Feature story: Matthew Croxford
Motor Sport Safety & Rescue’s Chief Medical Officer, Matthew Croxford, was recently featured in the General Surgeons Australia newsletter.
The article is reproduced here with the permission of the author, Sally Erickson.
“The other side of the knife – Matthew Croxford”
Black and white chequered flags, the roar of a car engine being throt¬tled to capacity, the smell of melting rubber: these are not the first things that pop into your head when thinking of a General Surgeon’s work environment, but for four weeks of every year this is how you would describe it for Matt Croxford, Specialist General Surgeon for eight years, Surgical Supervisor for Western Hospital, Footscray, and the Western Hub, and the Victorian and Tasmanian Regional Subcom¬mittee Chair.
For 14 years Matt has been involved in providing medical and safety services to motor sports, predominantly rally sports, as part of Mo¬tor Sport Safety and Rescue, a private company established 16 years ago.
Currently positioned as the Chief Medical Officer for Motor Sport Safety and Rescue, Matt has been involved in some of Australia’s, and the world’s, biggest rallies, including Australia Motor Rally Champion¬ships, Asia Pacific Rally Championships, World Rally Championships for Australia, tarmac rally events including Targar Tasmania and Aus¬tralia’s biggest rally event, Australasian Safari – a long distance multi day desert race in outback Western Australia.
Starting out with Motor Sport Safety and Rescue in 1998 as a doctor, Matt spent his days as part of a medical intervention vehicle - MIV, which also included a paramedic and rescue operator. MIVs are sta¬tioned at certain stages of each rally to provide medical aid and sup¬port to not only competitors but also crew and officials. His first event was the Victorian leg of the Australian Rally Championships.
Over the years Matt has worked his way up and currently holds the office of Deputy Chief Medical Officer for World Rally Championships. He is involved in another office within the rally industry in the posi¬tion of Deputy Chair of the National Medical Advisory Committee to the Confederation of Australian Motor Sports – CAMS, which is the overseeing body of motor sport. His various roles in each office have seen him traveling all over Australia as well as China, Korea, and he will soon be heading to Russia.
While the term motor sport covers a variety of racing types, Matt is predominantly involved in circuit racing and rally events as well as the Formula One Grand Prix. While his younger days saw him spending his time inside the car as a competitor, it is his time out on the side¬lines providing medical support that has been the most rewarding, allowing him to combine his passion of motor sports with his surgical career.
His time out on the track providing medical aid has seen Matt wit¬ness numerous accidents and fatalities, with each incident driving home that motor racing really is a very dangerous sport. It was this realisation that helped him focus on his surgical career and leave the competing to others, although he hasn’t completely gotten it out of his system, choosing to drive a Subaru STI - a rally car in the making.
Motor Sport Safety and Rescue are always seeking enthusiastic and dedicated people to join their medical teams, so if this is something you might be interested in, email firstname.lastname@example.org