25th Annual Fire & Safety Expo and Demolition Derby 

25th Annual Fire & Safety Expo and Demolition Derby 

On Saturday, June 6th crowds gathered at the San Diego County Fair to attend the 25th Annual Fire & Safety Expo and Firefighter Demolition Derby. The day was jam-packed with interactive fire and safety activities for the little ones, dynamic demonstrations and of course, the crowd favorite, the Firefighter Demolition Derby.

The Del Mar Arena was buzzing with excitement especially out at the pits, where bystanders could get an up-close look at all 19 derby cars and meet the fearless firefighter’s who were bravely smashing for cash! Inside the arena, there were a number of educational hands-on exhibits featuring fire safety and prevention. Exhibitionist included Hazmat, SDG&E Mobile Command Center, Fire Safety Trailers, Southwestern College, UC Regional Burn Center and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

At 12:00noon the fun really begun as Dave Stall, long-time derby Emcee and KUSI’s “The Car Guy”, helped kick off the festivities with the entrance of the Burn Run Parade of Fire Engines and Apparatus. Lights were flashing and sirens were blaring as over 30 vehicles drove through the Fair getting everyone’s attention!

Next, it was time to see which customized clunkers would be moving on from their initial heat to the main derby event. All 19 derby cars from 15 various fire agencies competed head-to-head for the coveted Steven Brucker Memorial Award. The teams worked long and hard to prepare for the big day. Preparations included getting a car donated, reconstructing the car to fit official derby safety standards and we can’t forget, perfecting the outer paint job! (This year’s “Best in Show” went to the number 38 American Flag car from Bonita) Each team is asked to raise at least $1,000 in sponsorship as the entry fee to the derby–these proceeds help support programs and services provided by the Burn Institute. Some teams raised upwards of $5,000!

Derby heats 1, 2 and 3 advanced 6 cars into the final round, leaving the other the 13 cars to fight for a spot in the finals during the last chance qualifiers. After two LCQs, we had our final 10 cars that would be advancing to the main event. Engines were roaring and the crowd was electric as cars were being smashed, crashed and eliminated one by one. In the end, it came down to an epic battle between the Santee and Lakeside. In the end, Lakeside’s rookie driver Patrick Sellers walked away as the champion, Santee’s Adam Daniels took second, and Brandon Massey from Viejas took third.

Thank you to the following departments and drivers for putting time and effort to this year’s Demolition Derby: Bonita, Bonita-Sunnyside, Camp Pendelton, Coronado, Escondido, Heartland Fire & Rescue (3 cars entered), Imperial Beach, Imperial Beach Lifeguards, Lakeside, National City, Oceanside, San Diego Fire-Rescue (2 cars entered), Santee, Viejas (2 cars entered).

In between all the derby action Chula Vista Police K-9 Unit, Pala Fire and Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection put on some dynamic displays, including K-9 attack demos, extinguishing a live vehicle fire and the “Jaws of Life” extraction of Del Mar Fairgrounds GM, Tim Fennell.

We would not be able to put on this amazing event without the support of our generous sponsors. Many thanks to San Diego City Fire Fighters Local 145, Viejas, AMR, SDG&E, Fire Etc. and Horn Auto.


$1,000 +

Gene Townsend Auto Body,  National City Host Lions Club, Highway 67 Truck Dismantlers, Pacific Signs, Accounting Pro Solutions LLC, BodyWorks Collision, Inc., Gorilla Movers LLC, North County EVS, RPL Electric, San Diego Firefighters Federal Credit Union, Sharp Memorial Hospital, Tom Moynahan, Woof ‘n Rose Winery


Eastbound Bar & Grill, Western Towing, Lakeside Fire Union L4488, Leslie Deese, Mercy Air – Air Methods, Westflex, Inc., Lake Elsinore Moose Lodge


Canyon Rim Children’s Center, Inc., A & B Saw & Lawnmower Shop, Bridgestone, California Bank & Trust, Escondido Firefighters Association, Girl Scout Troop 5306, Handy Metal Mart, Hilberto’s Inc., Inmar Marine Group, M. L. Larson Construction, Inc., Municipal Emergency Services, National City Mile of Cars, North County Ford, Optimist Club of Lakeside, San Diego Fireman’s Relief Association, Union Bank, Vince Dusters


California Health & Safety Inc, Camp Pendleton Fire Fighters, Eileen Lindquist, FireHouse Boards, J & G Garage, SA Recycling, Nicky Rotten’s Bar & Burger, Bill’s Mobile Auto Repair, Detail Supply Plaza, King Stahlman Bail Bonds, Ones and Zeros Communications, Alpine Ace Hardware, Bay Park Fish Co., BMW of El Cajon, Buffy Briggs, Bullpen Bar Grill, California Bank & Trust, Clayton’s Coffee Shop, Dispatch Transportation, Dudek, Estates Tree Service, Grammy Joan, Greek Village Grill, Hi-Performance Machine & Metals, Home Bank, Hook Family, I.B. Printing
Joe Lavigne, K Pasta, KTA Construction, Inc., Left Coast Printing Pros, McKee Properties, Mossy Nissan Oceanside, National City Firefighters’ Association, Pauley Equipment Co., Primary Residential Mortgage, Rev Moto Industries, Riley Care, Roncelli Plastics Inc., Snapp and Associates, Snipes-Dye Association, Sparkys Transmission, State Farm, The Compass, Tipton Honda, Welter Electric Contracting, Wizdom Racing

Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection | Photo by: Ray White The Champion | Photo by: Ray White  Best in Show | Photo by: Ray White

Burn Institute v. Santee Photo Credit: Ray WhiteLakeside v. Viejas Photo Credit: Ray White

Heartland v. Oceanside Photo Credit: Ray White