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Emergency crews have quick response time at BMS

By Laura Halm
Published On: Mar 16 2013 04:38:58 PM CDT
BMS RACE RESPONDERS
BRISTOL, Tenn. -

When it comes to racing, anything can happen and when it comes to emergencies, safety is a top priority for emergency crews.

We tagged along with first responders to learn more on how they maneuver around race traffic.

When a 911 call comes in, it's Stephen Wagner's job to rush to the scene. He's a firefighter with Bristol, Tennessee and he gives life-saving care during race weekend.

During the March race, Wagner says there are less injuries when it comes to weather, "We deal with a lot of shortness of breath, people with pulmonary problems. We still deal with a lot of people that have cardiac arrest such as heart attacks."

With thousands of race fans and tight quarters, you're probably wondering how quickly can emergency crews get to an accident?

"Our average response time out here is anywhere from a minute to four minutes, we can be anywhere on campgrounds," adds Wagner.

There are a total of four trucks out during race weekend, with the Dragway set-up as central command.

Crews credit their speed to these vehicles nicknamed Medical Mules. "An ambulance or a fire truck or a rescue truck is at a disadvantage. We can provide the same care off our smaller vehicles," said Wagner.

Each truck is equipped with medical supplies, a spinal board, even a fire extinguisher.

But crews have a word of advice if you happen to get hurt this weekend near the race track. "Have a good landmark, parking lot numbers are great, showers are great, if you know you're near a hospitality center, if you know you're near a certain attraction those are things that really help," added Wagner.

Firefighters tell us typically the only type of weather related injuries they deal with during the March Race is hypothermia, especially when it's cold and wet.