A police officer who lost a leg after being hit by a car whilst on duty, has joined Team BRIT.
Tom Dorman, a sergeant with Thames Valley Police, will be competing in races later this year with Team BRIT. The team aims to be the first British all-disabled team to race in the Le Mans 24 hour, and through its Racing Academy, it supports people with physical and psychological challenges in accessing motorsport.
Tom, who is based in Abingdon, was serving as a response officer in Maidenhead in September 2018, when he was out on patrol and had cause to stop a car. Whilst standing at the roadside and speaking to the driver through his window, he, along with his partner, was hit by a car.
Tom sustained serious injuries including a catastrophic bleed after the artery in his left leg was severed. Being a trained public order medic, Tom had received training in the use of tourniquets and was able to explain to his colleagues how to help him.
Despite this, he remembers nothing from the incident and woke up 15 hours later in a hospital bed, having been in surgery for 10 hours and receiving more than 12 units of blood. On waking, doctors told him that he had lost his leg, which had to be amputated below the knee as a result of his injuries. Had he not advised fellow officers how to stem his bleeding, he would have died.
Tom returned to work in December 2018, having undergone three further operations and a skin graft. He later launched a campaign to change first aid training in policing to teach officers how to deal with catastrophic bleeds which can cause cardiac arrests.
Thames Valley Police has now started to roll this out, along with other forces including West Midlands Police.
Team BRIT founder Dave Player contacted Tom when he heard his story, and asked him if he was interested in attending a Team BRIT Academy track day. The team uses the world’s most advanced hand control technology so that people with disabilities, including amputations, can race.
Tom took part in an Academy day and immediately impressed the Team BRIT coaches and crew. He was soon back on track, taking his race licence test and he has now been offered the chance to join the team later this year.
Tom explains, “As a response officer, life can be fast paced and full of adrenaline as we work in high-pressure situations. Since my injury, I’ve not been able to experience this kind of adrenaline rush, so when Dave got in touch and explained what he could offer, I was really interested. As soon as I was out on the track, that sense of exhilaration came straight back, and I absolutely loved it.
“I’m a really determined person and I’ve always known that I won’t let my disability define me. I want to get back into frontline policing as soon as possible, and I want to be able to do everything an able-bodied person can. Team BRIT is helping make this happen for so many people, proving a point that disability doesn’t have to mean you’re not able to enjoy incredible things.
“It’s all happened very quickly, and it’s amazing to think I’ll be racing with the team in a few weeks. I’ll be training with the team at later this month and hope to line up on the grid with the team in my first race at Silverstone in October.”