FIREGROUND MANAGEMENT & ACCOUNTABILITY >>>
By BILL WADE
Protecting the Super Bowl:
Tampa Fire Rescue
When a Community Hosts the Super Bowl, the Game Is Just One Consideration
hose who have not hosted a Super Bowl may tell you, “It’s just a foot-
ball game.” But ask anyone in a community that has hosted America’s
unofficial holiday, the Super Bowl, and they will tell you it’s a plan-
ning-intensive, security-driven super event.
When a community hosts the Super The last time Tampa, FL, hosted a Su-
Bowl, the football game is just one con- per Bowl was in January 2001. There was a
sideration. There are many high-profile significant security presence in 2001, but
events throughout the community that nothing that compares with the magnitude
attract large numbers of people. Some are of a post-9/11 Super Bowl. Working with- Tampa Fire Rescue Assistant Chief of Opera-
high-price, exclusive-access events for ce- in the demands for heightened security, tions Scott Ehlers, left, and Rescue Chief Nick
lebrities, athletes and entertainers. Other Tampa Fire Rescue worked for two years Locicero monitor activities during game day
events are held more for the community gearing up to provide fire suppression, fire from the unified command post.
and families such as the NFL Experience prevention, EMS and hazardous materials
(NFL-X), a carnival-like football interac- protection and response plans for Super shal’s Office worked continuously with
tive attraction. Bowl XLIII. This premiere American builders, developers and event planners
sports event was hosted by Tampa for the who were looking forward to providing
BILL WADE is a captain and spokesperson for Tampa, fourth time on Feb. 1, 2009. venues for activities to entertain all the
FL, Fire Rescue and has been in the fire and emergency In addition to providing fire-EMS and visitors who would flock to the big game.
medical services since 1973. He has been a firefighter, hazmat emergency response, Tampa Fire The work demands increased significantly
paramedic, tactical medic and hazardous materials techni-
cian. Wade has a bachelor’s degree in education from the Rescue divisions include the City Emer- during the weeks leading up to the game,
University of South Florida and is certified as a Florida gency Management office and the Fire as requests for temporary permits, large-
Professional Emergency Manager. Marshal’s Office. During the months lead- tent permits and place-of-assembly per-
ing up to the Super Bowl, the Fire Mar- mits flooded in.
96 Firehouse ®