Hotter'N Hell: Medical Volunteers

Hotter'N Hell: Medical Volunteers

Every year about 15,000 bike riders participate in the Hotter'N Hell Hundred But hundreds of them actually become medical patients before finishing the race.

"One of the things that draws people to the Hotter'N Hell is the risk," said Dr. Keith Williamson, Hotter'N Hell's medical director.

The risk is extremely high when you're riding a 100 mile stretch in scorching temperatures during the race. Dr. Williamson said, about 400 trained medical volunteers will be at Saturday's bike ride. They'll be located at the 18 rest stops along the route.

"We have rest stops set up at ten mile intervals on every route and an extra one in the 100 mile route and we look out for these people," said Dr. Williamson.

Medical volunteers will have all the equipment to treat anything from post exercise collapse, heat disease and dehydration. In fact, Williamson said, they usually deal with trauma cases in the first 20 miles.

"The riders are pact very closely together and of course they're up on bicycles. They fall and they have fractures, abrasions, they have lacerations and close head injuries," said the doctor.

If you need medical attention, believe it or not Dr. Williamson said, you shouldn't call 911. Instead, you should call a hotline located in the back of the ride number participants wear on their jersey's or on their bikes.

"It goes directly to our coordinator of communications and we can get you help wherever you are. If you needed we can provide you instructions," said Williamson.

For volunteers, the satisfaction of helping means everything.

Williamson said, "It's one of the most gratifying experiences they have all year. They feel so good about it. It's interesting stuff and the people are so grateful that we're there."

Everyone working at the event will be wearing special clothing items so you can spot them easier in case of an emergency. The general volunteers will be wearing gray t-shirts. However, it's different for the medical volunteers. They will be wearing orange. Those with a medical license will be wearing a hat with the words "Hotter'N Hell Sports Medicine" written on it.

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6