High safety standards for Targa Tasmania rally

HIGH SAFETY STANDARDS A TOP PRIORITY FOR TARGA RALLY TUESDAY, APRIL 10: A fleet of 17 cars and 45 medical staff and fire fighters has been assembled for the Emergency Services Department operating in the 10th anniversary Targa Tasmania tarmac...

HIGH SAFETY STANDARDS A TOP PRIORITY FOR TARGA RALLY

TUESDAY, APRIL 10: A fleet of 17 cars and 45 medical staff and fire fighters has been assembled for the Emergency Services Department operating in the 10th anniversary Targa Tasmania tarmac rally from April 18-24.

Department Manager Peter MacFarlane said today 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.

"There will be close to 300 cars on the road at any given time during Targa, and safety is a top priority for everyone involved," he said.

MacFarlane said there would be First Intervention Vehicles (FIVs) on all 54 stages, with a trained paramedic and fire fighter in each, plus two trauma teams with an additional specialist doctor and nurse, spread over the course.

"The big challenge with this event is it covers a wide area, but in most cases the FIV crews take only a few minutes to arrive," he said.

"Our FIV crews are specially trained to enter Targa stages safely and deal with the initial medical, fire fighting, or rescue requirements of anybody needing help."

"Most of the medical staff and the fire fighters are working professionals, and they join the Emergency Services unit on a volunteer basis which is terrific."

MacFarlane said the Emergency Services Department's preparation for Targa included a training session at Baskerville Raceway, near Hobart, yesterday where personnel were required to respond to simulated incidents.

"There was an assessment of specific training for paramedics, fire fighters, and rescue crews," he said.

"Importantly, we were also able to expose the FIV drivers to the protocols of minimising distractions or delays to competitors when they have to go onto the course to reach an incident."

MacFarlane said the initial aim of the FIV crews and trauma medical teams at accident sites was to administer immediate management and stabilisation of injuries.

He said that in the event of serious injuries the Tasmanian Ambulance Service or the Hobart-based State Rescue Helicopter would transport patients to hospitals.

"For lesser injuries we can use 'local' ambulances to get to the closest hospital," said MacFarlane.

Targa Tasmania comprises a total distance of 2,100km, with 525km in 54 competitive stages. There are seven manufacturers entered with factory-backed entries -- Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Holden, Ford, Mazda, Lexus, and Toyota.

The rally is promoted 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.

-www.targa.org.au

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