Rally officials master key safety tips ahead of WRC Safari action

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021 00:00 |
Rallying officials are taken through their paces during a safety session in Kasarani, Nairobi. Photo/D/EDWIN OTIENO

Edwin Otineo

With just 24 days to the hosting of  the World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally, safety officials have taken the opportunity to learn some intricate facets entailing FIA (International Automobile Federation) safety standards.

 The personnel who will officiate at the iconic event in Kenya converged at the Kasarani’s Super Special Stage (SSS1) to review vital tips on extrication maneuvers, dis-incarceration as well as firefighting, recovery, and 4x4 techniques for MIV (Medical Intervention), TIV (Technical Intervention) and fire crews.

 Prior to the safety drills, officials were also taken through a Zoom tutorial courtesy of Motorsport UK Director of Learning and Development Sue Sanders and her colleague Rupert Hine.

 FIA and WRC promoter experts have supported the Safari Rally preparations over the past few months by seconding personnel to run virtual and physical training programmes.

 “These officials have offered tremendous insights into how to organise a proper WRC event. Every day with these guys has been invaluable.

Thank you to Iain Campbell, João Passos, Sue Sanders, Dominic Saunders, Rupert Hine, Andrew Kellitt and others. We are definitely better than we were two years ago,” said Safari’s chief safety officer Norris Ongalo.

 On Sunday, Sanders and Hine imparted valuable experience on the use of rescue equipment including the “Jaws of Life”.

The “Jaws of Life” is a hydraulic-extrication rescue tool used in a number of difficult emergency situations, particularly car crashes.

 Ongalo said safety marshals are critical to the running of a safe event. “We are therefore not taking anything to chance. We have numerous things happening behind the scenes. 

 “The safety master plan gives details of activities to be carried out on the stages. It details activities at every kilometre. 

 “This includes the number of marshals and their exact posting, the medical and rescue intervention plan which includes both road and air evacuations, the hospitals available and what trauma facilities.

“The difference this year is elaborate preparation. We have been working round the clock to ensure every little detail is taken care of.”

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