Police Prepare for Vermont City Marathon

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 05/24 2014 01:58PM

Updated 05/24 2014 07:39PM

BURLINGTON, Vt. -  Thousands of runners and spectators take over Burlington Memorial Day Weekend for the 26th Annual Keybank Vermont City Marathon. And while the race is a 'one day event' the security preparation takes months.

“We've been planning for a year. All the athletes have been preparing for months we are anxious to get to Battery Park at 8 o'clock and hear the gun go,” said Peter Delaney, Run Vermont Executive Director.

And with thousands of people packed into one area security planning begins months in advance.

“We go over what worked and what didn't work and enhance and modify our plan,” said Burlington Police Deputy Chief Bruce Bovat.

Deputy Chief Bovat says the Boston Marathon bombing changed their original plans. So to prepare for the worst more than 150 extra officers were on hand at last year's Vermont City Marathon.

This year Bovat says there won't be quite that many extra security personnel on hand; but Burlington police are prepared with help from neighboring agencies.

“There are roughly 45 posts where officers are out directing traffic. So when you throw that in conjunction with enhanced security and those traffic posts we need to rely on outside agencies to help with that,” said Deputy Chief Bovat.

With extra police patrolling the city Bovat asks people to watch out for anything suspicious.

“We worry about large packages and backpacks and they're asking the runners -anything they bring in a clear plastic bag so it’s easily identifiable,” said Bovat.

And as always if you see something - say something.

“There will be certain areas with enhanced security checking to see that you're not bringing in anything inappropriate,” said Bovat.

While extra security will be out in force Sunday, Bovat says he's believes the marathon will go off without a hitch.

“There are no credible threats and we are very confident that this is going to be a fun, uneventful, event,” said Bovat.

Along with security planning there is a lot of work that goes into preparing medical support as well.

Staff from Fletcher Allen volunteers to work the race in the 'medical tent'. The hospital also donates medical supplies such as IV tubes, fluids, and bandages.

The first responders are ready to treat almost any type of injury on scene, but Fletcher Allen will also have extra staff working in the emergency department just in case.

"With the weather that's currently predicted more of the injuries actually come with wet sneakers and it becomes more of a blisters and wound care type situations,” said Kristin Baker, FAHC Emergency Department Nurse Manager.

Medical volunteers will be on stand-by throughout the entire morning. In addition to the Fletcher Allen staff, EMS personnel and local fire departments will also have people working medical support at the race.

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