Super Bowl fire chief made right call

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Adam K. Thiel Fire News in Focus
by Adam K. Thiel

Super Bowl fire chief made right call

Hundreds of fans were turned away from Super Bowl XLV because of safety concerns

By Adam K. Thiel

I'm a big football fan and planned to attend this year's Super Bowl until the Chicago Bears' unfortunate loss to that green and yellow team in the NFC Championship.

A few years ago I paid more than I care to remember to attend the Bears vs. Colts Super Bowl game in Miami; it was a great experience, despite the final score.

I can't imagine how it would have felt to make that trip and be denied my designated seat.

But I can absolutely imagine how it would feel to be trapped in a stadium with thousands of fans during an emergency, unable to quickly egress the venue.

If you've attended a professional sporting event lately, you know how tightly the seats are arranged; there's simply no room for error.

It's always a difficult call to deny people in situations like this one, and they're generally not going to (immediately) understand.

At the end of the day, however, they'll be alive; and that's always our principal responsibility.

About the author

With more than two decades in the field, Chief Adam K. Thiel — FireRescue1's editorial advisor — is an active fire chief in the National Capital Region and a former state fire director for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chief Thiel's operational experience includes serving with distinction in four states as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, hazardous materials team leader, paramedic, technical rescuer, structural/wildland firefighter and rescue diver. He also directly participated in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tropical Storm Gaston and Hurricane Isabel.

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