October 10, 2022

Fire and Football

There seems to be one big connection between fighting fires and football: brotherhood.

Earlier this season a group of Stampeders players went out and spent a day at the firehall.

Shawn Bane Jr. and Nick Statz were a couple of those players and they gained a whole new respect for the fire service while out for the day.

“I loved doing the obstacle course just because I’m competitive,” said Statz. “Guys times went up and you’re trying to beat it and the firefighter I was with said you guys have been killing it, putting on for your city and it was so hard.

“When we were at the end I almost passed out, I was like this is serious. And the guys do it in full gear, I was just in a helmet but it just kind of made me realize how hard the job is.”

Former Stampeder and current fire service member Randy Chevrier notices a few similarities between the two jobs.

“I definitely think coming from football where it’s a high performance job, you’re operating oftentimes under a tremendous amount of pressure and you have to perform,” said Chevrier. “Oftentimes you can’t get it wrong. I think those types of skill transfer over not just to the fire service but all first response.”

Bane Jr. says another similarity between the two worlds is the emphasis on communication.

“They definitely communicate a lot, they’re always on the same page and if they’re not a life is at risk,” Bane Jr. said. “Obviously our job is just a game. The teamwork and how they all take it seriously and how they all come to work everyday ready to be prepared.”

Chevrier, an 11 season CFL vet also says there are things in the fire service that are obviously a little more tough.

“It’s definitely two different worlds, the fire stuff tests your capacity to put yourself in a life and death situation and push through. Many of the things we train for are life and death situations,” said the longtime long snapper. “I would say that when you take the mental and physical preparation it takes to be a firefighter it’s quite grueling and quite intense and the finality of a mistake definitely puts the extra pressure.”

Statz has a brother in the fire service and was asked if maybe he would consider joining after his football playing days are over.

DB Nick Statz dressed in firefighter gear at the firehall.

“I’ve definitely thought about it, even through university it was something I’ve been interested in,” said Statz. “I have some other ideas with what I want to do post-career. I was thinking about chiropractic, medicine, physio, stuff like that but the fire department is something I’ve considered.

“I feel like just the type of work it is, you can be very proud of it and go into work everyday excited kind of like football, you love it.”

When Statz is done extinguishing passes on the field, we may just see the defensive back follow in Chevrier’s footsteps.

In the end the balance between life and death is much different but the two professions have a lot of similarity in the aspects of teamwork and comradery.