Letter from the President's Desk
The 2009 racing season is officially underway with four events already under our belt. From March onward we will run on average three events per month which take lots of time and energy from the event managers to the workers that we so dearly depend on. If you haven't worked a club event lately, you may want to come out get some time in before the sun beats down and bakes us in the summer months. July 3-5th we will again be working the United States Grand Prix which calls on the club to get ALL workers out. If you have friends that are interested, please sign them up now, we want to get them trained prior to the MotoGP.
This year's Board of Directors includes five new board members. Four of the five are returning board members from some past time frame and one is new to the board. Average years of service to USARM for the board members is quite high, 2 over 30 years, 3 over 20 years of service. The club by-laws say that we vote four board members in even years and three on odd years. Last year ended with only two board members left that were elected. Five members ran for election, of which four with highest vote numbers are elected. Mike Otell was the fifth member on the ballot so he is filling the shoes of one of three board members that will be elected this fall. I hope that you will re-elect Mike this fall since he's already shown he's ready to jump in and really help. In the first month we had two board meetings, one to deal with our normal agenda which included election for Director positions and assignment, and a second one to deal with our club's by-laws. The proposed changes to the by-laws were placed on our web site and have been receiving comments and suggestions from our membership. Action items from our minutes have been assigned and follow-up will be timely in the future. This takes commitment from not only the directors, but others on committees and event managers. We all have other jobs, so volunteering to work another 10 hours or more a week could be a burden.
There are club members that want to know what really happened last year and why those board members stepped down from their duties. I can't answer that for you. There are no notes from that time period and each director made their decision by themselves for personal reasons. Rumors serve no good purpose, so let it go forward and live for today. There is an old saying, "the past is but history, the future is full of uncertainty, and the present is the first day which presents possibility." Let's take today as the first day in which we can have a positive influence on our future as a racing organization.
What's new with our club for 2009? First is our commitment to training. This includes worker as well event managers. All members will be going through required worker training/refresher course prior to the GP. Cross training is also on our agenda for event managers as we have only a few and when someone becomes ill or has a family emergency, we're left trying to fill those shoes on short notice with only a limited number of members available. Some directors/members will be doing cross-training at different club events to relieve the strain on those managers now. We all need time off for our soul. More news will follow as we set up this program.
Be safe and enjoy life,
USARM 2009 President
New Membership Website
We are proud to announce that we have a new website for our members, https://www.usarm.net/. This website is for USARM members to be able to renew their memberships and update their contact & medical information, etc. You can also pay for your membership via PayPal when you renew. You can also allow (or not) other registered USARM members to be able to view your contact information. You choose whether your email, phone numbers, mailing address is displayed or if all three can be displayed. Only registered and confirmed USARM members will be allowed in to the password protected areas of this website so you don't have to worry about just anyone being able to view your information.
This website uses an SSL certificate which means that any and ALL information passed between your computer and the website is encrypted with 256 bit encryption. This means that someone can't just intercept the communication and get the information you are giving and receiving. In order to be able to use this website to renew your membership or update your membership information, you must first be registered. Those that have already registered on this USARM website can use the same username and password that you have. If you have registered previously but don't remember your username and password, please contact the USARM webmaster.
If you have not yet registered, there's a Register button on the menu of the new website. Please fill in as much of the information on the registration form as you can as that information is to verify that you are a member. The registration information is manually verified so please realize that you will not be able to login immediately. You should be contact within 48 hours of registering to let you know that you are verified or asking for more information. You must have a unique email address for each member, if you need an extra email address there are plenty of places to get one such as Google Mail (Gmail), Yahoo Mail, HotMail (Live.com), etc.
Feel free to check out the new members website. If you have any questions or problems with the new website, please contact the USARM webmaster
Both membership and MotoGP event applications are available. Feel free to fill them out and send them in. You can send MotoGP and membership applications together to Ted Kuwada, his address is on the MotoGP application.
The USARM Board has decided to go "Green" and thus a new era begins for the USARM Grid. There might be some that have internet access that still would like a printed version of the Grid. Choose below which version of the Grid you'd like to download for print. You can get a color or black and white version in either Microsoft Word or PDF format.
If you do not have Microsoft Office to open the DOC file you can download Open Office which is open-source software which will allow you to open and print the DOC files. You will need Adobe Acrobat to be able to print the PDF files. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
2009 March Grid Downloads
Those that receive this newsletter, The Grid, will not receive another issue till they renew their membership. In other words, only 2009 members will receive another Grid via regular mail after this issue. Get your membership in now so you don't miss another issue and are ready to go work an event.
