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Motorsports Safety Solutions - Vegas to Reno Recap

ndvalium

Rescue Director
I thought I would share an in depth recap of how the 2016 Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno went for Motorsports Safety Solutions. It is long and probably way to over detailed but there are so many people on my team that made this event happen for us.

The 2016 20th anniversary actually started for us in April of 2015. That is when Casey brought us in to start preparation for this truly challenging event. We started working with all of our contacts throughout the state to start working on logistics for the race and the staff that had to support it. Numerous meetings, emails, phone calls and text every month to work on coordination.

The last few months while the monument fight was on, Best in the Desert worked their butts off. People don’t realize that while there was a Plan A and a Plan B, there were also plans C through about F up to and including BITD filing a permit for the original Beatty to Dayton course and having that entire thing ready to go in case nothing else worked out. Casey planned and planned for every option and adjusted daily to each punch thrown at them. Communication with BITD and us was constant making sure we were ready for whatever option we ended up with. Little did we all realize it was unplanned option zz we would end up with come race day. But more of that later.

For my team we over planned and tried to anticipate anything we may be faced with. We worked with our BITD Medical Director and purchased medications, fluids and more medical supplies than we have ever had on hand at any race before. Mostly focused on the potential for severe dehydration or critical medical emergencies.

Fast forward to race week and for me, it started on Monday when I delivered the support trailer to the finish line after buying 1000 bottles of water, 500 towels and 100’s of pounds of ice. More on that later as well! Next stop, Wednesday at Apex for qualifying. A fairly routine very hot afternoon qualifying with only one roll over right after the finish line. Flipped them back over and all is good!
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Thursday my plan was to try and sleep a late before afternoon meeting but every minute I was in bed I realized it was getting hotter and I knew I still needed to get Jamie Fagan’s driveshaft put back in her car before she headed to her pit. So off I went to Tech and Contingency. I spent the majority of the day having driver’s autograph helmets that we would present to Casey that evening. Was nice to spend time in the air conditioning but a little challenging trying to surprise Casey when he was in and out of the room and on one occasion even came and sat at the table that we were getting the helmets signed. At the Helicopter meeting we hit a bureaucratic stall. The BLM permit stated no helicopters below 500 feet. The military that was in attendance stated that we would not be allowed to have any helicopters above 500 feet or they would be forced out of the sky due to Red Flag exercises. So we waited until finally the BLM office was able to modify the permit so the 12 helicopters could fly for the weekend. Off to the drivers meeting. With this being a special anniversary for the Vegas to Reno, I got with Robbie Pierce and he sent me two helmets to get drivers to sign. I was honored to present the helmets at the meeting to Casey and they look amazing. Off to bed and ready for race day!


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Friday morning we start our way up the start line. As we reach Alamo I find out the mornings plans are completely shot. All hands on deck to do whatever we can to make things work. In addition to all the pits having medical teams, I had 3 other roving teams, we all head to the start line to help Casey and the BITD team any way they can. After staging all the Ironman classes, we start trying to hit as many pits as well can to explain the emergency change. This was simply not something that had happened before and there were many unknowns that we just had to adjust to. As Car and Truck staging started I did my best to direct all the cars to the staging areas while getting yelled at by teams and people in their personal vehicles as to why they HAD to park in the staging area with their teams race car.


Once unlimited and 6100 started several of my teams started north. One to catch the lead bikes and myself to follow the cars and trucks. Then the Mile 6 mess unfolded. As my truck is easily the heaviest of every vehicle that would be on course, I knew I was no match for the silt and replaced Rescue 11 at Pit 1 so he could go start getting that mess sorted out and get those that could keep racing, back in the race. My partner and I spent the next 3 hours trying to limit pit one to trucks with trailers only as that pit would not handle every chase car inside it. We waived the trailer trucks in and waived the others down the road or across the street. I have never been screamed at, cursed at, insulted, flipped off or physically threatened more times in my life. Fortunately at the end of my time in pit 1 hell, I still had a few people thanking me for what we were trying to do. As a side note I am dumbfounded by drivers riding in the race vehicles on the trailers down the highway. What are you guys thinking?!?

