Project image
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$377
pledged of $8,500pledged of $8,500 goal
7
backers
19days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, September 12 2019 4:02 PM UTC +00:00.

$377
pledged of $8,500pledged of $8,500 goal
7
backers
19days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, September 12 2019 4:02 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Welcome to Fireground on Kickstarter! 

 A Card Game Created By a Firefighter About Firefighting & Rescue  

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When our pagers and boxes go off, it could be for any emergency you can imagine and for anyone who needs help ~~ a structure fire - a snowmobile rider who has fallen through ice on our lake ~ a car accident ~ a neighbor experiencing a heart attack ~ a missing hunter ~ and even a hazardous material spill on a highway.

As you would expect, because we handle a wide range of fire, rescue and medical emergencies, First Responders need to know a huge amount of information to be effective and to reduce our own risks. 

So, how do firefighters and rescuers manage to learn everything they need to know? 

We attend classes.  Below are materials from a Hazardous Materials refresher class. A Bleve is a Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion!     

And we drill and practice every month. What do we drill on? 

We drill on Everything!

The list is never-ending, and we try to cover as many topics at the skill levels of our recruits and volunteers. Most of our drills focus on what everyone prefers -- hands-on training with equipment -- which lets us adapt the drill for the new member (probie), the mid-level, and the veteran (salty) firefighter.         

Sometimes, though, the weather forces us to drill indoors, 

 -- and whether it is in the forecast or is unexpected, tough weather makes it hard to create a challenging drill for everyone on the team. 

How do you teach new firefighters basic concepts and universal principles about firefighting and rescue, and at the same time, give the seasoned members enough of a challenge on their more advanced and technical skills while indoors?          

 Concept and Development  

Over time, I began researching all the different topics I had heard about in my classes and read about online and in fire and rescue magazines. This material became the starting point for a different type of indoor drill. This idea of an indoor drill evolved into a wide-ranging and challenging question game that I named "Fireground."

So, exactly what is "Fireground?"  

Fireground is a 430-card game intended for firefighters and rescuers and anyone interested in learning about the fire and emergency service. There are 400 question, 6 knot tying, and 24 strategy cards.  Most questions are multiple choice, but a few are true/false questions. 

Fireground challenges players to think critically about: 

  • how to perform firefighting and rescue skills correctly, 
  • why we perform those skills a certain way,                                       
  • when we should perform those skills, 
  •  and what we should do when things go wrong.

 Let me tell you a little more about Fireground and why you might want to back it.  

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Next, I'll show you how Fireground ran like a Dalmation from concept to research ~ to writing ~ to editing ~ to artwork ~ to proofing ~ to finger-crossing until it became a reality.    

As you might expect, Fireground did not happen overnight.

It took two years of research .... on nights and weekends .... just to find general topics .... and then to narrow them down to specific points that are important for what we do: save lives and conserve property ....   

 .... and even more time to learn how to write questions in a series of drafts .... edit, write, edit, write, edit, write, and then divide the questions into three levels of difficulty -- green-, yellow-, red-helmet -- sort, sort, and sort some more until I had 400 questions, copied and pasted in a game-playable order on 100+ pages.     

400 Question Cards     

Six Knot Cards  

Knot cards, if drawn, will earn points for players who tie them and the safety knots correctly. As you might expect, points are deducted for tying either the knot or the safety knot incorrectly. If you have players who are proficient at knot-tying, make it harder for them - with gloves on, in under 10 seconds, with eyes closed or hands under a table. All these rules can be modified for your players and your teams.    

I tied six knots we commonly use in the fire service and took photos of them. Here is a Figure Eight on a Bight in my photo and how it is depicted on a Knot card.     

 What came next? 

When Fireground had 400 questions, I vetted and quadruple-checked each answer with fire instructors and known, accepted resources. It would pass OSHA and NFPA testing, but I wanted it to have more.  I added some Strategy and the training tool became a game with 24 Strategy Cards! 

24 Strategy Cards    

I took more photographs of what I envisioned these cards would represent, and the artist at Breaking Games understood what I imagined and produced these awesome game cards.

One of the biggest problems was not being a graphic artist myself.  I needed to find someone who grasped the tenor of the subject -- professional, somewhat serious, and not too cartoon/comic type.  Following my photographs and a lot of emails, the artist succeeded in doing this in an awesome way with the Florian Cross everywhere.   

 However, not every Mutual Aid card can be played at any time. 

  •  A Mutual Aid card with a green helmet can only pass on a green-helmet question.    
  •  A Mutual Aid card with a yellow helmet can only pass on a green-helmet or a yellow-helmet question. 
  •  A Mutual Aid card with a red helmet can pass on any card, whether a green-helmet, yellow-helmet or red-helmet question. 

And if a player uses a Mutual Aid card to pass a question to an opponent, the opponent can use a playable Mutual Aid card, if held, to pass it back. 

The next two types of cards  are simple, but can change the game completely on missed opportunity and lost points.    

Professional Artwork and Production

I love the artwork!  As I said earlier, the artist who worked with me on this caught the exact feeling I wanted to convey.

