Support for marshals after crashes is ‘hugely important’

By Paul Hardman   |   Reporter   |
Tuesday 28th June 2022 3:52 pm
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The chief TT marshal has called on professional psychological support to be available to volunteers after serious incidents.

It comes after the traumatic scenes that marshals were faced with during deadly crashes from this year’s TT, such as the sidecar fatalities at Ago’s Leap.

During one of these occasions, marshals were for example tasked with helping to shield the casualties at the crash site from onlookers by holding up a sheet.

Craig McHugh said that after serious incidents marshals are given the opportunity to talk to the TT’s chief medical officer at the hospital, Gareth Davies, and a professional psychologist in order to help them process their experiences.

‘Because one of the things we’ve noticed is that when marshals are dealing with these incidents, they’re going away and they’ve got no one to talk to,’ Mr McHugh told Manx Radio.

‘And I think we’ve gone past this stage in the 60s, 70s and 80s where people could just talk with their friends and deal with it that way,’ he added.

‘We need to make sure that we’ve got professional help there available.’

Mr McHugh said that in addition to the two online training modules, which are mandatory for everyone from himself to the Clerk of the course, all new marshals get their initial trackside experience alongside seasoned marshals.

Mr McHugh added that this contact with veteran marshals could also be helpful during serious incidents because ‘there’s a chance they might have dealt with something like that in the past’.

However, he pointed out: ‘There are people who’ve been marshalling for 30-odd years and they’ve never seen an incident.’

The chief marshal added: ‘And that’s a credit to them, but we want them to be professional in everything that they do.

‘If these new marshals have seen a serious incident and they are struggling, then we’d like them to be pulled to one side, wait for the chief medical officer and myself and my colleague to come along, and we’ll get them all the help that they need to be able to process this and move forward’.

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