Men's Hockey First Responders FACEOFF The Ohio State University

We worked with Apex Fire Services Apex which provides Central Ohio Fire Fighters with industry leading personal protective equipment care and maintenance and keeps first responders safe while on and off the job to be the presenting sponsor of this weekend series featuring Ohio State Hockey against Arizona State and also the second annual First Responders Game. Their President Is Don Zender who also serves as the Vice President of our Scarlet Liners Men’s Ice Hockey support group and Don’s and his group’s involvement has been crucial to the success of our annual First Responders Game that takes play after an Ohio State Men’s Ice Hockey game. This year, the game took place on Saturday, January 14 after Ohio State took on Arizona State and features Columbus Police Hockey taking on Columbus Fire Hockey and proceed from ticket sales to a combined ticket for both of these games go to benefit the Get Behind The Badge charity and the International Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation. The Ohio State game and the First Responders Game featured the following elements.

Overall, there were 27 groups that purchased over 1,350 tickets through Apex Fire Services who built a separate website ( to sell tickets to their sponsored game. Their sponsorship was instrumental in making this the best First Responders Game to date for Ohio State Athletics.

The week leading up to this game, Don Zender and Apex Fire Services used their connections to arrange for student-athletes from our Men’s Ice Hockey team to visit the Columbus Fire Academy and the Columbus Police Academy to learn more about what they do and also to interact with members from each of their hockey teams. Photos and videos from this visit were used to promote these games further.

Ohio State/Apex Fire Services Game Elements

Pre-game there was an interactive display of emergency vehicles, fire apparatus, SWAT vehicles, K9 and horse mounted patrol as well as First Responder personnel.

A knocker ball soccer game at an Ohio State intermission featuring members of the Columbus Fire Hockey team against the Columbus Police Hockey team to promote and encourage fans to stay after the game for the First Responders game.

A ceremonial puck drop performed by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad robot during the Ohio State game.

First Responders/Apex Fire Services Game Elements

The Columbus Police & Fire Pipes & Drums performed with the Ohio State Band during the period between the Ohio State and First Responders game to entertain fans.

A remembrance video was created by Apex Fire Services that served as a tribute video all of those First Responders across Ohio who made the ultimate sacrifices and loss their lives while protecting and serving those in our communities.

A puck drop was performed by Columbus Firefighter Mark Rine. In 2012, Mark was diagnosed with stage 4 Melanoma and is the Director of the non-profit Skin Love foundation that provides education and training to firefighters in an effort to prevent cancer. Mark has been instrumental in getting Ohio Senate Bill 27 passed, a law that provides Ohio firefighters medical and pension coverage if they are diagnosed with cancer from their career as a firefighter.

There were raffle tickets sold by Apex Fire Services throughout the First Responders Game for prizes and proceeds benefitted the Get Behind The Badge charity and the International Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation.

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