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CS Amina, promoter officials taken through Safari Rally safety and security operations

SPORTS By Ernest Ndunda | January 13th 2021
CS Amina Mohamed with WRC Safari Rally CEO Phineas Kimathi at the simulation in Naivasha on January 13, 2021. [Standard Sports]

The 2021 WRC Safari Rally’s Sport Organising Committee gave a sneak preview of its preparedness to host a successful event after a simulation display on safety, medical and security departments at the Kenya Wildlife Training Institute in Naivasha on Wednesday, January 13. 

During the mid-morning function attended by top government officials led by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and WRC Promoter experts, the medical team headed by Dr. Raj Jutley performed a complex extrication to “rescue” and offer emergency medical aid to an “injured” crew member. Rally driver Asad Khan was used for the demonstration.

The team demonstrated how to rescue an injured person from a car without causing further injury followed by emergency medical attention, and, if need, be how to transfer the patient to an air ambulance helicopter to the nearest hospital.

Later, the WRC Safari Rally safety team headed by Norris Ongalo, which will deploy over 1,000 marshals during the WRC Safari Rally to ensure the safety of spectators, also demonstrated the intricacies of cutting through metal to extricate an injured person using the latest technology cutting machines.

Finally, the WRC Safari Rally’s Head of Security, Julius Kabiru, showed Kenya's preparedness by deploying officers from the paramilitary General Service Unit, regular and Administration Police who will be assisted by KWS rangers during the June 24-27 World Championship Safari Rally.

"We will not only secure the 1,000 kilometres covered by the rally but also ensure you will be safe from the port of entry, throughout your stay, and at the port of exit," Kabiru said.

Driver Eric Bengi and Tuta Mionki during WRC Safari Rally Candidate Championship at a Special spectators site in Nairobi on Friday, July 5, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

He added the security plan, which has been shared with top government officials, FIA President Jean Todt and the FIA hierarchy has identified green areas of concern which include risk and threat management, operation readiness and continuous testing.  

WRC Promoter teams of Ian Campbell and Joao Passes of Britain and Portugal, respectively, who have been in Kenya to check the route and other organisational aspects of the Safari Rally, hailed Kenyans' efforts and were confident the organising team would deliver a world-class event.

Later, under the supervision of the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Raj Juley, the "victim" on a special stretcher, was extricated, examined and loaded into a medical helicopter.

"Extrication from the car should not take more than 15 seconds," explained Juley who was assisted by David Karri.

The CS said she was impressed and commended the Safari Rally team's commitment towards the event despite challenges caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

She added that the FIA and government attach a lot of importance to safety and successful hosting of the WRC Safari Rally which Kenya is using to promote road safety.

CS Sports Amina Mohamed and International Automobile Federation president Jean Todt briefing journalists on the WRC Safari Rally Greening Legacy Project at Kasarani stadium. Nov 24, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

"His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and FIA President Jean Todd agreed to establish an Action for Road Safety Programme to embed the values of safe motoring during Jean Todd’s visit to Kenya in November 2020," CS Amina said.

"The Road Safety Campaign launched in support of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety with a focus on Road Safety and Motoring Education. More importantly, this program will bolster the safety prerogatives put in place by the Safari Safety, Security and Medical Teams," she added. 

The Chief Safety Officer Norris Angelo put the assembled team through the intricacies of safety for both competitors and fans and displayed hydraulic cutting machines that can save a life in the shortest possible time.

The CEO of the WRC Safari Phineas Kimathi said the simulation exercise was done to show the Local Organising and Steering Committees the journey so far covered towards the 2021 Safari Rally despite Covid-19 hiccups.

He thanked Jessy Ray, a member of the Steering Committee, and his team for working very hard behind the scenes including government protocols which resulted in the Safari Rally returning the WRC status to Kenya after 18 years.

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