PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Preparations for the Pittsburgh Marathon are well underway, and a big part of that is making sure the medical supplies are ready to go.

Bill Couts, the marathon medical equipment manager, has been busy. He starts in January, taking an inventory and ordering supplies.

“With about 27- to 28,000 runners, you know somebody is going to have a problem,” said Couts.

That’s why there has to be a wide range of equipment, everything from bandages to cots and ice bags.

Sixteen blue bins will be placed at the aid stations, located about every two miles along the route.

“We run the gamut from a band aid and some Vaseline to take care of blisters, chaffing, all the way up to some IV goods,” Couts. “So that in a pinch, someone can start an IV out on the course if someone stops by and they are dehydrated or whatever.”

Other supplies take up a lot more space.

“We have six dunk tanks that we use for racers that have overheated to cool them,” Couts says. “We check their core temperature and they dunk them in those to get their core temperature under control.”

There is also something new in the supplies this year in light of the Boston Marathon bombings. Medics will have access to military-grade tourniquets.

“This would be used for an amputation or something,” said Couts.

Although there is still work to be done organizing and packaging, Couts say the supplies will be ready to go. The Pittsburgh Marathon steps off on Sunday, May 4.

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