Working the Road Race


Sometime back in the early 1980s, I decided to volunteer as an EMT at the Peachtree Road Race. We were sent a special T-shirt, told when and where to be, and I slung my stethoscope around my neck and showed up at the appropriate time and place.

We were assigned a cot, with a big barrel of ice water at the foot. Oh yes, and a bundle of towels.

As the race was getting over, exhausted runners were being carried into our area.

I ended up with a tall fellow who was so exhausted I really don’t even think he knew where he was.

I immediately soaked about five towels in the ice water, placing one on each arm and one on each leg and on his chest. Steam immediately arose up through each towel. I got four more fresh towels out of the ice bucket, and threw the first ones back in to re-cool.

There were doctors standing in the middle section of all these cots, keeping an eye on each give-out runner.

One of the doctors asked me for my stethoscope – it was more like a command – and I did so. I wasn’t going to need it spending my time throwing towels in and out of a barrel of ice water.

I kept up this volley at a fairly rapid procession for at least 30 minutes before this guy began to come to, and a little slower for the next 15 minutes.

Folks, that fella did not become totally conscious and able to just sit up for 45 minutes after I started the iced towel routine. I couldn’t believe it.

By now the race was well over, and I did not get another racer to revive.

I’m going to get some criticism here, and I’m sorry, but treating your body in this fashion is, in my humble opinion, kinda dumb. I have often wondered if he ever ran in a Peachtree Road Race again.

Oh – and yes, – I got my stethoscope back.

I got my annual July 4th card from friends in Canada, Bill and Edna. I met them several decades ago when working at the Peachtree Conference Center. Even though they were born and raised in England, they have lived in Canada for over 30 years. Bill is just as excited about U. S. holidays as those where he lives. For years he has come south across the border to see July 4th fireworks.

One year, the American border guards decided he was being flip about wanting to help our country celebrate its Independence Day, and wouldn’t let him proceed. My friends were ordered out of the car and Edna was not even allowed to use the rest room. They took out the seats and even took off the fenders, looking for heaven only knows what.

So now they just send out cards – how sad.