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Safety Rescue Teams
We have the best.

As many of you know, I had the unfortunate opportunity to put the Regions 1,2,3 Safety Rescue Team through it's paces last Sunday at Mays Landing, NJ. Officially headed by Brian Small, the team is also composed of members from the Region 4 Safety Rescue Team lead by Ken Smith. The two teams are actually intertwined.

Prior to my Pro Stock accident last Sunday, I recall being taken aback by just a simple act performed by Region 4 Safety Rescue. At Cambridge, MD this year, while sitting in the infield after blowing an engine on the first lap of Sunday's JSS final, Ken Smith came over on the jet ski and threw us two bottles of ice water. Wow, was I impressed. Necessary? Maybe not. But the temp was well into the nineties that day and we do sit for some time fully suited up while waiting for our heats five minute gun. Even in an open boat it gets hot and you sweat a ton. Capsuled drivers suffer considerably more. This simple action of delivering water to us while waiting under the hot sun for the race to be completed and getting a tow boat over to us showed me just how dedicated and thoughtful these people are when it comes to the comfort and well being of us racers.

Last Sunday though, the situation was far more serious. In this instance, I barrel rolled the Wendt Racing Pro Stock boat as I neared the exit of turn two on the first lap. The boat went over fast and hard and pitched me into the water chin first at over ninety miles per hour. The most serious (and painful) part of my ordeal came immediately following the accident as I floated in the water. Not surprisingly, rescue personnel were in the water next to me in a matter of seconds. Although I ultimately came out of this incident without serious injury, it was initially thought that I had sustained serious neck and shoulder injuries making the handling of me a delicate matter. Surprisingly though, the smoothest part of my journey to the hospital was from the water to the ambulance that was waiting in the pits. I can now tell you first hand that these people and the equipment they use are the best. They're perfectly suited for the task they have chosen to undertake. I just can't thank these guys (and gals) enough for their dedication and level of expertise.

Expressing my accolades toward this exemplary team to the many people across the country who called me this week to convey their concerns for me, I was surprised to hear how impressed others were with what I was telling them about the Regions 1,2,3 and the Region 4 Safety Rescue Teams. Unfortunately though, I also heard of shortcomings of rescue teams in other parts of the country, some in the inboard division as well as other boat racing divisions and organizations. (I talked to an awful lot of people this past week and I wasn't taking notes during any of the conversations, so please don't ask me to remember exactly what teams or what divisions or organizations were mentioned.)

Those of us served by The Regions 1,2,3 and the Region 4 Safety Rescue Teams are extremely fortunate to have such dedicated individuals at our disposal and they deserve every bit of support and gratitude that we can muster. These combined teams are beyond comparison, they are the standard that all Safety Rescue Teams used in power boat racing should emulate.

To the Regions 1,2,3 and the Region 4 Safety Rescue Team members:
I know I've thanked most of you personally, but let me once again thank you all on behalf of myself and my fellow racers for what you do. THANK YOU. You are the best.

Sked
 


Some more good people I'd like to thank.

I'd like to thank  Dr. David Bosacco for making room in his busy schedule to see me and evaluate my condition on such short notice, and to my friend Mike Conte who took a day away from his businesses to drive me there and back. THANK YOU.

Let me also take this opportunity to thank everyone who expressed their concern and conveyed their best wishes. All your calls and emails were very much appreciated.

Sked


VIDEOS by ART SMITH
2005 MAYS LANDING, NJ - JS-25/721
2005 MAYS LANDING, NJ - PS-529

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This page was last updated: 10/08/05

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