SPEEDWAY, Ind. – With music blasting and checker board flags blowing in the breeze it must be race weekend in Indiana.
“It’s kind of remarkable the passion people have for the Indianapolis 500 and the traditions that have come about as a result over the years are kind of important to them,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’s Executive Director Betsy Smith said.
The Indy 500 is larger than life so of course there are tons of activities leading up to race day.
“It is a really build up of excitement of activities of one thing than another. It all builds up into a pyramid into the Indy 500 race,” Smith said.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum sees the largest crowd the Saturday before the Indy 500.
Fans get to learn a little history and relive some of their favorite memories.
“We get a lot of people in here and they tell us how many years they have been coming to the race or they have been coming to the race since they were 5 years old,” Smith said.
But the race fans aren’t just people throwing back a cold one; it’s our first responders.
Medical Director for Indianapolis EMS Dan O’Donnell loves race day; but his passion burns even more for helping others.
For the second year Indianapolis EMS launched the coke lot medical outside of the track.
“We can do a lot of treatment and then people can be released so that they don’t have to go all the way downtown or hospital. We can do some stabilization then they can be handed to the ambulance,” Medical Director for Indianapolis EMS Dan O’Donnell said.
The fully functioning mobile hospital makes it easy to treat people for cuts, bruises, and burns without sending them to a physical hospital.
“All of our carts have police, fire, and ems on all of them because they are out handling the medical call. Police is there if any aggression towards our providers happens.The fire department is there for any small fires that happen,” O’Donnell said.
I-EMS’s main concern are folks staying hydrated in the warm weather.
“We want to make sure people are drinking water. It’s okay to have a good time but make sure you’re mixing some water and getting into some shade throughout the day,” O’Donnell said.
At the end of the day being safe, having fun, and watching your driver take home the winning trophy is all that matters.