Tag Archives: Speedway Fire-Rescue

Davenport couple, volunteer firefighters, were injured and have suffered a huge loss in a house fire

Scott&Karry BohannonThis is a news release I was honored to issue Sept. 12 on behalf of Speedway Fire-Rescue regarding two members of the service, Scott and Karry Bohannan, who lost everything in a house fire. (The photo is of Scott and Karry) Thanks to Karri Coyne and her helpers for organizing some fundraisers for the Bohannans and for supplying me with all of the information ~ Phil

Davenport, Iowa (Sept. 12, 2015) — Two longtime Speedway Fire-Rescue (SFR) volunteer firefighters, a husband and wife who have protected and aided hundreds of area racing competitors and Quad City Air Show participants over the years, now need some help themselves.

Scott Bohannan, SFR’s president, and his wife Karry, SFR’s treasurer, were hospitalized with smoke inhalation and suffered a huge loss when their portion of a duplex they lived in with their son Brent at 3rd and Oak in Davenport burned Sunday night, Sept. 6. The Bohannans, who have now been released from the hospital, were able to get out of the house with just the clothes on their backs.

Now their fellow SFR members and others are organizing some benefits for the Bohannans:

1) SFR members will sell 50-50 tickets and/or accept cash donations to benefit the couple at upcoming stock car races they cover.

2) SFR and the Lil’ Racer Car Club Inc. are jointly holding a benefit from 2-7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17, at Checkers Bar and Grill, 3120 6th St. S.W., Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There will be a live auction, silent auction, raffles, 50/50 drawings, a dunk tank and more. A live deejay, Tony Ginther’s Code 3 Productions, will provide music. SFR is asking for donations of any kind, whether they be for the Bohannans personally or to be raffled or auctioned off at the benefit. Items could include autographed race car door skins, T-shirts, hats and koozies. You may contact the following individuals to donate:

Karri Coyne — Davenport area (563) 370-6446
Sarah Slade — Iowa City area (319) 331-5065
Jessica Jungling/Eric Jungling — Cedar Rapids area (319) 210-3422/(319) 560-1156
Molly Ginther — Dubuque area (563) 580-5790

3) SFR and Mitch Swinton, with Lil’ Racer Car Club, are making Yankee Dirt Track Classic hats to sell for $15 each at Farley Speedway during their 38th annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic. All of the proceeds from the hat sales will go to Scott and Karry Bohannan and their family. Hats will be available throughout the Yankee Dirt Track Classic. There are several different styles: farmer style with four panel vents and a plastic adjustable strap, all in navy blue; and baseball style with a cloth adjustable back, in black and red; and the fitted style S/M and L/XL, in black.

4) SFR has arranged for The Family Credit Union to accept monetary donations for the Bohannans by mail at any of the following locations:

1530 W. 53rd St., Davenport, Iowa 52806
1400 Rockingham Road, Davenport, Iowa 52802
2238 Jersey Ridge Road, Davenport, Iowa 52807

Please make all checks payable to the Bohannan Family Benefit or the Bohannan Family.

5) SFR is collecting clothing for the Bohannans and their son Brent. Sizes for Scott: men’s XL or XXL shirts, 38×34 jeans and 2XL jogging pants; For Karry: women’s medium or large shirts and size 7 pants; For Brent: men’s large shirts and 32 pants (longs). Call Karri Coyne for more information: (563) 370-6446.

SFR is a non-profit 501C3 organization based in Davenport. Roughly 50 volunteers, who are trained in firefighting, vehicle extrication and emergency medical service, serve at a drag strip and more than half a dozen auto race tracks in eastern Iowa and western Illinois each year from April through October. They also work at the annual Quad City Air Show each year in Davenport.


For more information, contact: SFR Capt. Karri Coyne, at (563) 370-6446, or at or

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Tags: , ,

Racers practice. Why not speedway firefighters?

Gil Short founded SFR in 1966. The following photos, all by Phil Roberts, are from the group's March 2010 training seminar.

Race drivers appreciate getting some practice laps at the beginning of the racing season. After all, you can get a little rusty over a long winter. Speedway safety crews, like those with Iowa-based Speedway Fire-Rescue (SFR), also brush up on their skills annually before the green flag waves.

Based in Davenport, Iowa, SFR was established in 1966 by Gil Short, who is still the chief of the all-volunteer group that serves ovals, drag strips and an air show in eastern Iowa and western Illinois. One weekend each March, SFR holds a two-day training conference open to motorsports firefighters, rescuers, medics, officials and anyone else who wants to attend.

“I think the biggest reason that we do this is to kind of bring the focus into what actually needs to happen during a situation at any motorsports event,” said SFR Assistant Chief Scott Bohannon.

“We gain knowledge so our crews can go out there and take care of themselves and the drivers.”

Bohannon, along with SFR Staff Sgt. Karri Coyne, training coordinator, and Don Christison, training officer, organized this year’s training, which took place at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport.

For a nominal fee, the students, both men and women, most of whom are with SFR, receive both classroom and hands-on training.

Classroom topics include lessons in leadership; rescue tool procedures; appropriate protective gear; head and neck support (HANS) device procedures; flagging, officiating, promoting and insurance principles; media relations; crowd control; assisting ambulance personnel; and tow truck assistance.

The hands-on training deals with racecar designs and safety, helicopter and ambulance awareness, specialized extrication tools and fire extinguishers. There are also rollover, extrication and car fire scenarios plus a mass casualty scenario.

Bohannon said safety is a primary focus of the annual training, which has taken place for decades. “We all work together as a team, and everybody has to work together safely.”

This year, three firefighters – Gene Grueschow, Ryan Gonsior and Lisa Vandermark – all from different departments in Minnesota, attended the conference.

