If you regret that not a single racer from Chennai will be at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida to scorch the track as the 2013 Indian Grand Prix cranks to a roaring start on Friday, here’s something to cheer about: Four doctors from the city will be there on the tarmac to provide emergency health care in the event of an accident.
One of them, Dr Dhavapalani Alagappan, will be in a high-powered Mercedes parked close to the track, keeping an eagle eye on the Formula One (F1) cars zooming past.
The safety car can reach a mishap spot within seconds with Alagappan, who has done assignments at the Motocross race in the UK and cricket events in England and Chennai, including IPL matches.
“I am in the midst of an exercise, can’t talk to you now,” he told Express when he was first contacted on Thursday afternoon.
The entire medical team, comprising 73 personnel that include paramedics and support staff, were trained in various aspects of emergency health service at a high-risk motorsport venue by international experts associated with F1, he later said.
Two other doctors from Chennai, Ganesh and Hubert, will be in a helicopter waiting at the venue to airlift injured persons to the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital; and the fourth doctor, Logesh, will be at the medical centre in the sport venue, which itself has facilities that match any F1 race venue for medical support.
The entire Indian team is from Apollo Hospitals, the medical partner for the Grand Prix, and is headed by Dr Priyadarshini Pal Singh, who has undergone extensive training in Grand Prix events.
Alagappan, who is the head of the department of emergency medicine at Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, was trained in emergency medicine in the UK, where he spent 12 years doing his FRCS and other specialty courses after completing his MS in Stanley Medical College here.
Extremely conscious of the challenge, Alagappan said that the entire team was doing mock exercises at the venue. In the event of a crash on the track, he will be the first doctor to attend to the racer. But he does not want that to happen.