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Unknown Photo Credit


Working my way up the road to Tonopah I checked in with all my teams at the pit areas. A few minor scrapes and bumps as one quad rider that was transported. Not bad for Vegas to Reno I thought to myself. I guess that was my first mistake.

I arrived In Tonopah about 6 hours after I had originally planned. Exhausted and worn out from standing in the sun for hours throughout the day. That is when I encountered the 4 person team of folks that we put in place at the Finish line in Tonopah. Terrance, son of one of our Medics and his girlfriend Gabby, along with Dustin and Truet were working their butts off making sure every finisher had a bottle of cold water and wet cold wet washcloth to wipe their face with and start cooling down. Dehydration kills, we wanted to do whatever we could to get people headed in the right direction. They did awesome and I am so proud to have them helping our team.

As the evening went on, we had a half dozen calls to check people out in the camp areas. We showered and tried to nap for day 2 of racing in just a few short hours.

Saturday morning, my partner and I started north as the bikes left and our goal was to make it to the Dayton finish when they did.

Even the best plans fail –

Mile 373 one of our bike riders had a bad get off miles from civilization or even from a real road. Fractured femur and had to be helicoptered out to Reno. He got a rod put in that evening and will be recovering for a while.

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As we continued to work our way north, we checking with several of our teams. Just as I was planning my yearly stop and the Mina Burger Hut, the next call between Min and Hawthorne came in. While our Rescue 10 unit was responding in our off road rescuelance that was donated by Gary Messer a few years back, a fire extinguisher went off in the back. If you have never had that happen, don’t. It sucks… Patient was transferred off to Mineral ambulance and was treated and released.

Moving north we started hearing reports of a bad motorcycle patient at mile 630. 3 times a year we race on courses that have what Casey refers to as “No mans land”. There are zero access roads and little if any ability to access along side the course or even get off the road safely if you are on course and need to yield to race traffic. He was reported with a puncture to the abdomen and possible punctured lung. Obviously some of the most critical injuries one can have. He was 30 miles from the nearest paved road or course access.

Time to test a new “tool” in our toolbox.

I made a call to the Trick Truck Coalition Helicopter that was following the lead trucks and they didn’t even question it for a second. They redirected to the location to assess, and help in any way they could. While the injuries were not as reported by the passing riders, the patient was in a life threatening situation with an open pelvic fracture. We made a call on the fly to have the TT Private helicopter transport into Reno directly. This is kinda a big no no with the FAA , the State, and certainly the other helicopter providers but we made it work. I sat on the side of the road for 15 minutes in a rare cell phone service location to get the hospital, security staff and other providers permission and coordination and it worked out. The injured rider was at the hospital a little over an hour after he had went down. An amazing thank you to not only Travis Clark and Mark Thomas on board the helicopter, but the TT coalition for providing this resource for this event. It made a difference in this young mans life.


Off to the finish line to await the remainder of the teams coming in to finish.
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Being there for a few minutes the 94 Strobel team called on the radio for assistance. Their motor was tired and just couldn’t make it up a hill was the report. I wasn’t familiar with the section of course they were in, I asked our resident finish line experts Bridgett and John Black for guidance. Sure just go down this road, jump on the course and you will come right across them. Off I went with my co-rider to do a simple tow. Sure no problem.

As I headed down the road onto the course it was nothing but rock. Sharp rocks based on the condition of my tires.. Continue on and it is nothing but tight turns with a cliff on the other side. Perfect for a 12,000 loaded Ford Excursion. As we come around the last corner I look across the little gulley and see the Strobel car. Backed into a ditch a 1/3 of the way up a mountain covers in rocks that looked about 90 degrees from my point of view. What the hell was I doing out here?!?

