June 17, 2019 | Cromwell, CT – Last Saturday night, the “See You Out There” public service announcement launched by the Everyday Hero CT volunteer firefighter recruitment campaign in April 2018 won a Boston/New England Regional Emmy® Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Outstanding Community/Public Service (PSAs) Single Spot “Everyday Hero CT” – Chris Casey (Producer), Matthew Troy (Director/Producer) #NEEmmy #ThisOnesFor Connecticut’s volunteer firefighters, current and future pic.twitter.com/gCCHG7NQu3— New England Emmy (@newenglandemmy) June 16, 2019
The 60-second video, produced in partnership with Hebron volunteer firefighter and New York Citybased cinematographer Matthew Troy (pictured on the left in the above Tweet), was designed to increase awareness and visibility for the volunteer firefighter shortage in Connecticut. Three versions of the PSA (30-, 60-, and 90-second videos) include captivating footage and visually groundbreaking moments as well as feature fire personnel from 16 different departments, including at least one from every county in Connecticut.
“We set out to make a PSA the Connecticut fire service would be proud of,” says Matthew Troy. “As a filmmaker, I wanted to create the best production possible to share this message. It was a team effort, from so many people, and I am humbled by this recognition. I proudly share this honor with everyone who took part in this journey.”
Highlighting volunteer firefighters operating at various emergency scenes and performing some of the many skills they possess thanks to the professional training they receive, the PSA illustrates that volunteer firefighters come from all walks of life. They’re male, female, teachers, business owners, retirees, mothers, fathers, students, and more. And, they want more members of their communities to answer the call. The video ends with a plea: “So, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to make a difference? Are you ready to join our team? Your community needs you. We need you.”
“We knew from the start that Matthew’s passion for volunteerism and the fire service combined with his filmmaking talents were going to give us a recruitment piece like none we’d ever seen,” says Everyday Hero CT program manager Fred Dudek, retired chief of the Killingworth Volunteer Fire Company. “And, it’s working. We’re getting more and more inquiries every day. The Emmy® win is beyond anything we could have imagined.”
Connecticut has more than 300 fire departments staffed by over 26,000 firefighters, 83 percent of whom are volunteers and are professionally trained. Volunteer firefighters can be called upon 24 hours per day, seven days per week to abandon the warmth and comfort of their homes in the middle of the night or during a holiday celebration, leave the fun of family gatherings on sunny summer afternoons, enter burning buildings, rescue stranded hikers and struggling swimmers, extricate victims from automobiles, and more. Volunteer firefighters save their communities millions of dollars every year.
The majority of fire departments throughout the state are experiencing a volunteer shortage. Local fire departments need volunteers of all skill levels and abilities, people willing and able to respond to emergencies whenever called upon, as well as support personnel such as fire police, administrative assistants, and more.
About Everyday Hero CT
Everyday Hero CT, a program dedicated to increasing the number of volunteer firefighters throughout the state. A partnership of the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association (CFCA) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the Everyday Hero CT campaign is a Volunteer Workforce Solutions (VWS) initiative designed to address the shortage of volunteer firefighters in Connecticut. It is helping achieve a viable and sustainable volunteer firefighter workforce for fire departments throughout Connecticut. Everyday Hero CT is funded by a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant awarded to the CFCA by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a model to enhance the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.