Words: Sarah Stone, Director and Founder of Stone Barrell
They don’t just fight fires. (Although if they did, that would still be impressive.)
If you’re anything like us, you will have no idea how much your local fire service was doing during the Covid-19 pandemic. When we spoke to Gabby Heycock, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Area Manager, we were in for some rapid education. From supporting the NHS by driving ambulances to setting up Coronavirus test centres for the entire county, Oxfordshire firefighters were serving on the frontline throughout the pandemic to help keep their community safe.
This is a story worth telling.
As well as fulfilling a childhood dream by spending a whole morning in a fire station (who’s with me?!), it was a joy and a privilege to interview a few different members of the team to get a better understanding of their work. After hearing from this group of amazing firefighters, we knew that Stone Barrell’s mini documentary couldn’t just follow one person or narrative. We needed to share snippets from all of our conversations to really capture the diverse and vital work of Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
It was a filmmaker’s dream location, and an interviewer’s dream line-up – people trained to respond quickly, go where they’re needed, and help when they can. In a few short hours, we learned a huge amount about the work of our local fire service. We also got some great b-roll of Oxfordshire’s firefighters in action, as they continued training and responding to emergencies during our morning filming.
The challenge: fitting all this great content into a three-minute shareable video that did justice to everything the team has been doing during Covid-19.
Following a lot of scripting and editing, we made it. The final product, We’re here for you, celebrates the work of Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and has been used to raise awareness of their work with the public, to thank the team for everything they’ve done during the Covid-19 pandemic, and as part of the Service’s induction and training programme.
Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service posted the video on their Facebook account where, within a couple of weeks, it had been shared nearly 60 times and seen by more that 4,000 people. The video was also shared in the wider media, including in the Banbury Guardian, in Fire Safety Matters and on the Oxfordshire County Council website.
We were so impressed with the team at Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, who have been absolute heroes throughout the pandemic. They were a pleasure to work with and we thoroughly enjoyed helping them tell their story. Thankfully, they felt the same way about us.
“Stone Barrell was a joy to work with, very communicative, flexible and understanding of our needs,” said Area Manager Gabby.
We’d love to come back soon!