NASCAR Parking Pros Rev Up for Anti-terrorism Training

NASCAR Security Recommends Race Tracks Gear Up to Take First Observer Training Developed for Homeland Security with IPI's Help

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Helen Sullivan
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FREDERICKSBURG, VA - February 15, 2011 - NASCAR's managing director of security, Gerald Cavis, U.S. Secret Service (Ret.),  has recommended that security and other staff at all NASCAR track facilities participate in the First Observer™ parking-specific, anti-terrorism training program that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration developed in partnership with the International Parking Institute.  The NASCAR Season begins this weekend with the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway at 1 pm on Feb 20.

Cavis explains:  "I have encouraged all NASCAR track facility security directors to take advantage of this outstanding grant-funded program to train their stadium staff.  I also discussed First Observer at our annual NASCAR summit in Concord, North Carolina, in January. With First Observer, each of our track security directors and staff will have the opportunity to build their skills to detect crimes, safety violations and terrorist threats.  As a result, they will be better prepared to keep NASCAR fans safe."

According to Cavis, if you include NASCAR's three major racing series, the Sprint Cup, the Nationwide and the Camping World Truck series, the combined security personnel impact more than 100 events at more than 30 track facilities nationwide.

The First Observer training program, which is entirely funded by the federal government and available at no cost, trains parking professionals to address five critical security areas: on-street, surface parking lots, garages/decks, special events, and shuttle operations. First Observers recognize and report potential threats using a concise, accurate and simple communications process.

Funded by the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), First Observer was developed with the help of the International Parking Institute (IPI), the largest trade association of the parking industry.  The program supports the National Preparedness Guidelines of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  IPI was recently named by TSA as their Partner of the Year.

"IPI is pleased to help bring the First Observer program to NASCAR's facilities," says IPI's Executive Director Shawn Conrad, CAE.  "First Observer enables NASCAR track facility officials to enhance their collective anti-terrorism efforts and help ensure an enjoyable, safe experience for NASCAR fans." 

More information on the training is available on IPI's Web site at  Organizations that want to schedule a free training session may contact IPI deputy director Henry Wallmeyer at or 540.371.7535, ext. 21.

About The International Parking Institute
Founded in 1962, the International Parking Institute is the largest trade association representing the parking industry. Members include professionals from cities, port authorities, civic centers, academic institutions, hospitals, airports, theme parks, corporate complexes, race tracks, transit and transportation agencies, convention and sports centers, architects, engineers, financial consultants, urban planners, commercial parking operators and suppliers of equipment, products and services to the parking and transportation industry.

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