The weekend of the 14 July 2018, the LCCC held a two day First Aid course in Canberra, which focused on applying first aid to injuries sustained in motorsport related incidents. Participants were awarded national certification in first aid and CPR; as well as having the opportunity to practice methods for extracting injured people from vehicle accidents.

A big thank you goes out to the course instructor, Anne from Rapid 1st Aid, a seasoned paramedic, trainer and motor sport enthusiast. Anne provides emergency response support for the V8 Supercar and other motor sporting events. She was able to demonstrate her insight, experience and professionalism, working with motor vehicle accident victims, particularly in the motorsport realm.  Also, a big thanks to the ACT Greyhound club for allowing the use of club facilities to host the event; and to the LCCC committee members who made it all happen.

The first day focused on first aid, where students participated in lectures, questions and answers, demonstrations and practice sessions. Content covered, general response, injury assessment, treatment of injuries, CPR, defibrillation, bandages, splints, slings, EpiPen’s and more. Apart from the medical side of things, Anne covered other aspects such as respecting the patient’s privacy, approaching the scene calmly to not induce a sense of panic and assessing and dealing with the immediate danger before rendering first aid. The day finished with the first aid accreditation exam, which everybody passed successfully.

Day two was held outside and began with Anne demonstrating how to single handedly remove a quasi-unconscious driver from a vehicle, firstly through the door; and secondly through the door window. This was an impressive display of Anne’s experience with vehicular extractions burdened with roll cages, race seats, helmets and HANS devices. The demonstrations continued with procedures to remove helmets from victims with suspected neck or spinal injuries and initial examination of patients while still in the vehicle. This was a heavy day of participation, where students worked in teams to practice patient examination, extraction and treatment.

At the end of the event, there was a really good feeling amongst the group, that we had achieved something positive and useful on a personal level; but also, for the Canberra rally community. Overall, there were 18 students, ranging in age, experience and roles within the rally scene. It was very encouraging to see the level of enthusiasm, participation and team work from all. There were many stories shared about personal experiences where the participants described incidents, injuries and rescues. These stories helped the group to visualise real-life scenarios and difficulties faced when responding to motorsport accidents. They were incorporated into the training, related to the course content and gave the sense that this was not just an ordinary, run-of-the-mill, first aid course, but a Rally First Aid course.

Building on the momentum of a successful weekend, the LCCC is already planning repeat annual events and follow-up training events covering topics such as the use of fire extinguishers, safety equipment and emergency routines on stage. Watch this space for upcoming events.

Finally, a big thank you to Christine Bethwaite and Russel and Kim Winks for providing their rally cars to be used for demonstration and practice. We had the opportunity or working through mock training scenarios in real rally cars, where the subjects were wearing helmets and HANS devices, which added a sense of realism. It helped to enhance the significance and seriousness of the exercise.

From a personal experience, it has left me thinking how I could have done things better in the past and how I can handle them better in the future. I feel I have gained valuable experience and confidence with approaching emergency situations which may save someone’s life one day. This level of training would be beneficial to all rally competitors, officials and volunteers and I highly recommend future participation to everyone involved in the sport.

Phil Arthur

LCCC Secretary