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September 26, 1997     Cape Gazette
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September 26, 1997

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, September 26 - October 2, 1997 - 37 HEALTH & FITNESS Local f'trefighters promote safety at NASCAR races fighters at Dover races for 15 years. To work there, he said, firefight- ers must be active members of a Delaware fire company, and they must have additional training in flammable liquids. They also at- tend additional safety training ses- sions prior to each race weekend when drivers hold seminars to in- struct rescue personnel on issues pertaining to the vehicles. John Andretti, RCA Ford driver, provided the safety seminar for the Sept. 19-21 Busch Series and Win- By Kerry Kester NASCAR fans know that when accidents occur on a race track, it is only seconds before fire crews and medics reach the cars. During the races held in Dover, skilled firefighters and medics from throughout the state work together to provide the quality rescue ser- vices for Busch and Winston Cup races. Charlie Martin, a member of the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company, has been working with both Lewes and Rehoboth fire- Jen EIIIngsworth photo Members of the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Department also serve as members of the NASCAR Fire and Rescue Team during the races in Dover. Shown in front is Charlie Martin of the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Department, while in back (l-r) are Ted Doyle, Bill McManus and Dover Volunteer Fire De- partment Station 46 member Jack Mitchell. ston Cup Series in Dover, said Martin. He said Andretti went through all the vehicle features and explained anything that is new or changed in the cars as well as ba- sics for those who might be new to working NASCAR events. "NASCAR is very safety con- scious," said Martin. "Safety's their number one thing. Without the safety crews, they wouldn't race. From what I've heard, Dover's ranked in about the top five. It's a good track - it's one of the tracks that's never had a bad safety crew. The safety crews are really good at Dover." Safety crew members, explained Martin, need to learn how to quick- ly switch off the cars' electrical systems and open the hood to en- sure the vehicles have no fires. "Usually you can see them," said Martin, but the crews always fol- low procedures. Martin recalled a race several years ago when Mark Martin, who won this year's Dover race, had a car fire. "We chased it all around the track to get it," said Martin, who said crews were dispatched from several turns. Martin, he Racing said, was trying to drive back to Pit Row. "He knew he was on fire," said Martin. The fire crew from Turn 4 finally caught up with him, and they soon saw that the car was spilling fuel. "They used a lot of duct tape on the car," said Martin, and the dri- ver was able to complete the race. Pit crews can replace or repair any- thing on the vehicles except they cannot replace the engines, said Martin. Most fires are caused by oil line or belt breaks, he said, and those can be repaired. Continued on page 41 Wives Auxiliary promotes healthcare By Kerry Kester Drivers, pit crew members and others who work in the professional stock car race industry often sustain injuries, but when they need to leave the track to get medical attention, their absence can impede the effi- ciency of the highly competitive racing teams. The Human Performance Center provides easy-access healthcare services to credentialed racing staff mem- bers and drivers. The concept of a mobile, sports-medicine unit began in 1980 on the rodeo circuit, said Gene Andrews of Mobile Sports Medicine Systems Inc., who operates and coordinates services for the car-racing mobile clinic. He said Don Andrews, athletic trainer for the Fort Worth (Texas) hockey team, along with J. Pat Evans, M.D., the Dallas Cowboys team physician, attended a rodeo and offered their services to the cowboys. The interest among cowboys was high, and the mobile clinic evolved to include a facility that maintained necessary equipment and could easily be moved from rodeo to rodeo. In 1986, Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary Inc. picked up the concept and offered an on-site health- care service to Championship Auto Racing Associa- tion (CART) at the Indy car races. That service was also well received, and by 1993 it was expanded to in- elude the NASCAR circuit when the auxiliary sam- pled the interest level at a NASCAR event at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. "Then we started adding a few tracks each year, and now we're covering all the tracks," said Andrews. The Human Performance Center has been part of the Dover NASCAR event for the past three or four years, he said. During the MBNA 200 and 400 events the weekend of Sept. 19-21, approximately 30 drivers and crew members sought medical attention at the mobile clinic. "This is not sanctioned by NASCAR," said An- drews, but each track, he said, must give individual approval for the van to operate at a race, but most tracks are pleased to have the service. The healthcare services are available to the racing staffs, said Andrews, but licensing is too difficult to obtain for treating the general public at all the differ- ent race sites. "But it's available to the Busch crews, too," he said. "We work with the infield medical center," said An- drews. The van, however, gets new healthcare staff with each new town. Using a referral system, local athletic trainers are hired to work at each race. Not only is that system cost efficient for the program, local professionals are able to provide information about Continued on page 40 Women and HIV: A call to action At a time when women's issues such as abortion, sexual harass- ment and rape are at the forefront of public debate, one important is- sue is being overlooked. HIV and AIDS has been histori- cally ignored as a woman's issue. According to the June 1997 issue of "Positive Living," AIDS is the third leading cause of death in women age 25-44 and the leading cause of death in African-Ameri- can women in the same age group. Thanks to increased funding in research and excellent treatment, education and prevention pro" grams, death from AIDS-related illnesses fell in 1996 by 15 percent. However, deaths from AIDS-relat- ed illnesses rose by 3 percent in women in the same time period. Unfortunately, most programs are not specifically geared toward women; AIDS is not looked at as a "women's issue." This fact alone puts HI'V/AIDS on the agenda for women. HIV/AIDS is central to all women's issues. The number of women infected with HIV will equal the number of infected men by the year 2000 We cannot wait that long for equal treatment and equal pro- gramming. Women need to be- come active participants in the so- lution to this ongoing problem of disparity. We need to organize and partic- ipate. We must make certain de- mands and we must be responsible for seeing that these demands are met. We must become major play- ers in the solution. We must de- mand that the issues of racism and sexism not pervade this disease. African-American and Hispanic women comprise 21 percent of the population, yet they account for 78 percent (59 percent for African- Americans and 19 percent for His- panic women) of all women's HIV cases. AIDS rates for Black and His- panic women are 17 and six times higher than for white women. We must demand support groups, pro- gramming, and child care for these women. We must demand ethnic and gender-specific prevention methods. Additionally, the national popu- lation of women living with HIV in prison is greater than the number of women with HIV in any city in the United States. The majority of these women are young mothers. We must reach out to incarcerated women and ensure them the sup- port they need and deserve. We must demand to be included in the clinical trials. Women ac- count for only 10 percent of all clinical trials. Women constitute 20 percent of all cases of HIV in- fection yet are virtually forgotten in treatment research. We must be sure our lesbian and bisexual sisters are not discounted, for they face the same issues and tragedies of this disease. We must educate young women to make positive choices and give them the necessary tools to negotiate safer sex with their partners. In doing this, we empower women to be- come activists; be it in their own home, locally, or nationally. We need to educate one another on welfare reform and managed care. We need to thoroughly un- derstand the healthcare system and how it is affecting us. We need to plan for our children's future. I urge every woman reader to be- come involved to see that we find these solutions. One of the best ways to get involved is to speak out. Submit an article to "Voices," call your service provider, demand more programming. Apply for funding in child care; it is available for women who need emergency assistance to get to a job interview or doctor's appoint- ment (ask your case manager for details. Organiz e an HIV+ support group in your community. Make a behav- ior change that will decrease your risk of infection. Do something. Whether it be in your house or the White House, you will be making a difference. when another woman is infected with HIV every 20 seconds, and the government is turning a deaf ear, something must be done. It is up to us. HEALTH TOPICS Abby Karlsen Abby Karlsen was an intern at the Delaware HIV Consor- tium, who granted permis- sion to reprint her article.