For professional rally or racing drivers, safety is the absolute basic foundation of their working environment, where risk anticipation and risk prevention play a key role.
Twenty-two WRC drivers and co-drivers gathered at the Jyväskylä Paviljonki in the build-up to this year’s Neste Rally Finland for a first aid training session by the FIA, the international governing body of motorsport. During the one-hour-long session, the FIA WRC Medical Delegate Cem Boneval, together with Neste Rally Finland Chief Medical Officer Timo Kaukonen, and his Deputy Markus Lyyra, went through the procedures of what to do as first on scene competitors in possible accident or crisis situations.
The training, which was organised for the first time for WRC competitors, dealt with exceptional situations, such as delivering first-on-scene care in the event of an accident during a special stage.
After a brief theory lecture, the drivers also got to practice some first aid skills, such as removing an unconscious person from a car as well as performing CPR in practice. The idea was to learn the skills so well that if needed, they would come automatically. Practicing first aid skills sparked the drivers’ interest and the concentrated participants clearly absorbed the skills through the practical exercises.
"The training was very well received. We immediately received feedback saying that the drivers wished to see similar sessions organised every year", Boneval said.