Falconer Fire Department, Southern Tier Xpress Exercise Teambuilding

FALCONER – With help from the Falconer Fire Department, Jamestown’s newest hockey team is proving it can hustle on and off the ice.

The Southern Tier Xpress recently teamed up with Falconer Fire Department for a series of team-building, strength, agility and communication exercises. Also participating in the activities were members of the Kennedy and Gerry volunteer fire departments.

The day came together in what Rylan Galiardi, Xpress head coach, called a “unique situation.” He said he had been wanting to do a team-building exercise with the fire department. One day, while walking his dog, Galiardi approached Chris Doverspike, Falconer fire chief, with his idea.

“It was meant to be,” Galiari said. “I spoke to the chief, and we worked it into our schedules.”

Marcus Fosberg, Falconer Fire Department lieutenant, coordinated the activities and played a large role in setting up the exercises.

“It was a group effort,” Fosberg said. “Rylan told us he wanted to do team-building activities that would also help with communication and training, so we came together as a group to decide what stations would be best. This day is really great for morale for all of the fire departments involved, and for the hockey team.”

The stations the hockey players rotated through consisted of a bucket brigade, ladder balance, hose race, stokes basket and tug-of-war. Each station was demonstrated by members of the participating fire departments before being performed by the hockey players, who competed for best time.

“For the bucket brigade, they have to run to fill a 50-gallon bucket with water,” Fosberg said. “They have to transport it from one location to the bucket about 20 feet away, using smaller buckets.”

The ladder balance station consisted of four players carrying a ladder horizontally while balancing a volleyball in the center.

Forwards Curtis Carlson from Lakewood and Cody Maulsby from Clear Lake, Iowa, agreed that the ladder balance helped with communication, as they worked through keeping the volleyball balanced.

“It’s just like you have to know where everyone is together on the ice,” Maulsby said.

The stokes basket was a race, where five team members had to work together to get a dummy strapped to a backboard through a series of obstacles. However, two of the members could only use one arm, while another member was blindfolded.

“This is about teamwork and communication,” said Addison Collins, defenseman from Twinsburg, Ohio. “You have to help your buddy when he is in need.”

“You have to pick him up when he’s down,” added James Collins, forward from Erie, Pennsylvania.

For the tug-of-war, hockey players competed against firefighters and EMTs to show their strength. And, for the hose race, players scrambled to connect a series of hoses, turn on water from a hydrant and spray down a target.

“This whole thing is about teambuilding and bonding,” said defenseman Tim Weisgerber of Cincinnati, Ohio.

“We are trying to show this community we care,” added goaltender Tyler Geloneck from Bellbrook, Ohio. “We want to show them support, just like we know they will show us support.”

Although the team had only been in town for a week, Galiardi said they had already been on the ice a number of times, held a series of meetings, and had participated in one other teambuilding exercise.

“Things are going good,” Galiardi said. “They are gelling quick and getting to know each other.”

Galiardi said there are 13 local owners of The Southern Tier Xpress, and that everyone is excited for a new season of hockey.

“Jamestown is hungry for a hockey team with good kids,” he said. “We have 26 really good kids who will be active in the community; guys the community will really be proud of.”