The colors, the theme, the connection drawn among all the cards and the box - all professional and understated. Thank you, Breaking Games!      

 St. Florian is the patron saint of firefighters.  

 This is the shape of the "Florian Cross." You've seen it more times than you think on a lot of fire service products and badges.   

You can find the Florian Cross woven in the artwork for Fireground 

  • for the letter "o" in "Fireground" 
  • on the back of the card as a shield for the advancing firefighter
  • on the Strategy cards in both a muted and clear form
  • marking the answer choices - A, B, C, D
  • introducing the training motto on the box 
  •  stamped behind the helmets on the cards     

So, Again, You Might Ask "Why Back Fireground on Kickstarter?"

Let's look at some statistics. 

(Nothing like stats to stop the upward curve of interest here, but you'll see -- they are amazing.) 

Did you know that in New York State alone, there are 1,754 fire companies and approximately 110,000 volunteer firefighters? No kidding.   

 Here is something else you probably don't know --- 

 Volunteers Save $3 billion/year! In New York State alone! 

FASNY (Firemen's Association of the State of New York) commissioned a report on the economic impact volunteer firefighters make in New York State. The report, released in 2016, showed that volunteers save the State $3 billion every year! And this number does not include what it would cost to hire and equip them.  

Volunteers saving money is probably true in every state in the country! 

 That’s incredible, isn’t it?  

So, by supporting Fireground, you would be helping -

Your First Responders!  

Helping us to make Fireground available to all our firefighters would provide them with a new and different way to drill for a variety of emergencies, allowing them to gain knowledge and add skills to be better and safer at what they do.  

With a few boxes of games, we went to the NYSAFC Fire Expo 2019 in June and were amazed at how excited people were about Fireground. We now need more games made for more firehouses and fire families...and everyone else interested in the fire and rescue services.    

Everyone who lives in your district and Beyond! 

Making Fireground available to your First Responders could make them more skillful at protecting and helping your friends, neighbors, and other people you don't know, who are having one of their worse days.          

Now that you know about the game and how it can be used, would you consider helping us make it available to more Firefighters and Rescuers? 

Please say "Yes!" and check out our Backer Levels and Rewards.

REMEMBER that if you give at a backer level where you get Fireground as a reward and you don't think you will be playing it, you can DONATE the game to your local firehouse [usually a recognized charity] or GIVE it to a First Responder friend ... or First Responder stranger [who also will appreciate the gesture]!  

For our $10+ Spanner Wrench Level Backers, there is no physical reward, but we extend our profound gratitude for believing in us and our mission. 

For our $25+ Radio Level Backers, 

 -- you will receive a customized Fireground lunge headband/bandana and our appreciation for your support in helping this project!  

Here is the Fireground lunge headband/bandana in black. Wear it hiking, working, boating, skiing. Wear it under your cap, your helmet or by itself.  

For our $40+ SCBA Level Backers, 

-- you will receive the 430-card Fireground game!  

For our $75+ "Irons" Level Backers, 

-- you will receive a customized 2 1/4" Fireground challenge coin bottle opener [below are my proofs], 

and a 430-card Fireground game!

For our $100+ Deck Gun Level Backers, 

-- you will receive a customized Fireground lunge headband/bandana, a customized Fireground challenge coin bottle opener, and a 430-card Fireground game!   

 For our $150+ Aerial Ladder Level Backers,    

 -- you will receive a customized Fireground beanie cap,  

-- a customized Fireground challenge coin bottle opener, and the 430-card Fireground game!

Pledge Fulfillment

We intend to fulfill our sponsorship rewards by May 2020. We are working with four great companies to make sure we have enough Fireground games and customized lunge headbands/bandana, beanie caps and challenge coin bottle openers to meet our expected demand. 

     Why We Needed to Limit Pledges 

Although we wanted to open this campaign to everywhere in the world, we discovered that some countries prohibit the import of playing cards (we don't want to challenge their definition) and others require certain certifications for clothing items (headband/bandana and beanie). So, we very reluctantly decided to make it simple and limit shipping to only a few countries. We are disappointed that we needed to do this, but hope that our friends in the fire service around the world will understand

Estimated Shipping Costs

We have estimated shipping costs and customs fees, where they apply, for both the United States and International Backers. These will be borne by our backers, so please factor this cost into your pledge.  

Shipping For the $25.00+ Radio Level Reward [lunge headband/bandana] Will Be As Follows: 

  • in the US   - $5.00; 
  • to Puerto Rico - $5.00;
  • to Canada - $5.00; 
  • to Mexico -  $5.00; 
  • to the UK  -  $6.00.

Shipping For All Other Backer Level Rewards, including customs fees where applicable, Will Be As Follows: 

  • in the US   - $16.00; 
  • to Puerto Rico - $16.00
  • to Canada - $38.00; 
  • to Mexico -  $45.00; 
  •  to the UK  - $49.00.   

I hope you are inspired to help me make more games available to more First Responders!  Maybe even to become a volunteer yourself!  

