Do we really close stage roads? - Page 8
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Thread: Do we really close stage roads?

  1. #71

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    Night stages mean less workers, less eyes on what is going on and what spectators are doing, and many times more questions for which answers are few and far between.

    I do miss seeing cars at speed in the dark but do not miss many long hours of standing alone in the woods in pitch black. Even with radio contact to the end of stage from a timing line -- and no, the timing line equipment signal does not always reach the finish control 100% of the time, so we still need backup timing at the finish line -- and radios are not 100% reliable, anyone who does not get burnt out after 5 or 6 hours alone in the dark is not human. It goes from boring to way too much to do and then back to boring an amazing number of times. Add in a bear, bobcat, skunk, etc. and also the weather changing about every ten minutes just on a lark for mother nature's sense of humor, and if that still sounds appealing to someone, they can have it with my blessing. I always had a scanner with me so I could monitor the net without adding chatter, and I was one of the best informed workers on the stage, but it was still never enough information. Delays are bad enough in the dark but without reliable information as to why, the rumor mills fill up the net and confuse the snot out of everyone.

    There are a lot of other factors aside from being older and grumpier, and most importantly not being in a car running the stage, but those are enough. So, no, I do not miss night stages all that much. Plain & simple, over the years it became too much of a PITA for many reasons.
    Happy Motoring!

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  3. #72
    straight at T
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    Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.
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    Quote Originally Posted by starion887 View Post
    Poor weather occurs in day as well as night so some flights are limited at any time of the day; night would totally prohibit most night flight and helo landings except at the local airport or a local hosital IF they had a lit landing pad which is not always the case at a rural hospital.
    Not necessarily true. They brought the helo down on the highway at night (or very close to night) at Ojibwe in 2004. Admittedly, the weather was perfect, it was just quite dark.

    Adrian

  4. #73
    into right 2 tightens
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Wintle View Post
    Not necessarily true. They brought the helo down on the highway at night (or very close to night) at Ojibwe in 2004. Admittedly, the weather was perfect, it was just quite dark.

    Adrian
    Dunno about where you're from, but around here, these chopper pilots can set down about anyplace their rotors will clear. Local LEO and EMS folks know how to light an area for them...and so do the hospitals. And if they couldn't fly in bad weather, they'd be idle most of the year in Minnesota.

    That said, emergency help is always easier to get in the daylight.

    Bruce

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  6. #74

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    This is a very interesting quote from (I assume) a worker.
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by chmsam View Post
    Night stages mean less workers, less eyes on what is going on and what spectators are doing, and many times more questions for which answers are few and far between.

    I do miss seeing cars at speed in the dark but do not miss many long hours of standing alone in the woods in pitch black. Even with radio contact to the end of stage from a timing line -- and no, the timing line equipment signal does not always reach the finish control 100% of the time, so we still need backup timing at the finish line -- and radios are not 100% reliable, anyone who does not get burnt out after 5 or 6 hours alone in the dark is not human. It goes from boring to way too much to do and then back to boring an amazing number of times. Add in a bear, bobcat, skunk, etc. and also the weather changing about every ten minutes just on a lark for mother nature's sense of humor, and if that still sounds appealing to someone, they can have it with my blessing. I always had a scanner with me so I could monitor the net without adding chatter, and I was one of the best informed workers on the stage, but it was still never enough information. Delays are bad enough in the dark but without reliable information as to why, the rumor mills fill up the net and confuse the snot out of everyone.

    There are a lot of other factors aside from being older and grumpier, and most importantly not being in a car running the stage, but those are enough. So, no, I do not miss night stages all that much. Plain & simple, over the years it became too much of a PITA for many reasons.

  7. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    Dunno about where you're from, but around here, these chopper pilots can set down about anyplace their rotors will clear. Local LEO and EMS folks know how to light an area for them...and so do the hospitals. And if they couldn't fly in bad weather, they'd be idle most of the year in Minnesota.

    That said, emergency help is always easier to get in the daylight.

    Bruce
    Bruce, do organizers in RA events (especially the ones run in more remote areas) have medical helis in phone or radio stand-by for emergency situations?
    Please don't misunderstand my question.
    I really don't know, but as a licensed competitor I'd like to know.

  8. #76

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    It is a part of the safety plan to notify the nearest emergency services before the event and to have the contact information readily at hand during the event. This is above and beyond the EMTs at the event.

    So while the direct answer to your question Alex, is no, we do not have the pilots sitting in the chopper waiting to go and monitoring our radio net, we do have contact with the person who does have the contact with the medivac units.

    At the Big Bend Bash, perhaps the most remote rally held in the US, Roger Gibson did contact the pilot before hand and made sure he understood what we were doing.

  9. #77
    into right 2 tightens
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    I can't speak for all the Rally America events, as I haven't seen their safety plans, but at Ojibwe, the setup is much like what Richard describes. There are not enough helicopters available to have one dedicated to the event (even if we could afford it) but one can be in the air within minutes after the call...which is, initially at least, by radio.

    I very much suspect that all the National events, at any rate, have such a setup. It would seem reasonable that wherever you see an ambulance, they can call their dispatcher, who can summon a chopper. Maybe some of the organizers will chime in here.

    Bruce

  10. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by flatOVERcrest View Post
    This is a very interesting quote from (I assume) a worker.
    Thanks.
    Yep, with about 20 years experience. Forgive me for being long winded, but of course anything that can be listed in a post here about securing a stage is only the very tip of the iceberg. I'd like to beat this into the head everyone who even thinks about rally. What it boils down to is pretty much the same as preparing for battle -- you don't plan for what you think is going to happen, you plan for what might happen. Also, you get very creative with imagining what might happen and try to imagine every possibility. You consider the limitations -- terrain, equipment, personnel, etc., etc. You consider and remember all of this and learn to juggle it all while you are on the run.

    In a nutshell, you play a lot of "what happens if..." and just do the best you can.

    Night stages make this far, far more complicated. I can do them and very well thank you, and have done them for more years than I can remember, but if I never have to do another that might be OK, too. I guess I could best put it that old age has not made me grumpy as much as it has made me consider a lot more cost/benefit/risk equations. That and really liking to be someplace warm, dry, and with at least a little light around.

    My goals for being a worker on any level are basically these: securing the safety of workers (#1 if for no other reason than you can't keep people safe if your people are out of commission), spectators (bad mojo just thinking about this), locals (ditto), and competitors (who are the best protected but absolutely still need to be watched over). All of this is more work at night but at any time, on any rally, we need every worker we can get. There especially are never enough the ones who are awake, alert, and doing what they need to do all of the time.

    Eh, enough of the soapbox. I just hope all of this makes some sense.
    Happy Motoring!

  11. #79

    Default resue helicopters

    We had the local helicopter parked at the fairgrounds at STPR on Saturday morning.

    It generated an excess number of comments & questions when it had to leave on a non-rally call shortly after Travis's incident.
    Last edited by PeterSteinberg; 11-16-2008 at 05:22 PM.

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