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Department grabs attention with videos

Shooting and editing professional video is too difficult and expensive for volunteer fire departments, right? Not according to the Guelph/Eramosa Township Fire Department in Ontario.

A video project does, however, take some hard work, courage and a bit of luck, explains Bernie Liebig, a captain and fire prevention officer with the department who spearheaded a video series called Fire Prevention Corner.

“Don’t be afraid to try it. It’s an excellent way to get the community involved,” he said.

Liebig started the video project in late 2012 after he reconnected with an old friend, Colin Smith, who is a professional videographer.

“We put two and two together and decided this would be a great way to show our community how to be a bit safer,” he said. The department lucked out with Smith, who offered his videography services free of charge.

“He refuses to take any money for it,” deputy fire chief Richard Renaud said. “When we’ve offered, he’s said, “No, this is my way of giving back to the community.’”

Ryan McTaggart, a firefighter and fire prevention officer with the department and the talent in the videos, said departments considering producing a video series should make the extra effort to find a hook for the audience.

“You’ve got to do something in the video that is going to catch their attention,” he said. In a video aimed at promoting awareness of green lights used by volunteer firefighters, McTaggart said the hook was in filming a family driving distracted, but still pulling over for the volunteers. Other videos have or will be shot in unique locations, such as a haunted house or a movie theatre.

Watch the Fire Prevention Corner videos here.

February 9, 2015
By Maria Church

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