Extra safety officials on hand to help with X Games

AUSTIN (KXAN) — From 90 degree temperatures to dangerous falls, there’s a lot that can happen during this summer’s X Games in Austin.

That’s why local EMS officials will be out all weekend long.

Competing in his 12th X Games, Australian Steve McCann has been riding BMX bikes since he was 11. He’s certainly had his share of injuries and says having paramedics by his side can make the difference when the trick doesn’t work out right.

“You just know when something may happen there’s people there to support you and gives you the confidence to not worry about what you’re doing,” he said.

Paramedics with Austin Travis County EMS will be working 12 to 14 hour shifts through Sunday.

“If we have someone that needs to go to the hospital, we have the ambulances onsite and medics to care for them,” said Cmdr. Wesley Hopkins with Austin-Travis County EMS. “(We) don’t need to call for ambulances from surrounding areas and neighborhoods.”

Extra paramedics will be on hand both downtown and also at Circuit of the Americas.

EMS workers have spent months training in how to treat athletes injuries should they happen.

“All sports are dangerous,” McCann said. “What do we do to protect ourselves? The best thing I can say is wear your helmet. My helmet’s saved me numerous times and pads…have those and you’ll have a long time to ride a bike.”

If McCann or one of the other athletes does take a fall, EMS workers will be right there, able to jump in immediately.

Barricades are also up to keep the public at a safe distance.

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