Friday, August 28, 2015

Who We Are and What We Do

Well, it was bound to happen! So, before too much damage is done, let me lay it all on the line....
Our company, Dalmatian Productions, Inc. was founded back in the mid-1990's with one purpose in mind - to produce quality television programs that highlight the efforts of nearly one million men and women who put their lives on the line every day - firefighters. Whether you're career, on-call, or volunteer, we thought it was about time the American viewing audience saw what who we are and what we do.

It was a great our minds. The TV networks that were busy with a new type of television programming, called "reality," didn't agree. They liked cop shows, court shows, pilot shows, fishing shows, lumberjack shows, dancing shows and singing shows. They did not like fire shows. No matter what premise of a show we brought to them, they were not interested. Well, that's not exactly true. We were told that if we could produce a show that had cross-dressing firefighters, who used drugs and frequented hookers, smoked dope and tried to make-out in the back seats of taxis - that show they liked!

You would think that after all that rejection we would give up, right? Well, we almost did. But something kept nagging us. Maybe it was because of the four of us, three had been or were volunteer and/or career firefighters and our fourth had been in law enforcement. And we all agreed that our show, or at least the people we wanted to highlight in our show, deserved to be on television. 

So, several years ago, I was angry, upset and depressed. We could not be the only ones who wanted to see a television show about firefighting. I started looking around online, searching for that one thing, that one topic, that would catch their attention as much as ours. And after several months, I found it. A topic that was so good because it is so bad. Just the mention of the word brought fright to bear. A topic that was so scary because you never know when it may spring up. That subject was arson! And with that, our new dramatic series was born.

However, there is a lot to tell about us, you, me, firefighters. There are a lot of facets to who we are and what we do and we agreed that it was important that these topics be included in the show. So, our show will deal with firefighter health and wellness; what happens when the middle-age guy, who's got 12 years on the job, can barely climb a flight and a half of stairs? What about the firefighter who suffers a LODI (Line of Duty Injury) and is forced to put in his/her papers and DO (disable out).

We also had to include junior firestarters and programs for them; teaching them that the only mystery about fire is one of danger. What about the strains that "the job" puts on a relationship or marriage? Or how do we cope (or maybe we don't) with all the horror we see day in and day out? If you prick our skin, do we not bleed? Do we not cry? What happens when the pressure pushes us over the edge? Just as our brothers and sisters in the military return from overseas completely lost and estranged, do we not reach the breaking point? How many of us shrug off a scheduled CISD seminar because we're "bigger" than that? How many of us say, "I don't have any stupid PTSD! I'm a firefighter for God's sakes!" But inside, your guts are in a know and you hardly ever leave your home on your days off?

And that's just the first episode!, I'm just kidding. But we feel that all of this must be told in a series (even if it is a scripted drama) that shows the viewers what we really go through.  And we didn't even touch the problems our unions face every day or our volunteers when they need to replace a 28 year-old pumper!

All of this, we hope and pray, will be featured in our show, "Cause & Origin," which will be based in Philadelphia, where both the Greater Philadelphia Film & Television Office and the Philadelphia Fire Department are on board with us.

On top of this, I personally, have fallen back on what I used to do in my prior vocation as an administrator in non-profit organizations: Motivate my listeners. And for those of you who are kind enough to follow us on Twitter (@DalmatProd) you know of what I speak. I speak a great deal about safety, about health and wellness, about how to treat people, how to motivate yourself, continue to learn, make an effort to teach, etc. 

So, if I'm not talking specifically about the show, please know that I'm talking about the second most important aspect in my life, behind my, the brave men and women who bravely give up parties, birthdays, dinners, dances, partners, plans, etc., just to protect the citizens of your district. Why? Because YOU deserve it!

Let's make sure everyone goes home and stay safe!

Steven S. Greene
President and Executive Producer
Dalmatian Productions, Inc.

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