Tom Woodhams would prefer no spectacular speedway crashes but when they happen he's among those first on the scene.
The volunteer is part of Premier Speedway's crash crew at this weekend's South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic with driver welfare his focus.
"At any incident I'm the first one underneath the car, making sure the driver's awake and talking to me," he said. "I will normally stay with that driver until we get him back on his wheels or or get him out."
Mr Woodhams, who is Warrnambool CFA captain, said volunteering came naturally, following his dad who was the Mortlake CFA captain. "We lived and breathed the fire station and that's just carried on," he said.
He's seen a lot of serious crashes resulting in spinal injuries but not many fires. He said his CFA knowledge helped in the role and his main concern was the driver.
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"There's a couple of others that carry fire extinguishers," he said. "I put my trust in them. If I'm under the car and it doesn't look good they're going to back me up. But I don't even worry about that."
He loves motorsport and has been going to the speedway since he was five when he and his dad would sit on the hill. He later got involved in scrutineering with the late Neville Pike, checking cars before drivers raced.
The 33-year-old has volunteered at the speedway for half his life and enjoys helping out at the largely volunteer-run event.
"I just do my job in the crash crew but there's people at the speedway that put every spare minute of their day, and the time they don't have, into the speedway," he said.
"The grounds crew, Callum Rowe, Ricki Stewart, even Millsy (general manager David Mills) there's lots of people that are out there, day in and day out, that no one sees and their work goes unappreciated a lot of the time."
Warrnambool mayor Richard Ziegeler said the Classic relied on unpaid people.
"We acknowledge the enormous contribution those volunteers make," he said. "It just wouldn't happen without their contribution. We couldn't contemplate having something as large and extensive as the classic, you just couldn't afford to do it. The fact they're there and involved and they love it and they keep coming back and doing it, it's just a lifeblood to a town like Warrnambool."
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