SUMRALL, MS. (WDAM) - Watching drivers circle a track at extremely high speeds is thrilling to watch. Thousands of folks pack the Talladega Super Speedway each Spring and Fall to watch the drama unfold. However, danger is an ever present threat.
That is why Sumrall's Fire Chief, Tony Pflaum, is going to be on the scene at the famous Alabama track in just a few weeks. According to Pflaum "We'll be working pit fire, which means you'll be on pit road standing in one of the driver's pit boxes with a fire extinguisher."
Pflaum and two of his colleagues from the Hattiesburg Fire Department were invited by Nascar to participate in the organization's advanced training session.
"And we went a couple of weeks ago and took part in the training, with the hopes that we would be invited to participate during the race with the fire and rescue team," said Pflaum.
Luckily, Pflaum and his fellow fighters were approved. While under going Nascar training, Pflaum also learned more details about the race cars and how to if needed extricate a driver from the vehicle if a wreck happens. Pflaum explained, "Every wreck is different. All of the cars are the same, but when you get hit at 100 plus miles per hour, it does bad things to a car."
Pflaum will be in good company at the races with hundreds of fellow fire fighters from across the country joining him to make sure the experience is a safe one.
"I'm really proud of being chosen to be on the team but I think it says a lot about the fire training that we have in the state of Mississippi and in the Pine Belt area. Especially that a volunteer firefighter from a small department like Sumrall gets the training through the state and through the county that you need to be able to work side by side with some of the best fire and safety crews in the country," said Pflaum.
Pflaum said while at Talladega, he hopes to have the opportunity to meet some of his favorite drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin.