May 28, 2014, 6:49 PM EDT
Because of their celebrity and popularity, NASCAR drivers get to do some really cool things when they’re away from the racetrack.
But NASCAR star Kasey Kahne got to do a really hot thing Wednesday when he took a crash course – no racing pun intended – in fire fighting and rescue techniques at the New Hampshire Fire Academy in Concord, N.H.
Our good friend, Boston Globe sportswriter Mike Vega, was on hand when Kahne took part in the event to help promote the July 13 Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which will be dedicated to first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice, being killed while doing their job.
Those first responders include Brentwood, N.H. police officer Stephen Arkell, who was shot and killed last week while responding to a domestic dispute (and resulting house fire and explosion) that received national attention.
Also slated to be honored at the race will be Boston Fire Dept. Lt. Joe Walsh and firefighter Mike Kennedy, who were tragically killed in a blaze on March 26.
Kahne was presented with a custom-made fire helmet emblazoned with his name and title of honorary fire marshal. He then donned regulation fire fighter’s gear and went through a number of scenarios that may have been the first time for him, but are what regular firefighters go through routinely in the course of their jobs.
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