Wise Owl Films has won its first BBC2 series commission, following Yorkshire firefighters on and off duty, using the latest technology to bring viewers closer than ever to real emergencies and the men and women dealing with them.
The four-part documentary series has been commissioned by BBC England and BBC Two and follows the work of the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
With access to firefighters working at emergencies, the Wise Owl series will take viewers from the control room to the front line. Firefighters will wear the latest helmet-mounted heat resistant cameras, transporting viewers into the heart of the action.
The West Yorkshire Fire And Rescue Service has over 900 firefighters and is a close-knit community with a diverse range of personnel dedicated to serving the public - often in highly dangerous and life-threatening situations. A specialist Urban Search And Rescue Dog called Jessie and water rescue unit are part of a team responding to an increasingly wide range of incidents. Expect drama and jeopardy - but also plenty of Yorkshire warmth and humour too.
West Yorkshire Fire And Rescue Service serves some of England’s biggest cities including Leeds and Bradford and some of the North’s most beautiful countryside.
Aisling O’Connor, Head of TV Commissioning for England, says: “Being a firefighter is now so much more than fighting fires. We’re going to use the latest technology to show viewers exactly what it takes to be a firefighter today.
“The programme will put audiences right at the centre of emergencies and the work of the fire service with special helmet-mounted 'firecams', footage taken from fire engines and the control room. I can’t wait to see what unfolds.”
Mark Robinson, Executive Producer for Wise Owl Films says: “In 2020, being a firefighter is so much more than just about fighting fires. Today’s skilful and dedicated firefighters face a wider range of callouts than ever - from road traffic collisions to floods and water rescues.
“Using technology that wouldn’t have been available just a few years ago, we want to show viewers just what daily life is like for a West Yorkshire firefighter. They often come from the communities which they serve, and there is a family spirit within each Watch which comes from putting absolute trust in each other on a daily basis."
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton says: “We are really excited to be part of this project and we hope it will give us a great opportunity to show what life is like behind the scenes of a modern day fire and rescue service, and to explode some dated myths.”
Firefighters (w/t) will start filming in the lead up to Bonfire Night and will be shown in 2021 - James Knight is series producer and Ben Sheldon series director for Wise Owl.