Brave Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department Members Include NFL Alumni
Chaz Schilens, Marcus Tucker and Matt Shaughnessy (left to right)
NFL alumni Chaz Schilens and Matt Shaughnessy are young men who already are active in their post-NFL careers.
The two individuals played three years (2009-11) together with the Raiders and both knew that civil service was in their future.
Schilens, 34, and Shaughnessy, 33, now work in the Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department as do former Cardinals guard Mark Tucker and Steelers Super Bowl XLIII cornerback Roy Lewis.
“It was something I was interested in since I was a kid,” says Shaughnessy who grew up in Connecticut. “I lived right down the street from the Norwich Central Fire Station and walked by it every time I went to the YMCA.”
Schilens, a California native, says the similarities between football and firefighting are many.
“You never know day to day what to expect,” Schilens explains. “It’s like playing a different opponent each week. You must be ready for any situation. Finding the best way to attack it and knowing exactly what u have to do to be successful is key, especially these days on an EMS call for a COVID-19 patient.”
The fire personnel regularly discuss at the station house the various incidents they handle as a form of group therapy, but the COVID-19 pandemic has added a tremendous amount to their workload.
“The symptoms are what you read every day,” says Schilens. “Elevated temperature, difficulty breathing, extended coughing and it does seem to affect elderly patients a lot.”
Shaughnessy says there are no short cuts to COVID-19 calls.
“If it’s a COVID-19 situation,“ he explains, “we make sure we are wearing all our PPEs…gowns, masks, gloves, eye protection and we put a mask on the patient so they can’t spread it anymore. Finally, when you transport them, we make sure to decontaminate everything so we’re not bringing the virus back into the station.”
Our NFL brothers in the Phoenix Fire Department fought many battles on the field during their football days. However, nothing was life & death like the responsibilities they have now. We wish them strength and safe days both on the job and at home with their families.