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Perth County creates CO awareness video

Nov. 12, 2014, Perth County, Ont. - A volunteer department in Ontario is using professional video as a tactic to spread public awareness of carbon monoxide safety.

November 17, 2014
By Maria Church

Last week, during Ontario’s first ever Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, the Perth East Fire Department uploaded The Wake Up Call – a video shot by local, award-winning filmmaker Zach Patton.

Already, the beautifully shot video, which runs four minutes and forty seconds, has more than 2,500 views on YouTube, while a shorter PSA version has close to 900 views.

The video project has been in the works since April, according to Todd McKone, fire prevention officer for the Perth East Fire Department, who led the project. It’s release follows recent legislation in Ontario mandating CO alarms in residences.

The concept of using video to promote fire safety, McKone said, was inspirited by knowfire.ca, a video-based fire safety awareness program for students in Ontario’s Niagara region.

“Video is a great medium to use to reach a lot of people and send a message,” he said. “We wanted to be dramatic with our message and we wanted to make a point.”

A project of this quality doesn’t come cheap though, says Perth East fire chief Bill Hunter. To make it happen, all departments in Perth County contributed financially, as did several associations and businesses.

“For small, volunteer departments, partnerships certainly make things like this possible,” he said.

Hunter said the video avoids mentioning a location or the departments involved, to encourage departments across the country to share it with their own communities.

“There are all kinds of public education material and all kinds of things that we hand out, so we look at this video as the same thing. Let’s hand out the video to whoever wants to use it and share the message,” Hunter said.

Watch both versions of the video on the Perth East Fire Department’s YouTube channel.