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First class rescue, but plan for improvement

ACM has always had a competent and well-prepared first aid crew at its events, but now the club has set itself the goal of raising the level. ACM wants to allow this competence building to benefit Helgeland Hospital and the people of Helgeland, and the health organization has agreed to cooperation. The hospital staff who have been involved during this years events appreciate ACM's initiative.

Paramedic Arvid Sandvær looks forward for a closer cooperation with the organizer. Photo: ACM Media

During the national championship in road racing, three manned ambulances have been stationed around the 3.8 km long track. All starting fields have a fast-moving safety car behind on the first lap, with experienced health personnel on board, either a doctor or a specialist nurse. A well-equipped and staffed emergency room also forms part of this first-line preparedness. After stabilization, any serious injuries will be sent to the hospital in Mo i Rana.

The task as paramedic during the last day of the National Championships has been shared between Arvid Sandvaer and Willy André Engas. And they see the completed tasks as very valuable for their daily work at Helgelandssykehuset.

- Even if there are not that many bicycle overturns, and the injuries are usually minimal, this will be a training arena of terrific value. During a couple of days at the arena, you gain practice and experience that would take years to gain as an employee at Helgeland's hospital. And our experiences are again of immense value to everyone who travels on the roads in Helgeland, says Sandvaer during a break in the event.

Arctic Circle Motorsport Club, NM, road racing, roadracing
Paramedic Willy André Engas and ACM's driver Geir Frode Hansen ready in the safety car. Photo: ACM Media

- How do you view the proposal to establish a more permanent rescue team?

- It is wise, and it is valuable, says Engas, and believes that this is of interest to the entire Helgeland region.

- After all, we have a close and good collaboration with prehospital service in Helse Midt, and there are guaranteed to be competent staff who would like to exchange experiences from these races.

- It is extremely important that the management at the health institution also has seen the value of such a collaboration, adds Engas.

During the conversation, Tommy Mathisen from Helgeland Hospital also arrived. He has several decades of experience in motorsport since he was a volunteer through the Red Cross.

- Are there any improvements you see a need for?

- For those of us who have been here so many times, it's fine, but for the inexperienced it could be good with an information booklet that explains a little about the course of the races, about the arena and about the flags, says Mathisen.

- Next year we will bring with us the hospital's apprentices in the ambulance profession. This is a unique arena for the apprentices to practice on, adds Sandvaer.

Arctic Circle Motorsport Club, ACM
ACM's ambulance is fully equipped, and strengthens regional preparedness. Photo: ACM Media

The core of ACM's rescue team is good equipment. The club has already invested close to NOK 300,000 in an ambulance. The ambulance is fully equipped, which means that the car is on standby for the healthcare institution should an emergency situation arise. The club will increase the investment to half a million on the equipment side and establish a separate education program for health personnel. The ambulance must be made available to all organizers in Helgeland who need medical emergency services, whether it is sports events, festivals, or other large gatherings of people.

ACM has made agreements on an exchange program which includes several of the major English motorways. Besides English instructors coming to Mo i Rana, the members of ACM's rescue team will be sent to England for practice. If the project is successful, the members of the rescue team will be able to participate as medical crew at races in England and the rest of Europe after completing the course and practice.

- This is not done in 1-2-3, and it will take time both to train and to qualify. But in the long term, we will be at the top international level in this area, says ACM's project manager Oystein Bentzen, adding that all steps must be of value to both ACM and local sports, to the health organization and to the regional emergency response.

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