about 400,000.

"It's something we train all year long for," she said.

Fischer said she has seen her share of incidents in her 20-year career as a nurse and paramedic. But she says nothing can compare to the volume and variety of incidents she and others will respond to during the rally.

The rally in 2009 was especially memorable.

"It was everything. Medical calls, to motorcycle accidents, to stabbings — it's a chance for EMTs and paramedics to see every part of their job," she said.

"We don't dread it at all," Fischer said. "I think we all look very forward to it. It's excitement for us."

Scott Lensegrav, an emergency medical technician for Sturgis Ambulance and the Rapid City Fire Department, said he has seen the pattern of motorcycle accidents change over the years.

Lensegrav has worked the rally for 12 years. He remembers a phenomenon during rally week that emergency personnel called "Black Wednesday."

On that rally day, bikers heading home after the first part of the rally would collide with bikers heading into town for the second half.

"It always seemed like we had more accidents that day," he said.

"One year, I think we had four fatal accidents in two hours," he said. "Motorcycles hitting each other all the time."

However, while motorcycle accidents often get the most attention, it's the more mundane incidents that tend to preoccupy emergency personnel.

Lensegrav estimated that more than 50 percent of call-outs are related to illnesses like dehydration and chest pains.

"You have got hundreds of thousands of people all coming in your area. You get a lot of people getting sick," he said. "Plus your regular residents who need service too."
___

Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Press Conference, East Village Explosion and Collapse

Fire is contained to four buildings; 12 people have been injured.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Mayor Adds Ambulances to Peak Demand Period

10 additional ambulances will be on the streets from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Utah Commission Privatizes Ambulance Service

Mayors in Iron County loose management fight.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ambulance Delay Raises Concerns over Response Times

Officers give up after waiting 20 minutes for an ambulance.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Patient Carry during Snowstorm

Firefighters, medics and officers lend a hand in Halifax.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Terror Attack in Tunisia

19 people killed outside of a museum.
More >