NASCAR will have a traveling safety crew starting this season, creating a consistent medical staff that drivers have been pushing for the last several years.
The safety crew will come from American Medical Response and ensure that a physician and paramedics are in the safety vehicle at all Monster Energy Cup events. AMR will also provide a small group that will travel to each race, and a physician who will serve as NASCAR’s primary doctor.
NASCAR has long relied on local emergency crews to treat drivers at crash scenes, which is the opposite of what many rivaling series use. IndyCar’s team is lauded as the best in the business, and is largely credited with saving James Hinchcliffe’s life when he crashed during a 2015 practice for the Indianapolis 500.
A broken suspension piece drove through Hinchcliffe’s femoral artery, and the IndyCar medical team tied the artery together and drove him immediately to the hospital – decisions Hinchcliffe credits for saving his life. That accident raised another round of calls from NASCAR drivers for a steady crew.
“This partnership further strengthens NASCAR’s medical response capability, making our well-established, medical response system even better,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “AMR is a leader in the emergency services sector, and its doctors and paramedics add another layer of expertise to the immediate response team.”
AMR will position state licensed doctors and paramedics in a chase vehicle along with two NASCAR Track Services team members and immediately respond to an on-track incident. The paramedic and doctor will provide an assessment at the scene.
AMR, a subsidiary of Envision Healthcare, is the largest provider of emergency medical transportation services in the U.S. and a leader in pre-hospital care and treatment.