New Post Office Box for USARM
USARM has had a change in the mailing address. Please update your address books with the new address for USARM. The new address is Post Office Box 127 Gilroy CA 95021.
This is the first in a series of training articles you will see coming from the USARM Training Committee. We'll be picking a different topic each month to review with you through the Grid. This will also be covered in upcoming training that will be rolled out across USARM.
How often have you had to use a fire-extinguisher? Not often I hope. It's a rare situation that you would actually have to use one. Here are some of the steps to take when addressing a fire... No... you don't say... Hi Fire!
(Note: Fire extinguishers are referred to as "bottles")
A Fire extinguisher "Bottle) is made up of several parts. . .
There is the canister which is usually metal.
Inside the canister is powder. We normally use what they refer to as "ABC" powder which is used for most any type of fire you would encounter at a race track. Along with the powder the unit is pressurized with air or gas to help push the powder out of the bottle when it is used.
On the top of the canister is the screw on top that is usually referred to as the handle. There is a small meter on the side that will show you if the bottle is charged or not. Be sure to check that the gauge is pointing into the GREEN zone before you take the bottle out to the corner and replace it if it is low. Getting to a fire with a defunct bottle is like having no bottle at all.
There are two levers. The bottom lever is fixed and should be used to carry the bottle. The TOP lever is the one that moves when you "squeeze" it. It should be noted here that one of the major problems encountered by respondents is squeezing the handles before pulling the pin. This results in bending the top lever, sometimes so badly that the pin cannot be removed (rendering the bottle completely useless).
There is a Pin slipped into a hole on the handle and keeps the bottle from expelling the powder. Do NOT remove the pin unless you have to use the bottle to put out a fire.
There is a small tie that holds the pin in place. Do NOT remove that tie unless you have to use the bottle to put out a fire. The tie that holds the pin in place is fragile and will sometimes break on its own. When this happens it is very easy to discharge the bottle unintentionally (in your car, all over your feet, places you do not want this powder to be).
There is a nozzle that is usually a hard rubber. You use the nozzle to point the powder towards the fire.
If a fire starts on a racing vehicle grab your "bottle" and get to the fire as quickly as possible. Be sure to keep a safe distance between you and the fire. But do not to be too far away from the fire. 1-2 feet is recommended. Besides the wind, the pressure in the bottle is not high enough for long distance spraying. If the fire is too big to get that close, it is too dangerous to be there. The basic rule-of-thumb about using a bottle is that it will provide precious seconds for the driver / rider to escape the vehicle. Beyond that, it is up to the emergency folks to put out the fire.
The important part is to be sure to put out the fire at the base first. It's also recommended to shoot the powder in a series of short blasts but that depends on the fire. Using the short blasts allows you a second or two to see if the fire is going out. It also saves on the powder just in case the fire erupts again or there are other small fires that started - i.e. grass or something close by. However, don't be stingy with the powder. Some of the powder can lodge in the valve of the bottle and allows the remaining charge of gas to escape preventing further use. So... "use it or lose it".
So to make it easy to remember here are a few words that might help you remember what to do.
A helpful suggestion is to try to be up-wind from the fire. That means... try to ensure the wind doesn't blow the powder back into your face.
The first priority in any fire situation is YOUR safety! Don't put yourself at risk - EVER! A racecar driver has all kinds of safety equipment surrounding them - roll cage, on board fire system, Nomex Drivers suit, etc. Your best safety mechanism is your brain and you don't have any other protection between you and the fire so here is one other suggestion... When you are working a corner we always encourage only cotton clothing. Cotton will burn away but anything with nylon or synthetic materials can actually melt onto your skin.
Another point to make here is that if you have to go to a fire, your communicator or another corner will be watching. They will call into Race Control to keep them updated on the status and to request back-up emergency response.
So.. Safety first. YOUR Safety first!
Your USARM Training Committee
Do you want your voice to be heard?
That contact form goes to all the directors. Anything you send in will be added to the agenda for the next board meeting and we will get back to you with the results.
Board Meetings are regularly scheduled on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm. At this time the Board Meetings for the remainder of the year should be . . .
March 17th, April 21st, May 19th, June 16th, July 21st, August 18th, September 15th, October 20th, November 17th and December 15th.
The concall information is (800) 204-5502 Then enter the PIN number. To get the USARM PIN number, please contact Jan.
The January Board Meeting minutes are available.
Contact information for the 2009 USARM BoD:
If you know someone who is a USARM Member & not getting The Grid,
please let one of the BoD members know & they will be added to the roster.