I pull up the hill a little and back in next to Steve to prepare to tow him out. His back end is in a ditch resting on the trailing arms. I tell Steve that I have to get rid of weight as he is shocked to see me dump 60 gallons of water used for fire fighting out the back. We hook up the truck, into 4 low and up we go. There were a bunch of people cheering us on and taking photos. If anyone sees any of those please let me know. Ill buy it!!

Strobel goes on to finish and we head back in as well. That is the last time I ever ask professional rock crawlers for directions. Thanks John and Bridgett!


Sunday Sunday Sunday.

What started as an early morning with the desire to get on the road and scoot home ended up being a 12 hour adventure. I noticed while fueling that one of my tires was trashed from the rocks encountered the previous day. Still holding air and riding nicely but an entire lug was missing down to the cords. Not worth the risk. Changed it out and off we go.

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Make it to Mina and we lose a tire on the Rescue 10. Changing it out like a NASCAR pit team back on the road and southbound.


We stopped in Tonopah to pick up the trailer and met with Rescue 8, Jerry. We got the unused water, about 500 bottles, donated to the Tonopah Fire Department. Jerry also organized a clean up of all the areas racers camped Friday night. He got his Middle School Football team that he coaches to clean up 30 full size trash bags of trash. Now while that may sound like a lit, Jerry believes the majority of that was there long before racers came to town. Awesome work by all of our racers and crews for cleaning their areas. Between all of you and Jerry’s team, Tonopah was left better than before we got there. The way it should always be.

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Back on the road and headed home with a mandatory stop at eh Death Valley Candy Company of course in Beatty were we met up with a dozen or so teams also working there way south.


All in all the weekend was a tremendous success for our team and Best in the Desert. We had 2 patients that we made the decision to fly out and a third that the Ambulance needed to fly out. We had one other that was transported by ground ambulance and several that teams transported for evaluation. We provided care however to well over 2 dozen racers and crew. While we have 2 still in the hospital recovering, everyone will recover. While I don’t like seeing anyone hurt, considering the nearly 1000 participants, and thousands more of support staff, crews and family – that is a pretty respectable ratio.

We gave out over 500 bottles of water, 300 wet towels, left a town in better shape than when we arrived, helped many businesses along the way, had no fatalities and got to watch some good racing.

An amazing thank you to the 2016 Vegas to Reno Medical Team:

Marcia, Bill, Dionne, Brad, Kyle, Austin, Jerry, Pixie, Jennifer, Julie, Chuck, Bobby, Brenda, David, Bill, Richard, Kalie, Terrence, Gabby, Truet, Dustin, Mark, and Dr Lippmann with an honorable mention to Travis and Mark on the TT Coalition Helicopter.

And an amazing thank you to the Tonopah Middle School Jack Hammers for helping clean up anything left behind by racers and crews!

And of course thank you to Best in the Desert for an amazing race, an amazing experience, and entrusting my team to be there for our off road family.

That is my 2016 Vegas to Reno Experience - And I will take it!!

See everyone in Parker!!
 

mgobaja

Well-Known Member
You and your crew put in countless hours pre and post event to make sure that racers are as safe as possible. It is however unfortunate that when the course redirection happened that teams had people react the way that they did towards you and other officials. I believe that you are wise enough to not let the actions of a few dipshits paint the entire off road race family in a negative light. Fortunately those instances are not the norm and hopefully few and far between.

Thank you again for you and your teams contribution to the sport we all love.
 

450grl

Well-Known Member
What a great write-up!!! Thank you for all of your hard work so that we could go out there and do what we do! The water bottles and washcloths were a WONDERFUL thing to have at the finish line!! We were directed quickly to a spot in pit 1, which was also appreciated. However, yes, other racers can be a-holes and we had our chase truck run into while we were parked there in that mess. Not sure why some people completely lose their minds in situations like this - it's important and all that to do well....I get it....but it's just a race. In the grand scheme of things....it's still just a race. No reason to treat people who are trying to help like crap or endanger anyone......

