The speed, the heat, the fumes .... motorsport is great!

Unless the heat and fumes are the cause of a fire and the speed refers to the rate at which the flames are spreading. Then it's really bad.

There are a lot of reasons why a fire can get going during a motorsport event, whether at the scene of a crash or somewhere in the paddock or service park. We rely on the presence of knowledgeable and experienced fire marshals to have our backs (and fronts, sides, tops and underparts), but wouldn't it be helpful to at least have an understanding of the various aspects of fire risk and management in this environment? To at least have a common language during set up or a crisis and maybe even spot a deficit and head it off before a disaster occurs.

David Dalrymple is a New Jersey based fire expert, having served as a fire officer and educator in both civilian and motorsport services. He runs his own fire response company, Roadway Rescue, and conducts motorsport focused fire and rescue training courses.

We caught up for a chat about all things flamey and recorded this podcast. This is Part 1, in which we cover:
  • The basics of what a fire is and why it's bad for you.
  • The types of combustible materials that can be found at any given motorsport event, including lithium ion battery thermal runaway.

Part 2 will be released later this month and will cover:
    • Fire suppression and extinguishing agents.
    • Standards, recommendations and regulations.
    • The NFPA 610 regulations for fire response at motorsport events.
    • David's forthcoming article on two new mask respirators for fire management safety. David's First Responders Fire and Rescue course for Motorsports at the Tim O'Neill Rally School in September.

    Here are the links to the resources mentioned in the podcast.

    Note: Aside from plugging his course in Part 2, David has stated that he has no financial conflicts of interest to declare about any of the brands that he refers to during this podcast. As for me, I would dearly love to have some financial conflicts to declare, but alas I'll still be heading off to work on Monday.