Each of the marshals at your location has a specific role that will have been assigned to him or her by the Deputy Sector Marshal (DSM). These roles include clearing the bike and any debris from the track, displaying the appropriate flags and manning the tetra radio handset. Your role is to look after the casualty. In the event of an incident, the marshal manning the tetra radio will press the red emergency button on the top of the handset. This will alert control to the fact that there has been an incident, and to the location.
When that happens a Travelling Marshal (TM) will be dispatched to attend the incident. The Travelling Marshals are not medically trained but do have first aid training. They are also very experienced in the overall management of incidents. One of the Medical Helicopters (Airmed) will also have been put on standby so that they are ready to respond if needed.
One (or more) of the marshals will be waving a yellow flag to alert oncoming riders in order to make it safe for the other marshals, and you, to attend to the incident. It is VITAL that you don’t go onto the course until it is safe to do so. Be alert at all times to the fact that there will probably still be other bikes on the course. LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP!
If the rider has regained his or her feet, it will be necessary to get him or her to a safe spot where you can assess the situation. If the rider hasn’t regained his or her feet, and is in a dangerous position (in the middle of the road for instance), it will be necessary for you and the marshals to move him or her to a safe location so that you can carry out your assessment.
If there are no injuries, or only minor ones, and you feel it is safe for the rider to remain where he or she is, you should ask the marshal with the radio to inform control in order that Airmed can be stood down. If this is the case, it is important to keep a close eye on the rider for 10 or 15mins, as situations can change, especially when the initial surge of Adrenaline is wearing off. If this happens, and you are unhappy with the rider’s condition, you should contact control on 644607 in order that we can evacuate the casualty.
If the injuries are more serious, or if you are unsure, the casualty will need to be evacuated. You should ask the marshals to contact control and request Airmed. Generally, the response time for the helicopter is in the region of 5 minutes. During that time you will be looking after the casualty and taking appropriate steps such as protecting the airway if necessary, protecting the cervical spine etc. With the help of the marshals and TM, you will also load the casualty onto the scoop stretcher, secure him or her with the straps provided, and start making arrangements to move him or her to the designated helicopter landing site for your location.
Depending upon the nature of the incident and the severity of any injuries, you may not have completed all of these steps before the helicopter arrives. Don’t worry HELP IS ON IT’S WAY!
When the helicopter arrives you should report your findings to the Aircrew and follow their instructions. They will provide a replacement scoop stretcher, and replacement cervical collar, Immediate Care Case (if required) and red head support. The red vinyl head supports are intended for use with a casualty that is wearing racing leathers with a ‘hump’ on the back. It goes under the head and allows the neck to stay in a neutral position thus helping to protect the cervical spine. If you are dealing with a casualty who is wearing leathers without a ‘hump’, and you suspect a cervical spine injury, you should not use the red head support as to do so would cause flexion of the cervical spine.
Once the casualty has been evacuated you should check that you have the necessary equipment. Sometimes, in the middle of managing a hectic incident, it is possible to overlook the replacement of equipment. If you let Medical Control know, that can be sorted out. It is also helpful to contact Medical Control once the dust has settled in order to update us about details of the incident.
Finally, sit back, relax, have a cup of tea and enjoy the racing!