That pic of the trucks stuck in the silt bed is exactly how I remember coming up on that scene, except with blinding silt and - fortunately for me - some of the drivers directing me to a place to pass them easily. So glad everyone made it through that mess without any serious injuries.

HUGE thank you to everyone who works so hard behind the scenes to give us a place to race and get our "go fast" out, and keep us as safe as possible out there.
 

ndvalium

Rescue Director
I'm not sure how I forgot to mention Karl and Nancy as two of my awesome team members. Those two are work their butts off in a joint custody agreement working as medical team and retrieval at each and every Best in the Desert race. Not only are they often one of the first to aid a broken truck but anyone who has ever been helped by them knows the back seat is magic. While racers prep their chase totes with spare parts and emergency tools, Nancy does the same for her prep. It includes 36 dozen cookies and everyone gets a Baggie of them!




David Nehrbass

Motorsports Safety Solutions
 

coilover88

Well-Known Member
Kudos for a great writeup. Double kudos for providing the racers and crews with the best emergency/medical/rescue services in the sport!
 

Jack

Well-Known Member
All good stuff and thank you for everything you do.

Two comments.
About the drives staying in the race vehicles on the trailers. Mayne this was done because there was no seat to ride in the truck pulling the trailer. Either they didn't have another vehicle to ride in or they were not allowed to get that vehicle into the pit as you stated those trucks were turned away.
Also I heard over the radio stream Saturday before it dropped out of a rider with a possible Ling puncture and that no one was in the area and it would be an hour and A half before someone could be moved up there to handle that. Why such a big area without coverage? And more importantly is there any update on the condition of this rider?

Thanks
 

ndvalium

Rescue Director
All good stuff and thank you for everything you do.

Two comments.
About the drives staying in the race vehicles on the trailers. Mayne this was done because there was no seat to ride in the truck pulling the trailer. Either they didn't have another vehicle to ride in or they were not allowed to get that vehicle into the pit as you stated those trucks were turned away.
Also I heard over the radio stream Saturday before it dropped out of a rider with a possible Ling puncture and that no one was in the area and it would be an hour and A half before someone could be moved up there to handle that. Why such a big area without coverage? And more importantly is there any update on the condition of this rider?

Thanks
On the first one, non trailer tow vehicles were directed to park on the highway or across the highway. There were safer options than riding on a trailer being towed.

As far as the medical at 630-

The mint 400, Parker 425 and Vegas to Reno all have areas of what are commonly referred to as no mans land by Casey. Essentially a stretch of course that is single road, little opportunity to pull over and let vehicles pass. And no option but to be on an active race course.

In this race it was the section from weeks pit toad crossing to about 4 miles from the finish line. It is a known issue and the only way to get vehicle over the mountain to Dayton. Casey has been liking at other options but nothing so far.

If we would have put a rescue truck of any sort on the track it would have risked riders and rescuers alike as the lead TT was on his way. That is why we made the call to go with the TT Coalition helicopter. Our next option would have been launching a helicopter from Reno to respond to the scene.

I am already deep into planning for 2017 BITD events and am talking with Casey about a major change that I am going to request for the future.

I hate seeing people get hurt and while I know it will happen no matter how hard we plan and prep, I want to be the best and do the best we can before it happens, and when it happens be ready.




