10 Questions With….The Slinger Speedway Safety Team

Who holds what role on the team?
John Heinan – Safety Director/Incident Command; Shelley Greenwald – Assistant Safety Director/Paramedic; Dan Yenor – Firefighter; Colin O’Donoghue – Firefighter; Robby Heinan – Firefighter, Scot Laabs – Firefighter

If someone is interested in joining and/or subbing for the Slinger Speedway Safety Team, who should they contact?
John Heinan, (262) 689-2281
Or, after the races, stop by the Safety Team building, just outside turn two in the pits

What qualifications do the team members have?
John – Firefighter I and former EMT; Shelley – Firefighter II and paramedic; Dan – Firefighter I and former EMT; Colin – Firefighter I; Scot – Firefighter I, EMT, Motor Pump Operator, nationally certified as a Wildland Firefighter, Emergency Vehicle Operator instructor for ATV, and CPR instructor

How many years experience on the Slinger Speedway Safety Team does each member have?
John 28 years, Shelley 10 years, Dan 7 years, Colin 5 years, Robby 3 years, Scot 2 years. A combined 55 years of Slinger Speedway experience!!

What can we expect from the Slinger Speedway Safety Team in 2020?
Shelley – In 2020 we will provide the same great service to our drivers, their crews, and the fans that has earned us our great reputation.
John – All of our operating guidelines are the same as they have been for the last 20+ years. We meet as a team every year to go over the Standard Operating Procedures and make adjustments to better serve the competitors and crews. We also talk about things that happen on the track. If there was a problem with a process, we work together to tweak what we do.

What are your real jobs?
Shelley – I work as a medical assistant/surgery scheduler at Aspen Orthopedics and I’m going to nursing school part-time.
Scot – Currently I’m a heavy machinery road mechanic at Sunbelt Rentals
John – I am an operations manager
Dan – I’m a team lead at an adhesive distribution company
Colin – I’m a full-time light/medium duty recovery operator at AM Towing in Big Bend and Elkhorn

How hot does it get in July under all that safety equipment?
Shelley: I weighed myself before and after a hot race day once, and I lost 10 pounds. So, it’s hot! We do our best to stay hydrated and take breaks in shifts in the air conditioning. On really hot days we try to work with the ambulance crew to have a plan for any of the drivers, or us, who might get overheated.
John – On hot days I start hydrating on Friday and lose upwards of 10 pounds. On Monday, I have a really bad headache.
Dan – On hot days John and Shelley have it about right. I will easily go through four or five waters and Gatorades in a day or night. In that suite all day, with only taking it off at intermission, it feels like you are in a mobile sauna for a few hours.

How can drivers make your job easier?
Stay in your car until we give you the OK to get out (unless there is a safety concern with staying in the car). Once you are out of the car, stay with your car and follow our directions.

How can fans make your job easier?
Stay back from the fence if there is an incident by the wall. Even though the cars are not moving, there are several things that could happen while we are working and moving cars around. We also like to protect our drivers’ privacy as much as possible if they are injured.

How can crew/family members make your job easier?
It might be hard to stay away if a driver is injured or you want to check out the damage to the racecar, but please stay back. We will update family and crew as soon as we can.