Researchers study sports teams to make first responders better

What can first responders learn by watching sports? It turns out, a lot.

Most sports fans say they are counting on their team to win, but when it comes to the life and death situations first responders face, counting on someone takes on a whole new meaning.


While the end goals are vastly different, the best teams all show how integrated roles and knowledge of the needs and expertise of each other lead to greater efficiency and top performance. When this integration is done well, language is no barrier. Like international soccer players who all speak different languages, overcoming that obstacle is something paramedics, fire fighters, police officers and emergency room personnel all need to master to save lives.

That teamwork can reshape productivity. Researchers at Human Systems Engineering at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic School are examining how teams work under pressure. See how the team experiences of the Phoenix Rising Football Club are not so different from the medical field and other professions.