February 24, 2017
Pierce is honored to be the Official Fire Truck of the Daytona International Speedway. Get the inside track on how the fire brigade was established and runs today.
The Fire Brigade
When the Daytona International Speedway was founded more than 20 years ago, the fire department was comprised of firefighters from local agencies, some of whom were lifeguards. In 2001, NASCAR created standards and protocols for running the fire and EMS calls, which doubled the amount of staff needed. The current fire brigade is 270 members strong. This temporary, part-time staff is made up of local (80%) and long distance (20%) firefighters. The long distance crew hails from numerous states, including Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Michigan, and New Hampshire.
The fire brigade members travel great distances because they are proud to serve the Daytona International Speedway. They love the comradery and enjoy a change of pace from their home departments. This is a great venue to fuel their passion for public service, and the fire brigade is an integral part of raceday success. And who doesn’t love being on TV during a NASCAR race?
Firefighters are divided into four crews for the races: the garage area, the grandstands/suites, the infield (where people camp), and the track. Each crew has specific roles and protocol for the unique situations in their area. Every September, firefighters participate in training with NASCAR to become certified to respond to accidents on the track. They also have training provided by the Daytona International Speedway and FEMA. The training is applied throughout the year, as there are events for approximately 250 days at Daytona International Speedway every year.
Most of the firefighters have been on the fire brigade for an extended period of time. About eighty percent of the crew return each year. Some of them have over 40 years of service at the Daytona International Speedway and have retired from their home department - now that’s dedication! In addition to servicing the Daytona International Speedway, quite a few of them work at other speedways.
Chief Mike Cordle
In 2005, Chief Robert Vining took the role of Tower Controller. He is stationed in the grandstands during races and dispatches fire and EMS crews when needed. At that time, Mike Cordle was the Outside Officer in charge of spectator safety in the grandstand area. Mike was honored to take the reigns as Chief and remains in the role today. He is also the current Battalion Chief for Lake County, FL.
Pictured in the photo, left to right: Chief Mike Cordle, alongside his long-term colleagues, John Erdman and Robert Boggus.
The Daytona International Speedway has been using Pierce apparatus since 1998. Pierce became the Official Fire Truck in 2009. The track requires seven trucks for each NASCAR race. There are two trucks that are there all year for any needs outside the race season. Daytona International Speedway Fire Brigade is proud to use Pierce apparatus. The reliable trucks ensure the race seasons are a success.
Download Now: Daytona 500 Firetruck Images
Pierce is proud to supply apparatus to keep everyone safe at the race events. To celebrate the 59th annual Daytona 500, download free Daytona 500 firetruck background images for your desktop computer or mobile device. "Drivers, start your engines!"