KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Super Bowl LV kicks off, first responders across the Kansas City metro will be cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs.
At Overland Park’s Station 44, crews were cooking and barbecuing all morning in anticipation of Sunday’s game.
“Everyone is looking to the Chiefs playing and absolutely winning,” Lt. Eric Allen said. “Hopefully we can do that safely.”
Even while they’re enjoying the game, crews have to be ready to respond at any moment whether it’s a fire, medical or EMT call. Station 44 is the busiest station in Overland Park.
“We’ve run a few automatic alarms,” Allen said. “We had a house fire not too long ago that we just got back from.”
They’re not the only ones on call during the game. Frontline health care workers also are working during the game.
Diana Richter, a nurse practitioner, and her twin sister Cara Busenhart, a nurse, work at the University of Kansas Health System. They also are lifelong Chiefs fans who grew up watching games with their father.
Three years ago, they started a new tradition.
Every game day they prepared a specialty item. During the 2018 and 2019 seasons, they focused on soups and sandwiches. This season, they focused on dips.
“Even if I was working I would bring a dip with me to enjoy,” Richter said. “We have had a lot of fun with it.”
Richter is an ICU nurse who takes care of COVID-19 patients.
Busenhart is a certified nurse midwife, who also teaches at the Nursing School. She said the Chiefs have helped boost morale during the pandemic.
“It’s so easy to really enjoy the Chiefs, and they’re such great guys,” Busenhart said. “I do think it’s great to have something to cheer and bring us together.”