TT marshals hone incident skills

Practising first aid and stretcher handling during the marshals IMC course run at the St John Ambulance headquarters in Douglas

Practising first aid and stretcher handling during the marshals IMC course run at the St John Ambulance headquarters in Douglas

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‘Good morning and please select a pair of latex gloves,’ said the receptionist, casually indicating an array of boxes containing different hand sizes.

There’s something slightly discomforting about a course that starts in this way - but in fact all was well: it was the opening formality of the TT Marshals’ Association Incident Management Course.

The free day-long session aims to make the volunteer TT and MGP marshals more skilled and more confident to handle a race or practice incident efficiently.

Around 30 people gave up their Sunday, many of them visitors and a few local, to complete the course which covered things like powers and duties of a marshal, use of warning flags, helmet removal, stretcher handling and first aid - hence the latex gloves.

Designed for marshals who have already done at least a couple of sessions beforehand, the course focuses strongly on things like emergency resuscitation and also on personal safety.

‘It’s all about planning and knowing what everyone will do if an accident happens,’ said Brett Hammonds, who is lead trainer for the session, along with wife Sam, Stuart Greaves and Martin Blackburn from St John Ambulance which accredits the course.

‘You need to decide in advance who will operate the radio, who waves the flag, who deals with the casualty and who removes the bike and any debris.’

Video footage is used to good effect. One sequence shows a drunk running across the road at Union Mills oblivious to the racing motorcycle bearing down on him at 100+mph. It’s one reason why many of the old rope barriers have now been replaced with portable metal fencing.

Another sequence - shot at a short circuit in America - graphically shows how not to deal with an incident as marshals give a shambolic display of total ineptitude.

Everyone ended the day more knowledgeable, replete with an excellent lunch (provided), and clutching a certificate kindly distributed by rising TT star Peter Hickman who took time out to do the honours.

Accreditation lasts for three years. See iomttma.com

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