KWCH – Burn Unit Nurses Take Fire Fighter Training 1987
A story from the vault from my years at KWCH-TV in Wichita, Kansas, 1983-1989. Good years and a great place to live, I might add.
This story was from a Saturday morning in 1987 where nurses from the burn unit of the local hospital participated in a few hours of fire fighter training to get a better understanding of the type of ordeal experienced by so many of the patients they are caring for.
Almost all of my one-man photographer-reporter packages at KWCH-TV in Wichita, Kansas, were done on Saturdays and were not assigned but projects that I took upon myself. On Saturdays I tended to work “VO patrol,” meaning that I would start my day out with a stack of five to eight assignments to go out and shoot that would be :30-:45 stories that the anchors would read over as “Voice Overs.” (VO – Voice Over.) These would be, and still are in the business, things like a run to raise money and awareness for breast cancer, a chile cook off, the opening of a new library, the ribbon-cutting of a new park playground, a graduating class of new police cadets, etc.
I always volunteered for this duty in the hope of finding one of these small stories that had a bit more to it that I could shoot a few extra interviews on, spend an extra half-hour at and turn into a package that I would write and track the audio for myself. The weekend news would benefit because the newscast then had reports from two reporters instead of only the one full-time reporter who would be working on Saturdays. It gave the weekend newscast just a little extra umphh – and it got my name on TV.
I believe that careers, whether in TV news, making films, or selling Fuller Brushes door-to-door, are all about initiative. Putting yourself out there and doing that extra little bit, pushing yourself further outside of your comfort zone. Expanding whatever talents you have beyond their required or expected boundaries. Proving to others, and to yourself, that your are a force and can make things happen.
I haven’t seen this story in probably twenty years. Looking at it now I think it’s still pretty good. Lots of nice natural sound that allows the story, and the people in it, to breath. You can almost smell the smoke. I wonder how I’d approach it today.
The good looking fellow at the start of the story is Dave Grant, KWCH reporter and weekend anchor in 1987. He’s currently the news director at KAKE-TV in Wichita, Kansas. A good man and trusted friend.