Behind The Lens
Sometimes the smallest solution can start the biggest ideas...
During Covid, we all had to become creative in handling the problems we faced. For most organizations and businesses, several of their long-held traditions had to be put on hold. Our local Fire Department was no different when one of their long-standing traditions, the annual open house, was put on hold. Since the annual open house was one of the ways our fire department educated the community on fire safety and the fire service, the lack of an open house not only kept us apart but hurt the education.
Being married to a firefighter for 20 years, I knew the annual open house was an important event not only for the community but also for the department. There had to be a way to bring a modified version of the open house to the community. Being a photographer, I knew of a new technology that could create a virtual Firehouse that the community could walk through from the comfort of their own homes. The Duxbury Fire Department was very excited to try this new form of photography in the hope of keeping the open house tradition alive until they could go back to an in-person event. When our virtual Firehouse was launched, it was well-received by the community. However, we didn't realize that it would have an impact beyond our borders.
Communities and other Fire Departments from all around the world walk through our Firehouse not only learning about the department but about fire safety. This solution to a current problem then created a new idea. Why not continue to educate the community online through the platforms they use every day.
Having a firefighter for a husband has set us apart when it comes to preparation and emergency response. I can't tell you how many times I have been asked how to prepare for a winter storm or hurricane. It is assumed that since I am married to a firefighter then I am as qualified on these topics too. This brought me to the conclusion that a percentage of the public would like to be prepared but don't know how, so they look to their local fire department for answers. Now working with the fire departments and other organizations, I have been able to identify some of the questions the public may have and have also been able to help departments identify what is most important to their community. From how to prepare for a winter storm, to stay hydrated during the summer, or how to prevent brush fires, I have found that communication is one of a department's best tools to keep their community safe. Ultimately, a safer and prepared community is a stronger community.