SATERN at Chicago Marathon

On Sunday, October 10, members of The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) Central Territory and the Metropolitan Division assisted with the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon by providing communications to medical teams assigned to Aid Station 13.

The six volunteers and their communications vehicle were located at the corner of Jackson Boulevard and Sangamon Street from 6 am to 2 pm. Throughout the race they were the point of contact with the Chicago Marathon Forward Command (FC) staff located in the Event Operations Center (EOC). They were responsible for relaying medical-related information, including an athlete stress and pace report every half hour, as well as requests for supplies, equipment, and ambulance transports.

“We got very lucky with the weather. The temperature and humidity were a lot cooler than expected, so less people needed medical assistance,” said Scott DeSantis, SATERN Team Lead, Salvation Army. We only had one, low grade ambulance transport. But when you work an event of this size—you want things to be uneventful!”

Other team members included a safety officer, medical tent operator, course operator, and two network radio operators. All of them are experienced Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) volunteers who enjoy using their unique skill set to support this iconic Chicago event.

“It’s exciting to work behind the scenes. You can’t just show up on the day of the race to help. We had to sign up months in advanced, be credentialed and pass security screenings. Safety was a big issue, especially this year,” said DeSantis.



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