On the Ground, In the Air, Medical Personnel Work to Keep WGI Safe

Watkins Race
Mercy Flight_7028423507683985593
WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL (18 News) – A large part of any NASCAR race is safety, and it’s no different at Watkins Glen International. It takes a small army of medical personnel to make sure everyone is safe on the ground and in the air.

When drivers hit the track, it isn’t just the spotters and fans who are watching them. A staff of trained medical professionals is also ready at all times. “If there is a medical problem or a trauma case or a bad wreck that would necessitate air medical transport to a hospital, that’s what we’re here for,” said Christopher O’Brien, Flight Paramedic for Mercy Flight Central.

NASCAR requires a helicopter to be on scene whenever there’s racing going on. Mercy Flight helicopters are part of a critical care chain that can deliver injured patients to hospitals in Rochester, Sayre, or Syracuse within minutes. “We are the last link in a chain that begins with EMTs and other providers that are out on the track, doctors that are on the track, and here at the medical center,” said O’Brien.

At the medical center, Dr. Timothy Page has been running the operation for more than two decades. But, he says, every year is a learning experience. “We pride ourselves on learning from the years previous injuries,” said Dr. Page. “We sustain the good things that are happening and then we improve upon our response times and where we get to the crowd.”

“The medical staff here has a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge and just allows us to be another tool at their disposal,” said Greg Myers, Flight Nurse for Mercy Flight Central.

Working on the track and in the air to keep everyone at WGI safe this race weekend. “Every one of us look forward to coming back here every year,” said Dr. Page. “We look forward to taking care of the spectators. And this is a great place to come and see a race and have a good time.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

If you have a news tip or a correction to the story you can email it to us through this link. If you would like to send a comment to the author of the story, you can find their email on our Meet the Team page.

Trending Now