Ping chimes in on supercross track medical protocols, wearing different moto gear, and the beginning of the MXGP series.

@PING is brought to you by Troy Lee Designs, Eks Brand, and VP Racing.

As a police officer we are always second-guessed about everything we do. My question is not asking you to critique the medical crew at the track, but please explain in a situation like that what trauma medics do.

I’m assuming you’re talking about the situation with Brian Moreau last weekend. First of all, prayers, love and good vibes to Brian and his family; everybody is hoping for the best outcome on this. As far as the medical team, I don’t want to speculate about what they did right or wrong, because I wasn’t there. 

Each county has its own protocols for handling a trauma call like that one, though there are many similarities between most of them. Because the Alpinestar’s rig travels across state lines, and because the scene at a supercross crash is typically very dynamic, protocols are more fluid than usual. 

A paramedic’s primary concern is scene safety; this is why having continuity of care at the races is so important. Dr. Bodnar goes to all of the races, so he knows when it is safe to go onto the track, cross the track, etc. A local medic, whether from a fire department or an ambulance company, is not going to be as comfortable working in that environment. Once a scene is deemed safe, the patient assessment begins. Did they see the crash? How did the rider hit the ground? What body parts are likely to be injured given the force and trajectory of the crash? If it wasn’t witnessed, you have to get that information from the patient. The first thing we do is check their level of consciousness. Do they know where they are, who they are, what day it is, and what happened? [This also lets us know if they have a patent airway and if they are breathing appropriately] If they can’t answer these, suspicion for concussion goes up. If they can, we dive further into the assessment: What hurts? One of the first things a good medic will ask in any trauma incident is whether the patient has pain in their neck or back. Obviously, if the answer is affirmative, suspicion of spinal injury is heightened. This would also trigger palpation of the spine for any step-offs or deformities detectable by hand; cervical collar would be placed prior to any movement, regardless, if the patient complained of neck or back pain. 

I know there was a bunch of chatter about them not using a rigid spine board, but those aren’t inside most trauma protocols in recent years, though they are still used to move non-ambulatory patients. A rapid trauma assessment is next, including a quick examination of the head, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and extremities. By this point in the call you should have a very good idea of what is injured, and make a transport decision and initial care plan based on the findings. 

I know that all parties involved in this incident are looking at what happened and determining what went right and wrong. I know this won’t happen, but the prudent thing would be to hold your comments until all the facts come out. The last thing we need to do is alienate the Alpinestars crew, or Alpinestars as a supporting company, because riders are much safer with them in the sport. 

Consider that most ambulances are staffed with an EMT [basically, a driver who can do chest compressions and hand the medic his supplies] and a paramedic, and the medics on these rigs are generally younger and less experienced. Also, the vast majority would have never been to a supercross… Is that the crew you want tending to our riders? Because if we chase Dr. Bodnar [A trauma doctor with decades of experience at the track and in the ER] out of the sport, that’s what we’ll be left with. Ambulance crews would be unimaginably tentative to get to riders and the level of care would drop significantly. So, please think before you post. 

Heal up, Brian… we are all pulling for you.


I’ve watched the video of the KTM Factory Edition at least five times and I’m still not sure if its you riding the bike. I mean, it looks like you and you’re talking in the video like it’s you, but I haven’t seen you in anything but TLD since before Bill Clinton used that poor intern as his own personal humidor. Am I losing my mind or did something change?

Actually, it’s been since the first term of George W. Bush that I’ve worn another brand, but you were close. Yeah, I’ve gotten more than a few responses like this in the past week. Without going into detail about my agreement here at Vital, I’ll just say that you’ll see me in different gear from time to time. Don’t panic, and don’t start coming up with a conspiracy about what happened with Troy and I; Nothing happened! It’s all good, just a new arrangement. Hope you’re enjoying the videos and Race Shop project bikes we’re building… some cool stuff coming!


Greetings from the UK! With the opening GP mere days away, I’m wondering if you have a favourite, or if you follow MXGP closely? Praying for good weather at Matterley Basin.

Cheers, Guv’nor! To be honest, I never used to follow Grand Prix racing when I was younger. The riders had stiff, odd riding styles, gear that looked like they picked it up at a garage sale, and the US guys were so much better it didn’t seem worth watching. However, in the last decade that has all changed. From Everts’ final few years to present day, the curve for GP riders has been steep. In the mid 1990’s a GP regular would have shat himself if he showed up and saw anything that resembled a double jump on the course. These days, you can’t tell a GP rider apart from a US rider, except that the GP riders are likely beating the US riders if the race is on a motocross circuit. As far as a favorite GP rider, I don’t really have one. Herling’s speed is incredible, Fabvre’s drive is remarkable and Gajser’s toughness is inspiring… I just want to see good racing. Here’s hoping the weather stays clear and you guys get to watch a great season opener.


Do you have a burning question you need answers for? E-mail Ping at ping@vitalmx.com. Want more? Click the @PING tag below to quickly find all the previous columns


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