Fire and ice: Orlando Firefighters Hockey Club to host annual charity tournament

‘Battle of the Badges’ to raise funds for families of fallen first responders

ORLANDO, Fla. – When it comes to the fire service, there’s a brother and sisterhood in the profession. There’s also competitiveness which can be on display at sporting events, and on Jan. 23, the puck will drop for a good cause.

Hosted by the Orlando Firefighters Hockey Club, the “Battle of the Badges” hockey tournament will include 30 first responder teams from across the U.S. and Canada. The tournament was first put on in 2003 to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, but for 19 years, the event has raised funds for families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

[TRENDING: Why are some streetlights turning purple across Central Florida? | Flagler Beach woman hit by car was trying to break up a fight, police say | Become a News 6 Insider]

“It’s not just the financial side, but it’s a way for these team members to do a personal tribute on the ice,” said Lt. Bradley Shanks, president of OFHC. “It’s part of the therapy moving forward when we’ve lost a loved one.”

Image credit: OFD Hockey Club (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved)

OFHC is comprised of Orlando-area firefighters. Along with its mission to financially support first responder families, the nonprofit also helps first responders who are battling cancer, PTSD and other job-related injuries.

“Our whole mission is to lift the fallen, and it doesn’t necessarily mean someone has passed away,” Shanks said. “A great outlet is hockey.”

“Battle of the Badges” runs from Jan. 23-26 at Orlando’s RDV Sportsplex Ice Den. For tournament or donation information, visit OFDhockey.com or follow the club on Instagram, @orlando_firefighter_hockey.


You can listen to every episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate in the media player below:


About the Author:

Haley is a producer at News 6 and has been with News 6 since October 2014. She's a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in journalism. She specializes in lifestyle writing and volunteers for Canine Companions for Independence.