Providence Holy Cross Medical Center’s emergency communications vehicle will make its inaugural run this weekend, designated to provide communications with hospitals if necessary during law enforcement’s annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay.
According to organizers, 5,220 runners from 261 teams will participate in the annual run, scheduled Saturday and Sunday from Baker, CA, to Las Vegas. Among the runners will be a 20-person team from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station and a Southern Division team from the CHP. Runners will represent more than 140 law enforcement agencies and will be supported by an additional 4,000 people.
Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking news alerts delivered right to your inbox
Providence Health & Services, Southern California Region, will staff the emergency communications center, working from a satellite truck donated by KTLA and outfitted to manage disaster communications at Providence Holy Cross in Mission Hills. The vehicle’s capabilities will allow for communications on both sides of towering mountains that make up a particularly treacherous part of the race course.
“Participating in the Baker to Vegas run helps further the relationship between Providence and our local police agencies and it provides us with a valuable training exercise,” said Shannon Kendall, a member of the Providence disaster preparedness and safety team.
Last year 140 runners suffered medical emergencies, mostly related to the heat. Members of the support staff also received treatment, including elderly volunteers with heart conditions, said race coordinator Chuck Foote.
The Providence team will be stationed at the field medical base located outside the California desert town of Shoshone. The medical base will provide triage and treatment for injured race participants and support staff, and determine whether to transport the injured to hospitals in either California or Nevada via ground ambulance or helicopter.
To coordinate medical communications for the race, the team will be in concerted contact via ham radio and commercial and satellite-based communications with a medical command center in Pahrump, NV. Kendall will be joined by Margaret Barlow and Mike Vogelsang, also members of the Providence Holy Cross and Providence Saint Joseph medical centers’ safety and disaster preparedness team.
Participating in the popular 120-mile relay race gives Providence the opportunity to expand its expertise into the community.
“This allows us to expand our expertise outside our hospital walls,” said Derek Berz, chief operating officer for Providence Holy Cross.