For the past several years, the Boone County Hospital (BCH) Ambulance Department has provided paramedic coverage at the Boone Speedway on Saturday evenings during racing season from April through September. On March 15th, several local race car drivers were invited to bring their cars to the Ambulance Garage at BCH to give paramedics and Boone Fire Department personnel an overview of the different style of cars and to train them on safety precautions and how to properly extricate a driver from the car.
“This event was a great opportunity for our paramedics and the Fire Department to learn more about racing,” says Tami Hartwig, BCH employee, avid race car fan and coordinator of this training event with Jim Todd, BCH paramedic. “Our paramedics were excited about this opportunity and anxious to learn about the varying situations that could arise on the track and the safety of the drivers.”
Drivers represented at the event were Darren Huntley, Ogden, car #6 in the modified and b-mod divisions, Dean Hartwig, Boone, car #74 in the hobby stock and stock car divisions, and Jeff Stensland and Charlie Brown, Nevada, in the dwarf car division.
The two-hour event was well received by all of the participants. The paramedics and fire crew were able to climb into the cars and get the driver’s perspective. The drivers explained the safety equipment used in their respective division and showed the group how to reach a driver in the event of an accident where the driver is unable get out of the car on his/her own. In addition, they showed “short cuts” in removing a driver with a required five point harness system. Driver’s explained where to cut the car to extricate the driver in the least amount of time and where not to cut.
“It was a great opportunity to get right up next to the cars and get inside them,” says Jim Todd. “The racers were very enthusiastic and did a great job of explaining the different race cars, and the various hazards and safety precautions that need to be taken.”
“The event was a great experience for both the medical personnel and the drivers,” says Hartwig. “The drivers were pleased that the medical and fire personnel were willing to take the time to learn more about the race cars. Each one of these individuals should be commended for stepping it up a notch to be better prepared.”