Mr. Murphy just took out a racer – MOD014

When it comes to Mr. Murphy, you need to take emergency response planning very seriously when — not if — you need to save a racer’s life.

Show Notes

Welcome to the Merchants of Dirt Podcast Episode #14, hosted by Reckoneer.com founder Kyle M. Bondo. This is your insider’s guide to practical recreational engineering where I teach you the art and science of building, promoting, and directing off-road races. In this episode, we learn why you need to take emergency response planning very seriously. Especially when — not if — your efforts will directly contribute to saving a racers life, and why when it comes to Mr. Murphy, 9-1-1 will not cut it! By the way: Mr. Murphy just called… a racer just hit a tree. What you learn next could save a life.


In This Episode
  • 0:01

    Build an Emergency Response Plan that actually works

  • 0:01

    #1 — Be Prepared

  • 0:01

    #2 — Be Vigilant

  • 0:01

    #3 — Be Communicating

  • 0:01

    #4 — Be Sure

  • 0:01

    7-part guide to setting the right registration prices

  • 0:01

    And Now You Know

  • 0:01

    Coming Up Next

  • 0:01

    Call to Action


Build an Emergency Response Plan that actually works!

#1 — Be Prepared
You should think about how you can have medical skills onsite or nearby. There are real injuries that require an emergency response, and then there are those other injures — trips, falls, and face-plants. Although, trips, falls, and face-plants are painful, most are superficial and non-life threatening. You will never know the difference between who it crying wolf and who is really hurt. So you must react to every injury as if it is the real thing until you know the difference.

  • Get educated. The Red Cross provides first-aid and CPR certifications monthly. Sometimes you can get this for low cost of even free through your local Volunteer Fire Department. Wilderness First Responder training is more advanced. The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) provides nation-wide course on Wilderness First Response education. Additionally, companies like Backcountry Lifeline (BCLL) are trying to change the way emergency response education is conducted by providing racers with medical training.
  • Designate first-aid people at all your races, and make sure everyone know who and where they are. This could be volunteer Fire Department EMT’s, a staff member with First-Aid and CPR training, or a volunteer doctor, nurse, or athletic trainer. Whoever they are, point them out, identify their purpose, and make it very obvious what they are there for.
  • Make your racers know that you care about their safety, by identifying a location near registration that will provide help. Some call it the med tent, with plenty of racers with minor owees and boo-boos showing up for care. Take advantage of the opportunity to practice your skills while making your racers feel better in the process.

#2 — Be Vigilant
You should be thinking about where to place course marshals so that they can cover known danger areas, vantage points, and crossroads. Course marshals are your rule keepers, your sentinels, and your actual first responders. Pick them carefully, making sure they are prepared to assume the first responder role within your emergency response plan. Don’t pick people that will not take this role seriously, will not pay attention, or will not stay where you put them.

Additionally, course marshals should be armed with three (3) items:

  • A clear course map to allows course marshals to communicate using the correct names of locations.
  • A way to communicate is essential to any response efforts and you must make sure that any communications gear you do use is fully charged and includes extra batteries.
  • Enough first-aid materials to keep bleeding at bay — one of the most common injuries in off-road racing.

#3 — Be Communicating
You should be thinking about having network or system for communicating across distances, around terrain, and beyond obstacles. Chances are, your course marshals are going to be the first to become aware of an incident. They need a direct way to call for help, notify the race director, and get the emergency response initiated. Make sure they are prepared to respond beyond just sounding the alarm. Mobile phones are good for areas that have decent mobile services. When they don’t work, walkie-talkies can become essential over long distances. This is why you need to conduct live experiments with your communication of choice. Work out your communications plan prior to the race, not during, and test it to make sure it works.

#4 — Be Sure
You should be thinking about how you can conduct finish line headcounts and course sweeps to account for everyone in your race. Timing can be a very passive way of keeping a full count of who is still on the course, and who is not. It could be your first indication that someone is missing. Because timing is not always perfect, and racers that DNF (do not finish) often dip out without telling anyone they have left the course, you need to physically check the course with sweepers. Sweepers help reduce the risk by being the eyes and ears of the race director. Plus they assist in making sure the slowest racers make it back safely. Do not ignore the value of sweepers in pairs or groups either. If you have the numbers, two is always better than one when it comes to emergency response.


7-part guide to setting the right registration prices

The goal of Race Promotion is to deliver races.
So why is it so hard to set a price that actually creates pre-registration money? Setting your registration price is supposed to be easy, right? But even if you’ve been to other races, you don’t know how they make any money. Everywhere you look there’s another race promoter going out of business. When you set your own prices, you’re constantly reminded that you need a certain number of registrations to break-even. And when no one pre-registers, you hesitate in increasing your price, keep offering discounts, and begin to panic. Again. How are you supposed to make any money when you don’t even know if your price is chasing away customers? You’ve seen other race promoters making a living building races. So why are you starting to feel like you should have learned to coach football instead?

Race pricing can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to let it crush you.
Right now I am offering you my “7-part guide to setting the right registration prices” email course absolutely FREE. All you need to do is register at: reckoneer.com/pricing. This course will help you cut through the noise and complexity of pricing, and teach you how to set prices that matter to your business.

What does this email course include?
This course comes to you in easy-to-digest emails, usually over the next 4-weeks (that’s about two lessons per week). This way you can tackle the lesson right away, or save it for a time you can sit down and absorb the information for use in your own business efforts. Besides being FREE, if this course is not for you — no worries. You can unsubscribe anytime. But if you do decide to push yourself in learning how to set good registration prices, then you are going to understand how to set the right price why value is more important then anything else.

Enroll in my 7-part guide to setting the right registration prices email course absolutely FREE today!


And Now You Know

Always build an Emergency Response Plan that you will hopefully never have to use. However, if you do have to use it, your plan could mean the difference between rescuing a racer, or recovering a body. Way back in Episode #006 I talked to you about not being the single point of failure! If you don’t remember, this is a perfect time to remind you of the steps you need to take.

  • First — You need to go back to kindergarten and remember that sharing is good.
  • Second — Learn to let go of some of that control allow your staff — and maybe even some trusted volunteers — to make the call.
  • Third — Back them up when they do make that call.

Take this part of your planning very seriously and put some effort into getting it right. It’s okay if you never use it. But the time you spend doing this kind of planning will always be worth it if it ends up saving a life.

And now you know.


Coming Up Next

In our next episode, we’ll cover the third topic for this month, focusing on risk, risk management, and why you need to create your own risk mitigation strategy BEFORE bad things happen.


Call to Action

Thank you so much for listening to Merchants of Dirt Podcast. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to me @MerchantsofDirt on Twitter.

I have a few things I want you to do right now:

Action #1 — Subscribe to the Merchants of Dirt Podcast
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Action #2 — Give me some feedback
Thank you for helping build the Merchants of Dirt community and by telling all your friends. If there is a topic you would like me to cover, please join my Facebook group: Merchants of Dirt Race Promoters Group.

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Thank You for Listening

Now go build better races!

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