Inside Revolution: A Plan for the Worst
The rescue and medical services are a vital element of making motorsport a safer experience for everyone. Many hours of training go in to preparing for the worst, while
taking preventative measures to ensure the worst never happens.
Just as with the competitive element of motorsport, the training and development of rescue personnel has developed and progressed over time. As technology helps drivers go faster, in cars with safety equipment designed to keep them safer, paramedics and rescue crews have embraced new tech and methods of responding to emergencies on stage or track too.
“URGENT, car has just collided with Car 32, casualties suspected, I have asked marshals to investigate for further information. Over.”
The radio call that no one wanted to hear on a cold, icy day in December. The Din Moss Rally in Scotland was in full swing with the penultimate stage going really well, but things came to an abrupt stop with competitors and multiple spectators injured in a horrifying crash between two rally cars.
Don’t worry, this wasn’t real! It was a major incident exercise for Motorsport Emergency and Medical Services run by the Scottish Association of Motor Sports Clubs and Scottish Motorsport Marshals Club as part of their annual Training Weekend.
Over 100 Doctors, Paramedics, Rescue Teams, and Recovery Operators from all over the UK gathered for two full days of intensive specialist training at Knockhill Circuit, with a
mix of workshops, practical skill stations and simulations, and specialist CPD workstreams for registered health care professionals.
On Saturday, participants had workshops on technical aspects of rescue, including cutting doors, creating space, and extrication. Then they moved into sessions about managing
incidents, working as a team, triaging (prioritising) casualties, and finally, a tabletop exercise.
Sunday morning introduced a number of technical and medical skill stations, and then after lunch, the ultimate conclusion: a rally car off in a ditch, being assisted back onto
the stage by spectators, and a following car careened in, trapping spectators between the two vehicles.
The casualties had special effects makeup done by students from a local college on a film and tv course. We were amused to read one feedback form: “The makeup was fantastic,
it made everything feel more realistic. I did have a small expletive when I saw the first casualty. This wouldn’t happen at a real incident as I’d be expecting some injury, but just
wasn’t expecting it on a training session.”
Fraser Wenseth from Cougar Recovery says it was “the mother of all exercises. Multiple vehicles, a fire, multiple casualties, and we were first on scene! Really challenging for
One participant wrote, “Jeez!! That was off the charts. The major incident exercise was epic. It really pushed me to my limits. Great learning points and a lot of personal development for me.”
An experienced rescue crew chief added, “it was certainly some of the best training I have been on in years.”
80 per cent of participants rated their experience of the whole event as Excellent (with the remaining 20 per cent rating it as Good).
If you would like to participate in the 2023 running of this training exercise, see https://training.scottishmotorsportsclubs.co.uk for more information.
Organisers Rupert Hine and Jon Bolton would like to thank Scottish Motorsport Marshals Club, the Scottish Hill Rally Club and the British Motor Sports Training Trust for their
assistance and support for this event.
If you are interested in getting involved with Rescue or Recovery, talk to your local unit – they will be delighted to hear from you.
Donate to the British Motor Sports Training Trust
The British Motor Sports Training Trust has been instrumental in supporting safety and training related initiatives in four wheeled motor sport through a series of grant aid programmes. The Trust continues its charitable work through a mix of careful stewardship of its existing resources and donations received. Donations from individuals and organisations are always welcome, and every donation received – large or small – directly benefits the Trust and enables further safety, training and support grants.
To make a donation to the British Motor Sports Training Trust, please visit www.bmstt.org/donations.html
Practical and online training for Rescue and Recovery Crews, as well as the Medical Teams, take place at a number of different venues and on many different dates across the year. Motorsport UK, with the endorsement of the Medical Committee, has also introduced a framework for different levels of medical and first aid training. This covers everything from the very initial knowledge about being the First on Scene, an Emergency First Aid at Work programme (with Motorsport examples) through to currently a First Response in Emergency Care (FREC3) programme. Motorsport UK also held its inaugural Medical Conference at the Autosport show in January this year, where over 100 registered Doctors, Paramedics and Emergency Care Nurses signed-up to attend.
In addition to the above programmes, Motorsport UK offers a broad selection of online Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Seminars exclusively for registered Medical, Rescue and Recovery Licence Holders. These include:
- Incident Review – Thruxton
Thursday 6th April 2023, 7pm
This session looks at a significant incident in 2022 and the lessons learned.
- Responding to EV incidents
Thursday 1st June 2023, 7pm
This session looks at how rescue, medical and recovery teams should prepare for, and respond to, incidents involving electric or hybrid vehicles.
- Roles and Responsibilities
Thursday 3 August 2023, 7pm
In this session, we’ll be discussing the different roles and responsibilities of medical, rescue and recovery personnel, and how we work individually, as a specific team, and as part of the wider team involved in an incident.
- Managing and controlling a scene
Thursday 5 October 2023, 7pm
Building on the August webinar, we’ll look at what activities take place at an incident scene and how these can be developed to maximise the effectiveness of the command and control of the incident.
- Building personal resilience
Thursday 7 December 2023, 7pm
Responding to an incident can have a lasting effect on the way we process the world around us. Being a resilient responder starts with a commitment to taking care of yourself.
If you are a registered Motorsport Paramedic, Doctor or Emergency Care nurse and are interested in attending any of the sessions mentioned above or indeed, in becoming registered with Motorsport UK, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
The Learning & Development team, through the Motorsport UK Trainers, also provide training for Motorsport UK registered marshals generally on a regional basis. If you are interested in becoming a marshal and attending one of the training events, please email email@example.com
Discover more from Revolution
How to become a Recovery Official
How to become a Rescue Official
|Recovery Units recover stricken vehicles and provide assistance with the stabilisation of vehicles in order for Rescue Crews to carry out driver extrication.|
You must be a minimum of 17 years old to begin training as a Recovery Official, and you must reach your 18th birthday by the time you undertake your assessment for
Spend a day out with the team to understand their role and whether it is something you would like to be involved with. If so, with the help of the Crew Chief, you can apply for your Recovery Trainee Licence from Motorsport UK and start your training.
To obtain a Trainee licence you will first need to gain the support of a current Motorsport UK-registered Unit, and then complete Motorsport UK’s New Officials
As a fully licensed Recovery Official, you will be required to attend a minimum of two Training Events per year to develop your skills and undertake a re-assessment every three years in order to maintain your licence.
|Rescue Officials provide immediate medical and extrication facilities at the scene of an incident. They move around venues aboard Rescue Units, which are kitted out with the latest medical and extrication equipment. Without Motorsport Rescue Units, most events could not take place. They form part of the safety provision at an event, together with Doctors and Paramedics.|
You must be a minimum of 18 years old to become a Rescue Official.
Spend a day out with the team to understand their role and whether it is something you would like to be involved with. If so, with the help of the Crew Chief, you can apply for your Rescue Trainee Licence from Motorsport UK and start your training.
To obtain a Trainee licence you will first need to gain the support of a current Motorsport UK- registered Unit and then complete the New Officials’ Licence Application Form which can be found in the Resource Centre on the Motorsport UK website. This must be returned to the Membership Services Team with a supporting letter from the Unit operator.
Your training will be provided free of charge and is designed to help you achieve the competencies needed to be formally assessed before receiving a full licence. The training process can take up to three years and you can work at your own pace.
As a fully licensed Rescue Official, you will be required to attend a minimum of two Training Events per year to develop your skills and undertake a re-assessment every three years in order to maintain your licence.