Anyone heard of any upcoming new fire-related tv reality shows?
We had a bunch of them over the last few years. First In (Compton), the fireboat show in Miami, the Orange Co FD recruit training show, Smokejumpers....
Closest thing on tv right now that I know about is "Swamp Wars", but thats about firefighters catching snakes.
This one: http://www.volunteerstheseries.com/ and Hosed (see other threads) don't seem to have gotten off the ground yet.
Any new shows this fall season?
I do wonder why there are so few fire-based reality shows. Seems like there would be plenty of appeal for television. The only reason that I can think of is that there just aren't enough "exciting" incidents in a reasonable period of time to make it cost efficient to film. If a cameraman has to ride along for a couple of weeks to get enough footage for one episode, it probably isn't worth their time.
I think another reason you dont see fire shows compared to police shows (COPS has been on forever) is because alot of what we do cant be filmed easily. Structure fires - cant go in and see stuff. Extrications - cant get close enough to get the good stuff like the jaws prying a door. The biggest part of police shows is the interaction between the police and the suspects, but our biggest interaction is when we go on EMS calls, but because of privacy issues, they are difficult to show. The other stuff we go on (alarms, minor accidents, brush/trash fires) are not that exciting. The one exception for the public that they may find exciting are car fires, but they only go so far.
True, but to some extent that could be fixed if you got the crews you were working with to wear helmet cams. Obviously they don't always give good video, but a lot of times they would. You rightly point out the issues surround the EMS part of the job that is a factor in many departments (though not all).
I just read the letter from Matt Forcum (“The Public Side of Fire Safety,” August 2012, “Speak Up) and could not agree more. Though I have been out of the active fire/rescue service since 1985, I have lived by the motto, “You can take the boy out of the firehouse, but you cannot take the firehouse out of the boy.” And one of my greatest pet peeves is that America’s fire/rescue is poorly understood and all too often, represented on television by scripted, dramatic series. Yet, no matter how many “technical consultants” these TV shows hire, they do not tell our story, the real story, of the fire/rescue service. True, “big” stories often make local and sometimes, national news. However, the “good” that those broadcasts provide is short lived, like the wisps of smoke during an overhaul.
Since 1998, my partners and I, at Dalmatian Productions, Inc., all current or former fire/rescue personnel, have striven to tell our story through reality television. Our first show, “America’s Heroes: The Men & Women of Fire/Rescue,” was a big hit….in the UK and Middle East! The show was produced in 2000, however, after the tragedy of 9-11, we discontinued producing and marketing the show, out of respect for our fallen brothers. More recently, we tried a new take on a weekly show, would highlight the concept of “rescues” along with “fires,” and heard the same excuses from the big-name cable networks as we did in 2000 – “Don’t show us anything to do with fire or fire departments. It won’t sell.” However, the does not stop NBC-Universal from picking up Dick Wolf’s (“Law & Order”) new scripted, dramatic series, “Chicago Fire.”
As Matt said in his letter, “Having a fire department that is engaged within the community means the community will be engaged within the fire department.” It is time we, America’s fire/rescue service, come together as a community. Since the networks are dead-set against a weekly series, we have re-configured our show to be a limited-series. Our six-hour documentary, “Taming the Red Devil,” will focus on the brave men and women across the country in the fire/rescue service. It will examine what drives us to constantly risk our lives for the safety of our friends and neighbors every day, month and year. On 9/11, the nation and the world saw firefighters and other public safety personnel display their unswerving bravery and courage and recognized them as heroes. That bravery represented all of us. Yet, it was not too long after, that the public labeled many of these very same heroes as greedy villains, as debates emerged through city, county, and state governments about firefighter unions, costs of equipment and operations for volunteer companies, and any other financial blame they could place on the fire/rescue service. The negative turn in public opinion was yet another obstacle for firefighters. Despite this, we carry on our mission to serve, save and protect.
Our new documentary will tell the story of America’s fire-rescue personnel. We will travel from Bangor to San Diego, Miami to Fairbanks, and Boston to San Diego. We will visit departments where the members are, career, paid-on-call, and volunteer. We’ll speak to your chiefs, your PIO, and your members. And, we will speak to people in your community to see how much they know about their fire/rescue department.
America needs and deserves reality programming that is authentic, moving and educational. Most importantly, America wants to see this on TV. As of 2010, there were over 1.1 million active firefighters in the U.S. Add in our friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors and we offer a sizable and significant potential audience, especially in the coveted 18-49 age group! Just imagine the possible audience that good PR and advertising would bring in. And as we committed with our other two shows, we will support the NFFF.
So why this letter? We need your help. No, not your money! We need you on two levels. One, if your department would like to be considered, please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us a little about your department and your members. Two, if you work for or with a company that would like to partner with us to produce this show in return for full promotional consideration, please tell them about our show. If they would like to see a copy of the show’s treatment, have them drop us a line and it will be sent out right away.
Wait! I bet you are asking yourself, “Aren’t they going about this backwards? Don’t you usually have a show first, and then look for sponsors?”
We’re not looking for sponsors. We’re looking for partners! For if we can come to a network with both your support and the support of partners, we stand a much better chance of getting this show on the air.
One time…one chance…let’s show them who we are and what we do!”