OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On March 20, first responders will face off at Baxter Arena in a hockey game. Firefighter and law enforcement officers will battle, all in good fun, in order to raise money for the First Responders Foundation, which helps those on the front lines along with their families through mental and physical wellness support.
"Right now we exist to provide behavioral and physical support to our first responders. If you really boil it down, what we really want is when someone is at their worst and has to call 911, we want our first responders to be at their very best," Todd Sears, President of the First Responders Foundation said.
Those playing in the game say they're grateful for the foundation and all the work they do. While this is the first year of Guns and Hoses, it's not the first time the two teams will face each other in a rink. The two groups have played an annual hockey game, but it's never been this big.
"We’re just really happy this came together the way it has. We’ve played this game for a lot of years, it’s usually just been friends and family that show up to watch," Chris Sorenson, Assistant Chief of the Council Bluffs Fire Department, said.
The two teams are excited to face off and, while they may be used to working together, that may not be the case come game time.
"Everyone thinks police and fire as having that rivalry and out in the field we work seamlessly together and that doesn’t exist. We come together and get the job done, but when we come out on the ice you do see some of that rivalry heating up and hockey kind of has that culture where whatever happens on the ice stays on the ice. So you’ll see some emotions flair up but at the end of the day everybody’s going to shake hands, pat you on the back and get back out there and work hard for the public," Tom Shaffer, Deputy Chief of Omaha Police Department, said.
Puck drop for the game will be at 3 p.m. on March 20. Doors open at 2 p.m. Tickets are available for the game at firstrespondersfoundation.org