Boston Marathon Volunteers

  • Eastern MA - Team Red Cross - Volunteers

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The American Red Cross of Massachusetts has been working with the Boston Athletic Association to provide medical support to the Boston Marathon for four decades. Today, the BAA looks to the Red Cross not only for its medical support, but also for its expertise in preparedness, response, and recovery services. Today, teams of nearly 600 dedicated Red Cross volunteers will come together on and in advance of Marathon Day to ensure the highest level of readiness and well-being to marathon runners and spectators alike.

Medical Tents

The American Red Cross of Massachusetts has been providing trained nurses and other support staff to the medical tents that serve the Boston Marathon route for four decades. More than 400 Red Cross volunteers provide the highest quality medical care to the 26 medical tents spanning the 26.2-mile course. Tents serve as mobile Emergency Rooms and provide first aid to runners affected by ailments from dehydration, to torn ligaments, to heat stroke. Because patients are triaged in the tents, area hospitals are spared the inevitable overflow that would challenge the capacity of their Emergency Rooms.

In addition, a team of Red Cross volunteer logisticians will be working all day to ensure that the tents maintain critical levels of medical supplies.

375 medical / admin volunteers
3,750 combined volunteer hours
120 ham radio operators for course medical communications
1,000-2,000 runners and spectators assisted every year along the course

Course Disruption Reception Centers

If the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 taught us anything, it’s that a Red Cross disaster readiness stance must be a primary objective. In collaboration with area law enforcement and emergency management, the American Red Cross will again be staffing Course Disruption Centers throughout various communities. These Course Disruption Reception Centers are pre-identified buildings for use in case runners and/or spectators need to move to a safe location. Some scenarios in which a disruption center might come in to play include a weather event, public protest, or man-made crisis.

Patient Connection

When a disaster strikes, one’s primary instinct is to reach out to a friend, loved one or family member to make sure he or she is ok. But in the midst of chaos, when normal lines of communication fail, this is not always an easy feat. The Red Cross Patient Connection service is a system that, working hand in hand with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and area hospitals, serves to enable those critical familial connections in times of crisis.

To sign up to become a Red Cross of Massachusetts volunteer please go to