They do speedway fire-rescue work, said Grueschow, “for multiple clubs at some of the race tracks up in Minnesota.”

He said the trio learned about the SFR session through the group’s Web site. “This was the closest training session. It offered pretty much the training that we were looking for. It’s been great.”

Bohannon said the training has paid off. He said SFR volunteers have used fire extinguisher and extrication principles, for example, many times.

“The extrications we’ve had to do on multiple occasions. I’m very glad this training does the extrication scenarios because, in the heat of the moment, we’re able to do what we’ve learned.”

Copyright 2010 by Phil Roberts, Creative Enterprises. This article appeared in the June 2010 issue of Late Model Illustrated.

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 4, 2010 in Uncategorized


Tags: ,

Thanks SFR for the Tod Brinkman Memorial Award

Many thank-you speech as SFR Board president Scott Bohannon (left) and founder and Chief Gil Short look on. (Picture This Photos)

My thank-you speech as SFR Board president Scott Bohannon (left) and founder and Chief Gil Short look on. (Picture This Photos)

Steve Donovan initiated the award I'm holding. (Picture This Photos)

With my wife Sherry. (Picture This Photos)

My heartfelt thanks go out to Speedway Fire-Rescue of the Quad-Cities for naming me the 2010 recipient of the Tod Brinkman Memorial Award last Saturday night (Feb. 20) at their annual awards banquet at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa.

I have long supported SFR in many ways and have been an honorary member since 1995. I emceed their banquet Saturday like I do each year.

The Brinkman Award goes annually to someone who has been a longtime supporter of motorsports. Each year’s award winner is a surprise until the award is presented, so I was shocked to hear my name called.

Steve Donovan and Rick Stone, who co-hosted the “Around the Track” program until a couple of years ago on a Davenport radio station, originated the Tod Brinkman Memorial Award in honor of their late friend.

Tod was a Quad-Cities Late Model race driver who died suddenly on March 5, 2003, of a medical problem at the too-young age of 36. A copy of his obituary follows. It will give you a real sense of who Tod was and why he is so fondly remembered and missed by so many.

SFR, whose members themselves received the Brinkman Award in 2007 from Donovan and Stone, have taken over presenting it annually since “Around the Track” went off the air. But Steve Donovan was at the banquet Saturday, said I was deserving and congratulated me. That meant a lot.

I’m as proud as can be of receiving the award. People who work in motorsports aren’t accustomed to winning awards from racers. This season will mark my 35th consecutive season of announcing weekly races and writing about racers in trade papers and publications like Late Model IllustratedStock Car Racing, FasTrack and NASCAR Magazine. In all those years, my only other award of note was the Quad-Cities Racing Connection’s 2001 Oscar Award for “outstanding support and contribution to auto racing.” So the Brinkman Award is special.

I’m afraid I rambled a bit Saturday in my thank-you speech. But here are several points I hope I made:

1) Race drivers and their crews are wonderful people. I count many of them among my most treasured friends. While drivers are quite competitive on the speedway, most are very kind and even generous when they’re not behind the wheel. Many times I’ve seen drivers loan one of their spare engines to another driver against whom they’re competing in a tight points battle so the driver with the blown engine doesn’t have to park his car for the night.

2) The volunteers of Speedway Fire-Rescue are a trained, dedicated group of people who provide a valuable service — risking their own well-being to keep everyone safe at the race track — and they do it for free. How great is that? I’m honored to be in their company.

3) There is no finer honor than being recognized by your peers. Thank you!

Like I later joked with some folks Saturday night, I’m not sure I deserve the Tod Brinkman Memorial Award. But I’m not giving it back!


Tod Brinkman’s obituary

Services for Tod W. Brinkman, 36, of Rock Island, are 10 a.m. Saturday at Trimble Funeral Home, Moline. The Rev. Joseph Robb will officiate.

Burial is in Riverside Cemetery, Moline. Visitation is 3 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Quad City Animal Welfare Center or A-1 Fire and Rescue (now known as Speedway Firer-Rescue).

God called Tod into heaven on Wednesday, March 5, 2003, when he died suddenly at Trinity Medical Center, Rock Island, with his loving family by his side.

Tod William Brinkman was born June 29, 1966, in Moline, the son of William and Rosalie Erickson Brinkman. He married Susan Gnatovich on March 7, 2000, in Las Vegas, Nev.

Tod was a man with unyielding talents, a fun loving, energetic, caring generous man. Among his favorite lines were, “There was not anybody I cannot get along with” and “It doesn’t have to be this hard.” His bright light is now shining in heaven, and he will be greatly missed and never forgotten by so many.

He was a talented, avid golfer, a member of Pinnacle Golf Club, and traveled the world as a professional caddy on the PGA Tour from 1987 to 1995. He loved to race the late-model dirt-track circuit, traveling to many tracks. NASCAR was his life — he never missed a race, and was a Daytona 500 enthusiast.

He was a member of Davenport Moose Lodge 28, where he was looking forward to working with the Special Olympics. He was a devoted Iowa Hawkeye and Pittsburgh Steelers fan. He loved spending time with his friends. He especially enjoyed indoor go-karting with Derek and Denny. He loved when his Grandma Violet made him his special pancakes, and he loved music, dancing, sports, shoes, and a good haircut.

Tod is survived by his wife, Susan; his parents, Bill and Rosalie; brothers, Kyle, Smyrna, Ga., and Scot and his wife, Kelly, Rock Island; grandparents, Hiram and Violet Erickson, Moline; uncle and aunt, Randy and Cindy Erickson; and cousins, Kristy and Lynsy Erickson. Tod was preceded in death by his lovely sister, Wendy, and his beloved grandparents, Elmer and Dorothea Brinkman.


1 Comment

Posted by on February 24, 2010 in Uncategorized


Tags: , ,