Bud and Marty Rose have seen a lot in their years providing first aid at the annual hydroplane races along the Columbia River.
Bad sunburns. Dehydration. Cuts and bruises. Broken bones. Bug bites. Even — a while back — a human bite.
“There’s a long story with that one,” Marty said with a laugh.
And plenty more where it came from.
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The Roses have been a steady presence in Trios Health’s first aid station by the golf course, on the Kennewick side, since the 1980s.
They’ve never missed a year. Rain or shine, they’ve always shown up ready to help.
“It’s just a lot of fun,” Bud said.
“We enjoy it,” said Marty.
The Kennewick couple will be on hand this week when hydros once again take over the Columbia River.
The 2017 HAPO Columbia Cup is July 28-30. For details on the event, from park hours to race schedules to ticket and parking information, go to waterfollies.com.
Bud and Marty each have day jobs — he works for Cascade Natural Gas and she works in finance for the Kennewick School District.
In their off time, they provide first aid at numerous community events like the boat races, offer training around the region and serve as EMT instructors at Columbia Basin College in Pasco.
They got into the field years ago, starting in Baker City, Ore. in the 1970s.
Bud signed on as a volunteer firefighter with the local fire department. At that time, women weren’t allowed to do that job there, so Marty signed on as a volunteer EMT.
In the early 1980s, the couple moved to the Tri-Cities, joining Benton Fire District 1.
“He was a captain and I was a lieutenant,” Marty said. They both served for years.
It was their work with Benton 1 that gave them entré to the hydro races.
They started out doing fire suppression in the pits. By the late 1980s, they’d hooked up with Trios Health — then called Kennewick General Hospital — and were helping with first aid.
“They’re very committed. They love it. They take care of everything that comes their way,” said Lisa Teske, Trios spokeswoman.
Trios Health provides two first aid stations on the Kennewick side of the races — the Roses’ station by the golf course and another one by the pits.
For Bud and Marty, the races mean long and busy days — they work from early in the morning until the park clears out for the day.
They hand out water, help with blisters, bandage cuts. They treat allergic reactions from bee stings and the like.
They’ve jumped into action when kids became separated from parents. They’ve helped pregnant women in distress.
One of the worst injuries they’ve seen was a teenage boy who badly cut his head on a rock diving into the water.
And there was that human bite. It started with a confrontation in the beer garden, Bud recalled.
A smaller guy was pestering a larger guy. The little guy took a swing at the larger guy, who finally had enough and hit back.
“The little guy” — he was knocked to the ground — “bit (the larger guy) on the back of the calf,” Bud said. “It drew blood. It was a pretty bad bite.”
Marty nodded. “Throughout the years, it’s kind of an array,” she said.
The work can be tiring, for sure. But more than anything, it’s a great time, the Roses said.
At the races, “you get to see a lot of people. People from year-to-year who always come back,” Bud said.
Like their fellow race workers and volunteers. Like friends from the community who come as spectators. Like the people with whom they’ve formed special race-centered bonds.
A Seattle area man, for example, brings his niece and nephew each year.
“(The kids) are teens now, but we started seeing them when they were 3 or 4 years old,” Bud said. “They always come and sit by our station and we visit.”
The Roses were drawn to the fire and first aid world by a desire to help others. Offering their skills at the hydroplane races is a continuation of that, they said.
They have no plans to give it up anytime soon. Watch for them by the golf course this year and at races down the road, they said.
“I figure when I get to where it’s a job, I’m not going to do it anymore. But for now, it’s a fun thing to do,” Bud said. “And it helps people out.”
“Not everybody can do that type of work,” Marty added, “so it’s nice to be able to give back to the community.”