Courtesy of New Hampshire Motor Speedway
LOUDON, N.H. – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne knows all about the heat of summer racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The 2012 Loudon winner visited a local fire station in Concord, New Hampshire, on Wednesday, where he met with local firemen to learn more about their job responsibilities. Kahne received a warm reception from fans during his NASCAR “Victory Tour” stop in preparation for the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13.
Dressed in full firefighter gear, Kahne topped off his fireproof ensemble with a personalized fireman’s helmet. The 11-year Sprint Cup veteran went through a variety of different training routines, including a canine demonstration and a water hose competition.
“I’ve never done anything like this before,” Kahne said. “To put on that suit and walk in their shoes a little bit; I have a ton of respect for what they do on a regular basis.”
After being gifted with a cadet shirt and firefighter patch, Kahne was first put through a canine demonstration. A droplet of gasoline was placed on Kahne’s foot and he was situated into a lineup of other firemen (sans droplet). Molly, a yellow labrador retriever and member of the canine unit, smelled Kahne’s foot and sat down, signaling that she detected an ignitable fluid.
The next training session gave Kahne an opportunity to use the Amakus Rescue Tool on a car before taking part in a water hose competition.
“That was pretty cool,” said Kahne, who defeated the other fireman in knocking a cone off a prone vehicle first. “There is so much pressure coming out of that hose. It’s a really difficult thing to do. I’m glad I had the help of some of the other firemen.”
Kahne finished at the academy by entering a two-story mercantile Class “B” burn building. Wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus, Kahne maneuvered through the smoke-filled structure with a team before putting out a controlled fire on the second floor.
“This was a great first experience for Kasey to take part in,” said Bill Degnan, New Hampshire State Fire Marshal of the NHFA, which serves as the Northeast regional training facility for Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Personnel. “He was able do some of the training that our firemen go through and really got a hands-on opportunity to do everything from put out a fire to a search and rescue mission.”
“I wasn’t too nervous because they were in control, but if they weren’t, I would have been really nervous because you can’t see anything in there,” said Kahne. “You have to trust your teammates in there. I have a lot of respect for these guys.”