A Georgetown Fire Department Facebook video is going viral
A set of inexpensive marketing campaigns put together by the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department suddenly have the potential to go viral, with one Facebook video garnering 1,000 views-a-minute this afternoon.
The video, which shows Georgetown residents guessing at the cost of fire department equipment, has been viewed 125,000 times in the seven hours since it’s been posted.
Its unexpected success couldn’t have come at a better time for the department, which just released a calendar satirizing the classic ‘sexy’ firefighter calendar (and the bodies of its own members.)
“We have a big shortage in our budget this year. It turned out we needed money for new boots,” the video’s creator, Georgetown Fire Department Financial Secretary Hal Gourad, said. “They’re expensive, they cost $550 each.
“A couple years ago my wife mentioned that we should think about doing a calendar, and I said, ‘come on, we don’t have the bodies for that. We’re not the NYFD. They have 4,000 firefighters. They can basically pull models out of that.’”
Years have passed since that suggestion, but the department’s equipment needs required new, unusual, ideas.
“My wife had said, ‘well, you can do a satirical calendar,” Gourad remembered.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” he added. “I suggested it to the guys. They saw the gap in the budget, that we needed to raise money for the boots, and they said yeah, let’s do it.”
And so they did it.
The department, with the help of local photographer Nina Pomeroy, took two days to produce a number of humorous images for the calendar, including a number of firefighters serenading First Selectman Julia Pemberton in the Rancho Allegre restaurant, Gourad himself playing poker — hardly clothed — with a group of beautiful Georgetown Fire Department supporters, and even an intimate moment between a firefighter and a… well, you’ll have to buy it and see.
“It was a great group effort,” Gourad said. “The guys really stepped up to the challenge.”
“This was the best project I’ve worked on in my fifteen years of working as a photographer,” photographer Pomeroy said by phone Tuesday. “I laughed. I had a great time. The guys were so much fun to work with.”
She said from the first moments on set, her assistants were telling her they felt as if they were filming a movie.
“We went up in the cherry picker, on the big ladder truck. There were smoke machines involved,” she said, outlining the intricacies of the shoot. “They had ideas of the scenes already on paper, and we really worked together making sure it would come to life in the best possible way.”
Gourad said the simply-made video has a message that many volunteer department’s around the country can relate to.
“It took me and a cameraman 10 minutes to film it,” the creator, Georgetown Fire Department Financial Secretary Hal Gourad, said.
“Its been shared 2500 times,” he continued to say. “I’ve been called by fire departments around the country to ask” if they can use it for their own recruitment purposes, he said. “Its starting to go viral.”
There are blooper reels from the department's 'sexy' calendar shoot, Gourad warned, that the department will be releasing in coming weeks to promote their fundraiser.
The calendars, themselves, are available for pre-order at the Georgetown Volunteer's website, http://www.gtownfire.org/ and will be sent out in three to four weeks.