David Nehrbass

Motorsports Safety Solutions
 

BajaboundMoto

Well-Known Member
we started hearing reports of a bad motorcycle patient at mile 630. 3 times a year we race on courses that have what Casey refers to as “No mans land”. ... I made a call to the Trick Truck Coalition Helicopter that was following the lead trucks and they didn’t even question it for a second. ... The patient was in a life threatening situation with an open pelvic fracture. ... An amazing thank you to not only Travis Clark and Mark Thomas on board the helicopter, but the TT coalition for providing this resource for this event. It made a difference in this young mans life.
The injured rider is my son Grant (17 years old race weekend). THANK YOU Dave, Travis, Mark, and everyone who makes the chopper fly!
We were waiting at the Finish expecting a top 20 OA bike finish (on a little YZ 125 bike) and watching Grants tracker.
It went to 0 mph and our nerves went on high alert.
We waited 2 minutes for the next update with fingers crossed, but it again was at 0 mph.
I texted my son, "are you OK?".
I quickly receive a text back, "I crashed, it's bad, I can't move, I feel crunching and lots of blood".
Knowing the area he's in I knew this was a real bad situation (see Daves explanation above).
Grant told the first 4 riders to pass he was OK, just needed to shake it off and he'd get on and finish. But when the adrenaline wore off he knew that wasn't happening.
Every rider passing stopped he said, and we appreciate that!
We know David Potts (+50 Expert moto) stopped and spent maybe 15 minutes with Grant making him much more comfortable.
Then Austin Bolton (21 year old son of my long time racing buddy Joe, and Grants competition for class points) stopped. He made shade for Grant with a space blanket Grant had, held pressure on the bleeding 'till the chopper arrived, and helped get Grant into the chopper before resuming his race.
SUPER PROUD of this young man.
And on a side note, it sucks BITD won't give back any time to racers who assist other racers.
While the injury was bad it could have been much worse. His hip sockets are not damaged so healing will be much quicker and no more surgery.
Grant's tough, in great condition, and determined... He might even be doing 1 of the laps at Parker for points...
THANK YOU ALL!

I noticed while fueling that one of my tires was trashed from the rocks encountered the previous day. Still holding air and riding nicely but an entire lug was missing down to the cords.
I sure hope all these aftermarket companies in the industry have you on the freebie list, you and your people all deserve it.

As a side note I am dumbfounded by drivers riding in the race vehicles on the trailers down the highway. What are you guys thinking?!?
Dumbfounded is right. I mean, anyone who's ever dealt with Casey KNOWS how he would react to doing that. A questionable act to simply take advantage of the situation, but it wouldn't even cross my mind knowing Casey might find (and flip!) out.
 
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Jack

Well-Known Member
Thank you for those details. They are as I thought and seem to be the best that can be done with what you have. I'm also glad that it is still in work for possible future improvement. Great job

Thank you for the update. I felt so helpless from California and knew it had to be punishing to be at the finish so close but not close enough. Everyone made good calls on getting a rescue response in there as quickly as possible and glad that he will make a full recovery.
 

JrSyko

Jerry Maguire
Super happy to have helped and thank you for all your efforts in getting us there! Glad it all worked out.

Thanks for all YOU do - you play a huge and unappreciated role.
 

OldStroppeTeam

Well-Known Member
IT continues to mystify me how racers can spend $$$$.$$ on building a chassis, and not give any consideration to a secure exposed place to hook a TOW STRAP ?


THANK YOU
 

mikerd400

Well-Known Member
Give Grant my best. I'm currently on recovery for a shattered pelvis and both hips, so I know how Grant feels. May he get well soon
 

