I signed up for quite a few ambulance duties at my local Red Cross centre meeting last night. All of them were grass track duties, held at St Neots Autograss Club in Wyboston.
This was my first grass track event. Grass track racing is held up and down the country and involves varying amount of cars, either in the same class or an open-class event, hurtling around a mud (presumably once grass) track. I think it was in September – near the end of the season. I was part of a team of two/three ambulance crews, several first aiders and paramedic support.
My first trackside stint was uneventful, which gave me a good opportunity to benefit from the experience of Mike, an old hand, and familiarise myself with the various warning flags the marshalls use (green for go, yellow for warning, white flag with a red cross on it – get the ambulance on pronto!)
After a while of exciting racing – everything from converted minis to modified beach buggies, my shift had ended and it was time for a cup of tea back at base, using one of our Area’s new first aid trailers.
My second stint in the afternoon was much more eventful.
Crash number one. A class two car if I remember correctly – something like a Vauxhall Nova. The driver had managed to hit the crash barrier. The white flag with red cross waved to us frantically. I hit the attend scene button on the dash and on we went. First aid kit in hand, we approached the driver. The marshalls are well trained and know what to do until we get there. Once we arrived, a run through of the usual questions, checking for any pain or distress ensued. This driver seemed ok but we bought him in for observations anyway.
Quite a few other minor incidents occured throughout the day which gave me and my newly trained colleagues plenty of practice. Then, nearing the end of the day, chaos ensued!
I was in the first aid trailer running observations on someone we’d just bought in off the track. In the next race, two women drivers collided in quite powerful cars. This was a serious incident. They needed help to be brought out of the cars. One of the drivers was suffering from shock. Once the two ambulances had brought them back to base, we had three casualties to contend with in a short period of time. I think it was this point that the racing was bought to a premature close for the day.
My first ambulance duty was a great introduction to the world of crewing a Red Cross ambulance. The next day – day two of the race weekend – passed without major incident. That can happen on any duty, but a bit boring after an action packed previous day. Of course it’s great that no one got hurt that day though!
I’m looking forward to seeing what else we’ll have to deal with as the new season progresses with another year of exciting ambulance duties, of course hopefully it won’t be anything too serious. Hopefully there’ll be some variety with other ambulance duties to cover too – on top of lots of other first aid duties for our event first aid service.