The third week of July is always busy in Door County, and this year is no exception: the 18th Annual Door County Triathlon will bring more than 2,000 athletes from all across the country (and the world!) to Frank E. Murphy Park in Egg Harbor.
If you’re registered for the Door County Triathlon, interested in registering, or just curious about how Door County Medical Center (DCMC) works alongside event staff to keep the racers safe in Egg Harbor, this article will teach you about the ins and outs of the medical staff and medical support network for the event.
Here’s everything you’ll learn about in this blog post:
- DCMC’s History with the Door County Triathlon
- How Door County Medical Center Prepares for the Triathlon
- What Happens in the DCMC Medical Tent
- Why DCMC Supports the Door County Triathlon
DCMC’s History with the Door County Triathlon
Door County Medical Center is driven to provide expert care for Door County community members and visitors alike. Triathlons are no walk in the park, and for that reason, DCMC has always prioritized providing organized teams of highly trained medical staff for the Door County Triathlon.
“This event has been around since 2005,” Race Director Sean Ryan said, “and DCMC has been there every year since its inception. Their team keeps our participants safe. We could not do it without the services they provide.”
Door County Medical Center prioritizes support of programs that encourage public health, wellness, and activity. The Door County Triathlon benefits our community members in many ways, but also presents a number of potential risks that must be carefully planned for.
“We plan for everything and anything,” Outpatient Services Director Sandy Vandertie said. “With so many years under our belts, we have to be prepared to expect the unexpected.”
How Door County Medical Center Prepares for the Triathlon
It isn’t a secret that triathlons are dangerous and that participants risk injury. A retrospective study of triathletes competing at all distances found that 62% had at least one injury in the past season.
Door County Medical Center providers are well aware of the potential risks that the Door County Triathlon poses to participants as well as community members and visitors. Race, Medical, and other supporting staff have the event systematized to a science. “We keep participants on the course with signage, barricades, volunteers, and the Door County Sheriff’s Department,” Sean Ryan said.
These, of course, aren’t the only precautionary measures taken by the event staff. There are also stations dedicated to hydrating Door County Triathlon participants, as well as making sure they get the nutrients their bodies need in order to complete the race.
The third layer of support is where the expert medical providers at Door County Medical Center make their presence felt. “We plan for everything and anything,” Sandy Vandertie said. “Our staff is trained for all of the injuries they might encounter while working their station.”
Swim evacuation is always a top-of-mind concern for DCMC staff, race staff, and participants alike. “We have a team on the beach ready to receive patrons via jetski on an evacuation board,” Vandertie added.
Additionally, Door County Medical Center’s preparatory measures go far beyond the potential evacuation of exhausted swimmers. DCMC has protocols in place to treat aspirations, panic, eye injuries, dehydration, road rash, head injuries, broken bones, heat exhaustion, sunburns, allergic reactions, and more still. And for good reason–the triathlon depends on rapid-response medical treatment.
“Without medical providers,” Event Director Ryan said, “the event wouldn’t be safe because our participants are putting themselves through extreme physical stress, so it’s critical to have them there as a safety net.”
DCMC’s medical plans are highly coordinated for the Door County Triathlon. Medical providers have plans for evacuations, rapid communications, the full range of medical protocols, transportation to Door County Medical Center if necessary, and more.
What Happens in the DCMC Medical Tent
“Per day, it takes around 25 people to manage the medical and transition tents alone,” Vandertie said.
With more than 2,000 athletes converging on Egg Harbor for a single weekend, having large, organized, and ready-to-move providers are essential. For an event like this, Door County Medical Center’s determination to offer high-quality healthcare to the people who pass through the community is on full display, no matter the degree of injury.
“If racers start to fail physically or if they have something as seemingly harmless as a bee sting, they are able to address those contingencies and are able to assist whenever necessary,” Event Director Ryan said.
Whether you’re registered for the Door County Triathlon, considering registering, or interested in how Door County Medical Center providers work tirelessly to keep the racers safe in Egg Harbor, what’s most important to remember is that DCMC providers are driven to offer high-quality care to race participants, staff, spectators, and volunteers alike.