Firefighting: A Super Big Game

That's right folks, it's time to order up the chicken wings, chips, and find the biggest television imaginable to watch the biggest game on the biggest stage. It's Super Bowl time! For many the Super Bowl will be the biggest game of their life, one that they have spent years preparing for. In a way the football format can be applied to the fire service.

Just think about it - we have a general manager (fire chief), a coach (incident commander), a quarterback (line officer), and players (firefighters).

The general manager finds the players, while the coach calls the plays into the quarterback, and the players run the play. Hmmm...this sounds like a well orchestrated game plan to me. Does your fire scene resemble this concept? It should! A successful outcome in a football game uses everyone performing their roles within the broad scheme of the game plan.

You don't see the head coach in the huddle, nor should the incident commander be close to the action area. When was the last time that you saw the head coach under center? His role is on the sideline calling the shots, most times with cue cards helping make those decisions. It's not my area, might need to see Chief Gasaway on that one.

I am not the coach. Sometimes I may be forced into the quarterback role, but not very often. This is just fine with me. How many coaches would love to be playing again? But, also how many of the great coaches were great players when they were playing? I'd say that a lot of them were stand out players on the field. My role in the fire scene is that of the player.

So what kind of player are you on your next fire scene? Are you the all-pro level or an end, guard or tackle? Sitting on the end of the bench, guarding the water bottle, and tackling anyone who touches it? We all should strive to be the all-pro level player on our fire scenes. How we achieve this is learning our trade while listening to instruction and operating under control of our commanders.

Before you can lead you must learn to follow. Before you can coach, you must be a player, so why not be the super star one? With today's technology you can spend hours in the film room watching fires from all over the world. Take the study time into the weight room to perform tasks specific workouts then on to the drill field to prepare yourself for game time because, unlike the Super Bowl, you don't know when you next big game will be, let the preparations start now!

So get in the huddle, pull your helmet on and let's get ready to rumble. Win on, two, three...WIN!

Best of luck to New York and New England....can't wait to see the smack talk on this one. Go get 'em boys!!!!