Rallies and other competitions held on gravel or roads do not share a common unity of place and time with circuit races. Devising a safety plan is, therefore, considerably more complex. The personnel and the vehicles involved in safety are not concentrated within the few hundred metres of a circuit but instead are distant and isolated. Considerable stretches can be devoid of marshals and spectators or, conversely, there may be areas of concentration with all the specific risks that this implies. Variations in climate and terrain (altitude, surface, temperature, geography…) only serve to complicate the situation even further.
The vehicles in a competition are very different and, in particular, are much more difficult to keep safe, passively, than single-seaters. The safety equipment: rollbars, seats, belts, helmets and FHR have undergone considerable development and are often unfamiliar to the rescue workers. Similarly, the presence of a co-driver alongside the driver is another factor to take into account. Moreover, the disincarceration and extrication techniques have themselves been considerably developed and are, in any case, different to those used on a daily basis by fire services and rescue workers following road traffic accidents.
When an accident occurs in competition, the first people to arrive on the scene are usually a doctor and a paramedic in their fast intervention vehicle. After a quick assessment of the situation, the treatment begins: either immediate extrication in cases of extreme emergency or stabilisation without extrication whilst awaiting the arrival of additional resources. These actions must be carried out without delay and flawlessly, which implies a perfect knowledge of actions that must be carried out almost automatically.
This is why the training of the rescue teams is particularly important and, in the future, deserves to be given on a regular basis to all those involved in rescue operations at motor sports competition events on routes or on gravel and at every level of these competitions.