Fire1998

Well-Known Member
The injured rider is my son Grant (17 years old race weekend). THANK YOU Dave, Travis, Mark, and everyone who makes the chopper fly!
We were waiting at the Finish expecting a top 20 OA bike finish (on a little YZ 125 bike) and watching Grants tracker.
It went to 0 mph and our nerves went on high alert.
We waited 2 minutes for the next update with fingers crossed, but it again was at 0 mph.
I texted my son, "are you OK?".
I quickly receive a text back, "I crashed, it's bad, I can't move, I feel crunching and lots of blood".
Knowing the area he's in I knew this was a real bad situation (see Daves explanation above).
Grant told the first 4 riders to pass he was OK, just needed to shake it off and he'd get on and finish. But when the adrenaline wore off he knew that wasn't happening.
Every rider passing stopped he said, and we appreciate that!
We know David Potts (+50 Expert moto) stopped and spent maybe 15 minutes with Grant making him much more comfortable.
Then Austin Bolton (21 year old son of my long time racing buddy Joe, and Grants competition for class points) stopped. He made shade for Grant with a space blanket Grant had, held pressure on the bleeding 'till the chopper arrived, and helped get Grant into the chopper before resuming his race.
SUPER PROUD of this young man.
And on a side note, it sucks BITD won't give back any time to racers who assist other racers.
While the injury was bad it could have been much worse. His hip sockets are not damaged so healing will be much quicker and no more surgery.
Grant's tough, in great condition, and determined... He might even be doing 1 of the laps at Parker for points...
THANK YOU ALL!


I sure hope all these aftermarket companies in the industry have you on the freebie list, you and your people all deserve it.


Dumbfounded is right. I mean, anyone who's ever dealt with Casey KNOWS how he would react to doing that. A questionable act to simply take advantage of the situation, but it wouldn't even cross my mind knowing Casey might find (and flip!) out.
BITD does give time back....maybe not exact...but does give time back. Tim, I stopped and helped your rider in Parker this year. He broke his clavicle and when i found him was in immense pain. I got him off course. Im a career FF/P so I did what I was trained to do. Cut his jersey and tshirt off and made him a hell of a tight sling which relived most of his pain
Spent probably over an hour with till help arrived. BITD gave me 45 minutes back. Didnt care....helped a down rider and am one of a few riders who actually know what to do for downed riders. I know someday ill need some help and hopefully i get plenty of it!!
 

BajaboundMoto

Well-Known Member
@Fire1998 - YEAH! THANKS! It was awesome you stopped for our friend from Mexico City after his little get off at Parker! He finished this VtoR incident free ;-)


Sent from the RDC Mobile App. Get it for your IOS device today
 

Fire1998

Well-Known Member
I have no idea if this is a possibility or not......but I know there are guys racing out there with my type of training or experience for over 18 years. What about giving these guys a backpack or if in truck a bag of minimal BLS stuff we can treat downed riders or drivers with. IV's would be nice but I know cost. It would be a volunteer choice only by riders and drivers. Not to many guys want to give up their race....me not one of those guys. Ive lost track how many races ive given up to help a fellow rider who is down and hurt. Its just a thought and am opening up a big can of worms.....but thought I'd ask.
 

ndvalium

Rescue Director
I have no idea if this is a possibility or not......but I know there are guys racing out there with my type of training or experience for over 18 years. What about giving these guys a backpack or if in truck a bag of minimal BLS stuff we can treat downed riders or drivers with. IV's would be nice but I know cost. It would be a volunteer choice only by riders and drivers. Not to many guys want to give up their race....me not one of those guys. Ive lost track how many races ive given up to help a fellow rider who is down and hurt. Its just a thought and am opening up a big can of worms.....but thought I'd ask.
I had an interesting conversation about something similar just yesterday for you crazy bike guys. As a side not the t-shirt sling in Parker was kinda amazing. Better than a standard sling for sure!

I have some ideas and I'll message you and get some input from you.


David Nehrbass

Motorsports Safety Solutions
 

Fire1998

Well-Known Member
I had an interesting conversation about something similar just yesterday for you crazy bike guys. As a side not the t-shirt sling in Parker was kinda amazing. Better than a standard sling for sure!

I have some ideas and I'll message you and get some input from you.


David Nehrbass



Motorsports Safety Solutions

18 years of field experience teaches ya little tricks and how to build a better mousetrap than what school and fire Academy teach ya. I saw rider after Parker race and he still had my sling/support on. I figured race Paramedics would have changed it out. Glad to here they liked my work!!!!
 
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