I found myself wondering why we don’t have a show like this on the fire side. The best firefighting shows I’ve seen are “The Bravest” and “The Battalion.” (Battalion promo is below.) Both are good, but neither is on par with the production quality and storytelling of “Rookies.”
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Why? The backbone of “Rookies” is the dynamic on-scene footage. In the fire services shows, the exterior shots can be a great aspect of the story, but I want to see more. I want to be along for the ride as they charge the line and engage in search or suppression. I want to see what the nozzle-man and officer see.
Unfortunately obtaining interior scene footage provides several challenges.
1) Personnel: Managing personnel on the fire ground is one of the most important and difficult challenges. Adding a camera man or a Steadicam to a team engaging in interior operations isn’t realistic.
2) Reaction shots: Stories are told through the actions and reactions of the characters. When wearing an SCBA, much of that aspect is lost.
3) Environment: IDLH atmospheres tend to be very dark with limited visibility. Capturing watchable video can be hit or miss.
4) Communications: Communicating wearing and SCBA isn’t easy, even with a voice amplification device.
So, how do we solve these problems? I think helmet cams can are part of the answer. But they do have several drawbacks.
What do you guys think? Is it possible to overcome these problems and make an entertaining fire show?