Prometheus Medics Race Diary - Pre-race Training

These are the blog highlights from the Derby head medic Deborah Swann. Deb introduces the team of medics who will be sticking our riders back together when they inevitably fall off. 

The illustrious medics for this year’s Derby are, Deborah Swann, an emergency nurse practitioner at Addenbrooke’s Hospital emergency department. Deborah has covered two previous Mongol Derbies and is crazy enough to return for a third time.

Deb & James briefing the riders in UB

Our next medic is James Hubbard, an experienced paramedic from Bristol. James is a Hazardous Area Response Team lead paramedic and has returned for a second outing for the Derby.

We also have Sarah Low a paramedic from Shropshire, who works on an air ambulance and as a single responder paramedic.

Last but by no means least, is Dr Shelagh Loughman, a GP from Dublin. This is Shelagh and Sarah’s first Mongol Derby, and it probably won’t be their last.

Medical Assistance on the Steppe

Essentially, the riders are encouraged to care for themselves. If they present to the medics with something they can treat themselves, they get an hour penalty. If they have a serious injury or illness that requires medical assistance, they don’t get a penalty. They can also ask for advice without incurring a penalty.

Crew Briefing 

The first day was the international crew briefing, where the rules, regulations and spirit of the Derby were looked at and discussed to ensure we all we are all singing from the same hymn book. The medics went over the rules of outside assistance for the riders and what would and wouldn’t constitute an hour penalty for the riders.

Deb, James, Sarah & Shelagh 

After the crew briefing, there was the crew night out. This is for bonding and vodka drinking purposes. As per rules and regulations of the Derby, we ended up at a dodgy karaoke bar, signing power ballads into the small hours. Richard Dunwoody, champion jockey and official Derby photographer enjoyed the karaoke so much he did some dancing for us...we weren’t surprised he didn’t win Strictly Come Dancing....

Rider Briefing

The following day, all crew were present for the rider briefing. This is where we got to meet the riders and go over safety issues, how the riders are tracked and how they use their emergency call buttons on their SPOT tracker devices.

James and I gave the all- important medical brief which included some basic first person on scene advice and staying healthy in the wilderness. The talk generated some very interesting questions from the riders and crew.

Later that evening, there was the obligatory crew and rider dinner at Hassara’s Indian restaurant. There wasn’t the usual flow of vodka that evening as quite a lot of the crew and riders were a little jaded from their previous night’s exploits.


You can read the full blog post over on the Prometheus site here.

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