Pete Fiset selects a Holmatro hydraulic spreader to demonstrate its effectiveness. A line of eager participants forms to crush a soda can, too.
The fun demonstration is among the updates provided during annual training Jan. 10 for Holmatro Safety Team members at INDYCAR headquarters in Indianapolis. Response protocols and procedures for the wide variety of racetracks on the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Mazda Road to Indy series served by the Holmatro Safety Team also are reviewed.
“As our protocol evolves, this training updates everyone. We have to be prepared for all contingencies," INDYCAR manager of track safety operations Mike Yates said.
Holmatro, founded in 1967 in the Netherlands, designs, produces, tests and delivers hydraulic equipment and systems for industrial applications and technical rescue services.
“Holmatro has been a great partner,” Yates said. “The tools are lightweight, sturdy, durable and easy to use. If worked at a fire department they would be the tools I’d like to work with.”
The Holmatro Safety Team, present at each INDYCAR event, is represented by four-person crews of professional firefighters and paramedics on each of three Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks. Two are safety vehicles with the latest Holmatro rescue equipment onboard, while the third is utilized for track clean-up. Additionally, there are two firemen/paramedics on pit lane to serve as incident command for local pit firemen and a dispatcher in Race Control.
INDYCAR medical director Dr. Michael Olinger and the track medical director respond to incidents in a Honda command vehicle. Three nurses, including a liaison with the local medical facility, complement the group.
Holmatro Safety Team members average 20 years’ experience in their respective areas (firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, physicians, nurses) in municipalities and hospitals. Many are leaders in their departments.
"That experience is invaluable and the competitors really appreciate that," Yates said.
Yates conducts daily meetings with local track safety personnel during a race weekend to address INDYCAR procedures and provide updates.
For the 2015 season, the Holmatro Safety Team trucks will be equipped with 360-degree cameras mounted to the interior of the windshield and three fixed HD cameras.
The Verizon initiative initially was tested at the Milwaukee race last August and utilized in the subsequent two races to close the season. There is an in-vehicle encoder with wireless TVI real-time streaming of four channels of HD video on the Verizon network and on-board HD recording with cellular and IP communications.
Video from all four cameras is streamed to any authorized user’s device, including smartphones, tablets and PCs. The 360-degree camera offers pan, tilt and zoom capability with a joystick operated by the fire controller in Race Control.
Remembering Dave Hollander
Dave Hollander, a longtime member of the CART/Champ Car safety team who was nicknamed Safety 2, died Jan. 9 after a long battle with cancer.
A firefighter from New Jersey, he was 66.
Hollander started traveling with the safety team, led by Lon Bromley (aka Safety 1) and Mike Carey (Safety 3) in 1979. Carey still is a member of the Holmatro Safety Team.