Fire Chief / Fire Warden


(Thunderstorm catches cyclists off guard)

Date/Time: 08/02/2014 12:40pm

Location: Hwy 38 at Onyx Summit near Big Bear, CA

Incident: Multi-Casualty Incident (MCI) of 30 cyclists participating in the Tour De Big Bear Cycling Race

Summary:  At 12:40pm, the San Bernardino County Fire Department responded to a report of a multiple cyclist suffering from mild-hypothermia due to a major storm cell passing over the cycling course on Hwy 38 near Big Bear California.  The riders were competing in the Tour De Big Bear Cycling Race with 2000 competitors and that includes 100 miles of mountain roads though out the Big Bear Valley. San Bernardino County Fire had crews working at the Big Bear Rotary sponsored Aid Station was able to provide medical evaluation and assistance immediately as the riders showed up. Due to the remote location of the Aid Station, the County Fire battalion Chief on scene declared an MCI and which dispatched additional resources to aid multiple patients at the aid station. All patients were evaluated and warmed up by the Fire Crews and Aid Station workers.   All injuries were determined minor and did not require ambulance transport to a hospital but all needed transportation back the start area in Downtown Big Bear, approximately 8 miles away. Mountain Area Regional Transit provided a bus and County Fires All-Risk Hand Crew 41 provided transportation in their crew buggy which responded to the initial call. The Tour De Big Bear race was not affected with the exception on the few that were suffering from the cold related injuries.  A total of 24 racers and their bikes were transported back to the start location in Big Bear Lake.

San Bernardino County wishes to remind everyone that travels in the Mountains to be prepared for cold weather, even on a hot summer day.  The climate can change rapidly with the monsoonal moisture tracking through the area and can cause Flash floods, lightning, and in this case a rapid decrease in ambient temperature and can cause Hypothermia if exposed for too long.