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Racer Down Protocol
The possibility of well meaning, but untrained, individuals attempting to assist athletes following race course incidents, can in fact add to the trauma. This possibility is to be avoided in every situation.
The following protocol is to be strictly adhered to when an incident occurs:
- The Jury member or Course Control official closest to the accident site will call a “STOP START”, (and if necessary) “YELLOW FLAG, at location………..”
- The Start Referee will confirm immediately on the Course Control Channel “START STOPPED… HOLDING RACER NUMBER X IN THE GATE”.
- The Flag Person will confirm ASAP on the Course Control Channel “RACER NUMBER X IS FLAGGED AND STOPPED”. Or “RACER # X IS COMING AT YOU”!
- The person calling the “STOP START” will then call “RACER NUMBER X DOWN AT location……….. “
- The Chief of Race, and only the Chief of Race, will communicate with the Chief of Medical and Ski Patrol the location of the accident. The medical teams will then take charge of the accident and communicate on the Medical channel as to the medical assessment of the accident and the need for equipment and personnel (toboggan only when required).
- No person is to move onto the course or approach the down racer, until ordered to do so by either, a member of the Jury, or a Course Control official, or the Chief of Medical, all of whom will wait for confirmation from the Chief of Race that the start is stopped and the on-course racer has been flagged and stopped, OR is proceeding and will pass the site very soon!
The following are the most critically important elements
- Any person, other than the Ski Patrol attending at the accident site may only remove “debris” from the racecourse and may only assist the athlete under the specific direction of the Ski Patrol person in charge of the accident site. Under no circumstances (other than AN OBSERVED NON-BREATHING PATIENT), is any person other than the Ski Patrol in charge of the accident site, to attempt to remove the athlete’s equipment, remove the athlete from the nets or attempt to move the athlete in any way.
Always remember that you must “ENSURE NO DANGER”, to yourself or your crew in attempting to assist the racer.
- During the time immediately following the “Stop Start” call, all persons will clear all radio channels until advised by the Chief of Race that normal radio communications may resume. During this time the only expected radio traffic will be to and from the Ski Patrol, the Chief of Race, and the Jury member or Course Control official nearest the accident.
- The Jury or Course Control official nearest the accident will be responsible for the orderly conduct of the rescue. Care should be taken to control the number, and status, of those persons attending the accident. Those persons in the area not attending the accident will ensure that the fencing and netting is restored to it’s original form and function. If there are any broken poles or torn netting this should be communicated to the Section Chief or Chief of Course so they may take appropriate steps to replace these items before the race is allowed to commence.
- During the conduct of the rescue, the Chief of Race will coordinate the repositioning of Ski Patrol personnel to ensure adequate coverage upon re-commencement of the event.
- Immediately upon the accident site being clear and safe for the event to recommence, the Jury or Course Control official closest to the accident site will advise the Chief of Race.
- The Chief of Race will confirm that all areas of responsibility are ready to proceed, and ask the Start Referee to complete a Course Clearance from the bottom up. At that time the Chief of Race will direct the re-start of the event.
- At the same time the Chief of Race will advise that normal radio communications may resume.
- The Ski Patrol will advise the Chief of Race on the Medical Channel the Status of the racer and the disposition of the Ski Patrol members, as soon as the information on these items is known.
> Don’t move until the course is clear;
> Don’t move the racer or remove their equipment;
> Don’t allow a crowd to form!