Originally created 01/23/04

NASCAR hires full-time EMT



CONCORD, N.C. -- NASCAR hired an emergency medical technician to oversee and monitor the care given drivers and crewman during the Nextel Cup Series events.

The EMT will ride in the quick-response safety car used since midway through the 2003 season, but will not be a "hands-on" medical person, NASCAR president Mike Helton said Thursday.

"Our use of the EMT is to supervise ... monitor and help us with the requirements and standards that we ask the tracks to provide," Helton said.

Each track is required to provide medical personnel and rescue workers for its race weekends.

NASCAR did not release the name of the EMT.

The hiring of the full-time EMT, in combination with the addition of the safety car and the decision late last season to eliminate the long-criticized rule allowing cars to race back to the flagstand after a caution flag is displayed, is expected to improve accident response.