Today Dylan and I decided to offer our assistance to the Minneapolis Marathon, working in MedComm. Dylan just getting his ticket wanted a taste of EmComm and I am known in this arena and thought that it might be fun to try working at a new race event.
Our Director seemed to have things under control with the few people that he had to work with. Being a “certified” public safety volunteer, they are hard to come by. We were told exactly what to do and it seemed pretty easy. This is the same thing that I have done over and over again for many different events and I am trained in from different nonprofits and government agencies. We can do this.
A few days before the event they had a meeting with everyone working on the event. We had our meeting just before the medical team and we were to stay for part of the medical meeting as we are working on the same team.
Arriving a little late with traffic was unbelievable. They should have never held the meeting at 5:30 in the evening in the cities. Getting off work at 4:45pm, I thought that it would have taken 15 to 20 minutes to go 7 miles… I was wrong when I was 15 minutes late.
After speaking to some of the people standing at the doorway, the room was packed and nobody really had a clue what was going on but everyone was listening to them talk about something that we could not really hear in the back of the room.
I was lucky enough to find a seat and proceeded to listen to a women tell us how we should be doing medical patient assessments. I am not a doctor… why? Our shirts for uniforms had not been printed yet; they will let us know how to get our shirts on the day of the event. Also we would have EMTs at our location and every tenth of a mile in our location as we are near the finish of the race. After the meeting I was even more confused as to what I would be doing. Oh well, I have done these before so I will just play along.
I did make it a point to ask my supervisor where to park, and I was told that they did not know and that I should check the day before. Not from the cities, I thought that I would ask the people that were in charge of the race and were also from the area. They should know! Upon checking, I was told that I would get an email the Friday before…. nope! I emailed her and was told that I would get one Saturday morning…. and again, nothing. Wow.
If I did not want to favor my name in the EmComm community, like Dylan said, “Why go?”
The day before we had a little time to search where to park and the area around where we would be. Pulling over a Minneapolis Park Police officer, he was a little shocked and confused as to the map they had given us. He also offered some additional tips. I felt ready and confident but still discouraged that I had not received my email that I was expecting.
So we were told originally to be there a half hour before first runner. That allowed me to show up at 6:40am. I knew that meant be there by 6:30 to get a spot to park. The evening before the event we received an email letting us know that we should be getting gear (our radio and shirts) at 5:30 in the morning so we should be on our location. Great! I am not a morning person.
At 5:30 in the morning we were there even though people should not be alive this early and we were waiting. We had forgotten to program our radios but I was proud that we did this before our schedule time for check-in.
Waiting, waiting, waiting… nobody ever showed up! Net Control (dispatch) did not know anything about delivering any gear. Finally someone had said that the sag wagon on route had everything. So I tried to flag them down twice and did everything but get run over. They would not stop for anything! Finally on the fourth pass and hours later they had told us that they did not have anything for us. So we were just sitting there with our radios looking cool. Okay?
Medical students? Where are they? Slight change of plans… no med students… again, on our own! What?!? Dylan it looks like you are taking rectal temps!
We did receive our shirts, after the race. Who wants a shirt that says I worked somewhere? I have a box of these since I never wear them again. I am glad that I am not the only one that said that they were frustrated and will not be working this event again.
I have some photos in the gallery! Feel free to check them out!