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Circuit Of The Americas Turns Attention To Safety

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, May 3 2011

The Circuit of the Americas, to be home of Formula One racing in this country, is gearing up for safety. (Photo courtesy of the Circuit of the Americas)

Dr. Stephen Olvey, widely considered an expert in motorsports medicine, has been appointed Director of Medical Services at Circuit of the Americas, the new Austin, Texas-based home of Formula One and MotoGP racing in the United States.

Additionally, Lon Bromley has been hired as COTA’s Director of Safety. A 20-year veteran of the racing world, Bromley is considered an expert in the field of motorsports safety and on-track rapid response.

Olvey’s responsibilities will include securing medical equipment, personnel and resources for facility and event operations as well as building relationships with local hospitals, medical facilities and public safety officials. He will oversee a professional team of doctors, nurses, paramedics, technicians and volunteers at COTA. Olvey plans to be present at major races and events, commuting to Austin from Miami prior to the first race in 2012 to oversee development of medical operations.

“I jumped at the chance to be in on the ground floor of developing what promises to be one of the most advanced rapid response trauma care systems in the world of sports,”  Olvey said. “I believe Circuit of the Americas will become not only a center where sports injuries will be effectively treated, but also a center for research into the issues that can affect all athletes such as concussion, spinal cord injury and severe traumatic brain injury.”

Olvey served as Director of Medical Affairs for Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) from its inception in 1978 to 2003. He is the author of two books, including “Rapid Response,” an autobiography of his career in motorsports medicine. Olvey also is a member of the American College

Dr. Stephen Olvey has been added to the staff of the Circuit of the Americas. (Photo courtesy of the Circuit of the Americas)

of Sports Medicine’s Motorsports Safety Task Force; a founding fellow of the FIA Institute for Motorsports Safety; serves as a medical consultant to the Indianapolis 500 and is a member of the Media Referral Network of the American College of Sports Medicine.

“Stephen Olvey is, without question, one of the foremost experts in this arena,” said Tavo Hellmund, managing partner of Full Throttle Productions L.P. and chairman of Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. “The rapid response system he designed with Dr. Terry Trammel saved Alex Zanardi’s life at Lausitzring (Germany) in 2001 after a devastating crash amputated his legs. Every driver and team wants Dr. Olvey at their race.”

Olvey will continue to practice at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and teach at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine while working to design and establish COTA’s medical facility.

Bromley will oversee development of safety procedures and policy at COTA. He also will be responsible for track maintenance programs and assist in development of emergency protocols. Additional responsibilities will include overseeing procurement and maintenance of rescue equipment, coordination of track marshals and volunteers and safety planning with local ambulance, fire, EMT and paramedic services.

“Circuit of the Americas is going to bring the most elite racing experts to one place, and I am thrilled to be associated with such a world-class team,” Bromley said. “I‘m looking forward to the privilege and challenge of helping Circuit of the Americas achieve unprecedented success.”

Bromley served as Director of Safety for the CART and Champ Car Safety Teams from 1988 until 2008. During his tenure with CART, he trained and managed a team of 27 EMTs, paramedics and firefighters for on-the-track extrication, fire suppression and track recovery.

“Lon’s the best in the business,” Olvey said. “He has the unique ability to orchestrate a diverse team of responders in order to perform a seamless rescue. I am extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with him again.”

Prior to his work with CART, Bromley served as Director of Ambulance Services at Memorial Hospital in Rawlins, Wyo., where he also oversaw its hazardous materials management program. He is a member of the International Council of Motorsport Sciences (ICMS), and has served as a speaker at its annual symposium. He holds Emergency Medical Certification and has received past instructor certifications in ACLS, CPR, EMT I, EMT II and Auto Extrication.

“Lon’s arrival on our team further demonstrates the deep level of race event expertise we are bringing to Circuit of the Americas,” said Steve Sexton, COTA president. “He has a keen understanding of the complexity of track regulation and safety systems, coupled with a passion for achieving excellence.”

Circuit of the Americas will be a world-class destination for performance, education and business. It will be the first purpose-built grand prix facility in the United States, designed for any and all classes of racing from motor power to human power. COTA will play host to its first Formula One race in 2012 and its inaugural MotoGP event in 2013 on a 3.4-mile, 20-turn road-course that is under construction.

– John Sturbin can be reached at jsturbin@racintoday.com

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, May 3 2011
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