With the 2017 season just around the corner, it’s just three days away in fact, it’s important that all the marshals get themselves trained ready for the new season, whether it’s to make sure they’re up to date with the latest rules or just to refresh themselves.
So what makes the training days not only important, but fun and interesting? Well it is all about what you do during the day and of course who you end up sharing the day with!
Practical over Theory
Whilst we all love a good theory lesson on what is the best way to tackle a fire, like if you use a powder extinguisher you need to back it up with a foam extinguisher. We also learn about the three sides of the fire triangle; fuel, heat and oxygen. Even learning how to wave a flag and which flag to use at which time can get a bit too much in the classroom; you need to put it into practice.
Thankfully at Oulton Park we were able to put fire theory into practical fire training! This is always good as it allows us to see first hand how extinguishers work in tandem, whilst teaching you how to use team work to tackle an fire.
Even the Chair of the BMMC, Nadine Lewis, was praising how practical work helps to back up the theory side.
“It’s important for people to actually do things, instead of just being sat in the classroom and being talked to and fed power points all day.” – Nadine Lewis
A Quirky way of learning!
As I mentioned before, practical based learning is always an aid to the theory. I also mentioned flagging, but how do you try your hand at flagging without getting out onto the track? Well learning how to flag at Oulton Park, the trainers may have a solution. A small circuit set up, with posts a set distance apart and competitors on peddle bikes, yes you read that correctly, allows the marshals to learn in a controlled environment.
The cyclists know what will be happening in the set-up race, but the flag marshals don’t, therefore they will have to react as if the racing is real, displaying the right flags at the right time. Even getting mock safety car conditions helps marshals to react to a situation which can be quite common on the track.
Working with the Rescue Unit!
Another key factor of learning, is knowing how to operate with the Rescue Unit. If they have to be called to an incident on your post, they will arrive and take over the scene. This is not because you aren’t doing a good job, far from it. They have an organised way of doing things to ensure that everyone’s safety is taken into account. For example, if you are covering the incident with a fire extinguisher, you will more than likely be told to continue doing so.
The Rescue Unit also have a lot of specialist equipment and they lay it out in a way which they know where it is for speed as well as safety. The final reason why you need to know how to work with the Rescue Unit is, they could call upon you at any time, whether it’s to move debris or to make a human shield between the scene/driver and the spectators.
You might have been someone who thought that training day was just something you did when you first joined or what you need for an upgrade, but you will be surprised how much you can learn at them, and there is another thing that training day offers.
It’s normally the first chance you get in the new season for you to catch up with you your marshalling friends again. That four month off-season can seem a little long and you will have a lot to talk about, like which events you’re all doing in the year.
Written By – Robert Lee (@RobLee559 – Twitter/Instagram)
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