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Jan 12, 2010

Updated: Willow Springs Owner Bill Huth Now Says Advanced Life Support (ALS) Ambulances Will Be Deployed This Weekend; Longer-term Plans Include A New On-site Medical Center

Willow Springs International Raceway (WSIR) and Willow Springs Motorcycle Club (WSMC) owner Bill Huth told this morning that he is taking a new approach in his ongoing dispute over rising ambulance stand-by fees charged by the company that has a government-granted monopoly on service in the racetrack's part of Kern County, California.

Huth said that he now plans to have two Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances on site starting with this coming weekend's WSMC races, each ambulance staffed with a paramedic and an EMT; Huth said that he will maintain that level of standby emergency medical services for future races at his track as well.

As part of a new long-term strategy to counter ambulance stand-by fees that have continued to rise--one track-day operator says they've almost doubled--since Kern County granted an area service monopoly to Hall Ambulance, Huth said that he will build a fully equipped on-site emergency medical center. For staffing, Huth said that he is interested in talking to current and former racers who work in the medical field, including former racers who work as emergency room doctors in real life.

Huth said that he has abandoned initial plans to put an EMT in the WSMC crash truck without standby ambulances on site.

"I have to do it," Huth said in a phone interview this morning. "I don't want to cancel the race and we've got the (2009 season awards) banquet this weekend and the whole deal."

More details will be posted as they become available.

And now, reaction from a reader:


Via e-mail:

It's good to see that Mr. Huth is sticking it to the local ambulance mafia and taking matters into his own hands. I applaud his effort to entertain an on-site medical center, as it will likely serve to stabilize severe trauma or injuries in a orderly and convenient place in preparation for a lifeflight or follow-on ambulance ride.

Further, as a racer and pedestrian at a venue such as a racetrack, it would be great to have a permanent place to address the more minor things like heat injuries or other lower priority issues.

Justin L. Pennella
Enon, Ohio