Tuesday, April 9: Next week's 11th annual Targa Tasmania tarmac rally will have the most comprehensive safety plan in the history of the event. Preparation by the Targa Emergency Services Department for the April 16-21 rally will include a ...
Tuesday, April 9: Next week's 11th annual Targa Tasmania tarmac rally will have the most comprehensive safety plan in the history of the event.
Preparation by the Targa Emergency Services Department for the April 16-21 rally will include a training session at Baskerville Raceway near Hobart tomorrow (Wednesday, April 10), where personnel will be required to respond to simulated incidents and perform rescues.
Department manager Tony Harris said a fleet of 15 First Intervention Vehicles (FIVs) and 41 medical staff and fire fighters had been assembled for this year's 1,977km event.
Harris said that detailed procedures had been put in place to ensure the highest possible safety standards and efficient treatment of any injuries which may occur during the rally.
"Safety is a top priority when you've got close to 300 cars on the road at once, plus officials and thousands of spectators watching from close range," said Harris.
"Our preparation is as thorough as possible because we may be called on to react to so many types of situations with little to no warning."
Harris said at least one FIV would be stationed on all 43 stages, with professional paramedics and fire-fighters in each, and three doctors and trauma nurses were also allocated to some FIVs to provide full medical teams.
"On the longer stages there are more FIVs involved, and we plan things so these vehicles never have to travel more than a few minutes to get to any accident scene," he said.
"The paramedics and fire fighters are fulltime professionals trained to deal with immediate management and stabilisation of injuries."
"We have a proven system that has worked well in the past, but we always strive to make things better -- this year for instance we have some extra monitoring equipment."
Harris said that in the event of serious injuries the Tasmanian Ambulance Service or the Hobart-based State Rescue Helicopter would transport patients to hospitals.
Targa operations manager Ken Roddam said about 2,000 volunteer marshals oversaw spectator safety control during the event.
He said there could be up to 100 marshals operating on stages where racing was held in residential areas, such as in the Temco Prologue in Georgetown and at Longford.
"We have clearly-marked areas where spectators can and can't stand, and they are generally co-operative," said Roddam.
"These marshals are given training before the event, and they also come under the control of a stage commander."
All accidents and any injuries during the event are immediately reported to the Targa Command Centre, where Clerk of Course Tom Snooks is based. He is informed of any treatment carried out.
Entries in this year's event include Jim Richards, chasing a sixth Targa win, nine-times Bathurst 1000 champion Peter Brock and V8 Supercar driver Steven Richards in works V8 Holden Monaros, multiple Australian rally champion Neal Bates in a Lexus IS200, Canberra's Rick Bates in a Mazda RX-7 SP, and Tasmanian Paul Stokell in a factory-supported Volkswagen Beetle RSi.
There are four competitions -- Shannons Historic, Shannons Touring Classic, Classic, and modern.
The Targa rally is owned and produced by global sports marketing company Octagon Worldwide, the sports marketing and entertainment division of the Interpublic Group, one of the world's largest advertising and marketing communications groups.