 As a final good-bye, here is a six-second-clip from a practice video that has a tiny bit of Humming Magic in it.  Good Karma?  I hope so!  Please play and enjoy!

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Stay Safe and Thank you! 

Risks and challenges

Risks and Challenges that I Overcame in Creating Fireground ~

1. No One Has Created a Game Like This Before.
This is a first. It was reported to me that a nationally-known instructor called this the "future" of fire service. How cool is that? But, before hearing that, I had no idea if it would work, if it would be taken seriously, if I could even complete it, and if I could learn about the game production business. I believed in this idea enough to risk pushing forward and loaning money to create a small run of games to try Fireground out at the NYSAFC Fire Expo. Firefighters, usually a tough crowd, jumped on the idea. Fireground passed the test. And now I want to produce more games and offer it at more expos and shows.

2. I needed to find a graphic artist who understood the seriousness of the subject matter, but who could convey a fun-like, game feeling to the cards and the play.
There are a lot of talented artists who can draw cool mythical creatures, cartoon art, and fantastical heroes, but I needed someone who could translate reality into a brand that would appeal to a lot of different people -- some who ordinarily may not even be board game or card game players -- and yet be artsy and awesome at the same time. I finally found that great combination in an artist at Breaking Games who captured what I envisioned Fireground to be!

My Current Challenge ~

1. I need to persuade people who might not be in the fire or rescue service to back Fireground.
I've thought long and hard about this because this is not your typical game that every board game geek is waiting impatiently to play. For many potential backers, who are not First Responders themselves, this might really be a test of your altruism. Yes, for most levels of backing, you will get a reward. But is that going to be enough to excite you into backing Fireground? There are some really fantastic games on Kickstarter, with super cool graphic pages and 3-D tokens and masterful boards and pieces. Fireground is a simpler game and is putting it all out there on this page, hoping enough of you are convinced of its purpose and goals to click on a backer level to help make it happen.

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    Spanner Wrench Level – No Reward

    Congratulations! You have given a donation at the Spanner Wrench Level. A spanner wrench is an indispensable tool on the fireground. It’s what firefighters use to tighten couplings that join sections of large diameter hose (LDH) or connect LDH to the firetruck valves. With the amount of water pressure that the hose and couplings undergo when fully charged, any leaks or cross-threads can cause the LDH to violently break apart. Essentially, spanner wrenches are the glue that keeps the water supply together.

    Please accept our utmost gratitude and know you have helped make this game a reality for more firefighters.

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    Radio Level

    Hooray for you! You have given at the Radio Level. As you might expect, nothing on the fireground would happen without radio communication. Incident Command (IC) uses a radio to talk to everyone involved in the chain of command on scene and 911 dispatch. Everyone else ~ water supply command, operations chief, and/or firefighters inside and on the roof of the burning structure ~ uses a radio to talk to IC and each other. Interior firefighters carry a radio inside to report conditions, their location and resource needs, and sometimes, to call a Mayday. How important is that!

    Please accept our thank-you and a customized Fireground lunge headband/bandana.

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    Irons Level

    Wow! Your donation is at the “Irons" level. A set of “Irons” cannot be outdone for versatility and strength on the fireground. They are two tools – a Halligan and a flat-head axe – that are joined or "married" pairs on the rig. They are unparalleled through 80 years of firefighting for chopping, cutting, prying, prodding, ripping, searching and anything else that needs to get done in quick order.

    Here’s to you with much appreciation and a Fireground card game.

    Remember that if you want to pledge but are not a First Responder and won't be playing Fireground, you can always donate this reward to your local fire company, any other charity, or a First Responder friend.

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    SCBA Level

    Super move on your part! Your donation is at the SCBA level. An SCBA is a “Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus” and what a lifesaver it is! It's the harness pack, air cylinder and mask that allow interior firefighters to breathe air while crawling, hauling or searching in the heat and smoke.

    We thank you with a customized Fireground challenge coin bottle opener by Signature Coins and a Fireground card game.

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    Deck-Gun Level

    Too cool for fire school! You have donated at the Deck Gun level! When big water is needed, firefighters go to their engine deck-mounted master stream nozzle and water supply. Firing 500 - 1000 gallons per minute, a deck gun can be aimed at a structure to reach where handlines won’t and an aerial device can’t. It can knock down and cool off a room and contents fire from the outside to make a better environment for firefighters going inside. It is the Big Daddy of rural firefighting. Look at you, Deck Gun donor!

    We thank you with a customized Fireground lunge headband/bandana, a customized Fireground challenge coin bottle opener and a Fireground card game.

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    Aerial Ladder Level

    Whoa! You are way up there! Giving at the Aerial Ladder level lets you climb 125 feet skyward so you can get to a roof or an upper-story window faster and safer than taking the interior stairs. These Aerial Ladders are fantastic for urban and suburban high-rise living because your reach for venting a roof or rescuing a victim is that much longer. Well done, Aerial Ladder donor, and don’t look down!

    We thank you with a customized Fireground beanie cap, a customized Fireground challenge coin bottle opener by Signature Coins, and a Fireground card game.

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