Emergency drill success at the Formula One circuit.
As part of final preparations for Sunday's race an emergency drill was held yesterday at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) to test the readiness of the medical and emergency response teams.
The drill involved a simulation in which a driver crashed while on the track and a marshal was injured from the debris.
Both of them received first aid by the response teams and were transferred to ambulances that took them to the medical centre located at the circuit.
The centre's head then decided where each injured person would be treated, one was taken to hospital via ambulance and the other was airlifted by helicopter.
The drill was held under the supervision of officials from the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) and Health Minister Faeqa Al Saleh.
"The preparations started almost three or four months ago, we started assigning the teams and making sure we have all we need in terms of equipment and consumables," said Bahrain Motor Federation chief medical officer Dr Amjad Obeid.
"For the last month we had ongoing training, especially for the extrication they came on a weekly basis."
"(Yesterday was) our big day, our on-track simulation drill with an injured driver and marshal.
"We actually airlifted one of the patients by helicopter to the hospital and the other was taken by ambulance, and we are calculating the response time here and the trauma team at the hospital.
"We've always scored as one of the best with top numbers in the world, and I'm sure we will always maintain our numbers and standards this year as well."
Following the main drill, another trial was conducted near one of the pit walks to test the response at a different location and under different circumstances.
A medical intervention car will also be two laps behind the racers to respond in case of an emergency on the track.
The GDN previously reported that the Health Ministry has supplied approximately 15 modern and fully equipped ambulances for critical cases and approximately 250 personnel from medical and administrative staff.
Emergency physician Dr Mohammed Samir, who has been part of the Bahrain Grand Prix medical team for seven years, said months-long preparations have been taking place in case of any emergency at the pit lane, as well as the track.
"Basically what we do is we take care of mechanics that are working the garages and we have to be prepared for fires, most of the time we are worried about fires, while sometimes there are accidents such as what happened last year with the Ferrari mechanic," he told the GDN.
"We have to work, we have to practise a lot, we have to learn how to take the driver out of the car, we have to actually learn about the car, how to take off the helmet and everything, and we have a whole list of precautionary steps when we approach the car.
"We don't usually see a lot of accidents or a lot of fires because those people are also professionals and they know what they are doing.
"However, we have to be prepared because if anything happens it will be big, it won't be a small incident.
"The cars are heavy, there's fuel on the track, there's speed and friction, so anything can happen."
He added that he believed the teams were ready to handle any scenario thanks to the intensified training and preparations.
During last year's race, a Ferrari mechanic suffered a serious leg injury and later underwent successful surgery at the BDF Hospital.
Francesco Cigarini required an operation for a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg.
During a pit stop, driver Kimi Raikkonen was given the signal to go before one of his rear tyres was replaced, causing the car to run over Mr Cigarini's leg.
The Ferrari team was fined 50,000 euros and an immediate investigation was launched to discover how its automated system failed.
Sunday's night race will see some of the biggest names in motorsport going head to head around 57 laps of the 999th World Championship race on the 5.412km BIC track.
Aside from Formula One, the weekend's programme will also include action from the FIA Formula 2 Championship season-opener and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East championship finale.
Organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix this year hope to match last year's 95,000 spectator turnout.
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|Publication:||Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)|
|Date:||Mar 29, 2019|
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