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RAM volunteers rev up for treatment on the track

By Meredith Machen, mmachen@wcyb.com
Published On: May 02 2013 05:01:29 PM CDT
Updated On: May 02 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT

It's the eleventh hour of preparation for a clinic that will provide dental, vision, and medical services free of charge.

BRISTOL, Tenn. -

It's the eleventh hour of preparation for a clinic that will provide dental, vision, and medical services free of charge.

News 5 stopped by Bristol Motor Speedway to see how the world's fastest half-mile is being transformed into a Remote Area Medical clinic by volunteers.

Renee Babb is one of dozens already camped out at Bristol Motor Speedway. "We've got power, we've got electricity, and we've got internet!" laughed Babb.

But NASCAR may be the last thing on her mind.

The crowd is waiting for essential health care all for free, no strings attached, and it's worth the wait of nearly 24 hours. "I've got four kids I've got three of my grandkids, so I can't afford to actually get medical help," said Babb.

Inside the speedway, we found a crew of about 75 volunteers hard at work getting everything ready for the clinic.

32 dental chairs and thousands of instruments are set-up and ready for patients; it's something we learned is no easy task. "There's the cleaning, we've got to wipe down the chairs, we're going to make sure all the equipment is sterilized," said Ron Brewer, a veteran RAM volunteer.

Volunteers organize everything to a 'T' so all the dentists have to do is grab some gloves, pick up a tray, and then pick out the instruments they need to do their job.

In the vision center, we found volunteer Don Hall calibrating charts, knowing his hard work will pay off when patients get the gift of sight. "[I enjoy] the smile on their faces. They say, 'I haven't been able to see for a long time.' I have people come along with glasses they picked up along the side of the road," Hall told News 5.   

All this work isn't forgotten by those just waiting for a much needed helping hand. "Without [the volunteers], we wouldn't be able to do it," said Babb.

Other important facts you should know: RAM officials will start handing out numbers to patients at 3:30 Friday morning.

Patients should bring any medications they are taking, especially blood pressure medication.   

The clinic will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

We'll have a crew live Friday morning on news 5 today to check out those lining up to get treatment at the track by RAM medical volunteers.