Emergency health officials reported that the Falmouth Road Race was “fairly busy” with heat-related illnesses but that it was also routine for the annual event.
Robin Lord, spokesperson for Cape Cod Healthcare, reported that approximately 80 people were treated in the three medical tents and seven were taken to Falmouth Hospital. The majority of those seen were runners treated for heat-related illnesses.
Deputy Chief Michael F. Small with Falmouth Fire Rescue said that the plan that emergency responders created preceding the race worked well but that the department responded to other incidents in Falmouth as well.
“Overall, the race was fairly routine,” he said, although he added that the four hours were busy. He said that two bystanders had to be treated for non-heat related incidents. There was also a car accident in Woods Hole at the time of the race.
Ms. Lord said that doctors and other officials expected there would be fewer heat-related incidents. While the numbers were similar to years prior, the race started an hour earlier and it seemed cooler. Deputy Small also said that the humidity was higher than they had hoped. The humidity level was at 65 percent and the temperature at the time was 75 degrees.
Ms. Lord reported that she did not receive reports of high priority patients at the race, which, she said, has happened in past years.
Lieutenant Craig B. O’Malley, EMS supervisor, also reported that the race was busy for the department, but not out of the ordinary. He said that medical tents were expanded from last year and additional ice water dunk tanks—used for treating heat exhaustion—were added. He said that the majority of the approximately 80 people treated for heat exhaustion, some with temperatures up to 107 degrees, were walking out of the tent within an hour.
Falmouth Chief of Police Edward A. Dunne said that police did not report any major incidents and the race ran smoothly. “It was a wonderful day and we didn’t have any incidents,” he said.
He said that there seemed to be more traffic than normal. Main Street, he said, was gridlocked.