Prince George’s first responders ring alarm for possible reality show -- Gazette.Net


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Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department’s paramedics may soon be burning up the small screen in a new reality show that creators say will bring plenty of heat, without the fake drama.

About 25 paramedics from the department have been auditioning for a reality television show, which plans to show the real lives and work of medical first responders.

The working title of the reality show is “EMS in America — Maryland” and is being developed by Dick Clark Productions, said executive producer David Furtado of Los Angeles.

Furtado said he has made a career out of filming fire fighters on both the West and East coasts. The show should help the public understand the sacrifice those first responders make, he said. Dick Clark Productions has the integrity to approve a show without fake drama, to make it real, Furtado said.

“We are about the job and we are about the men and women who do it.” Furtado said. “I wanted to film in Prince George’s County because these people are about patient care.”

Since the reality show is in development, Furtado is collecting footage and interviews to develop a pitch. If the pitch is accepted, the production company will then shop around Furtado’s work to try and get it on television. Out of the roughly 25 medical first responders that have been interviewed, Furtado said he plans to select five or six with charisma and interesting stories.

“I’m out here looking for characters,” Furtado said.

One of those potential characters is Mark Kwiatkowski, an eight-year county fire/EMS veteran, who credited his mother, who died in October 2013, with motivating him to pursue his advanced life support certification in August 2013.

As a paramedic, Kwiatkowski said he now is typically the lead medical personnel during calls.

Kwiatkowski said he hopes Furtado’s show helped people understand the work of first responders.

“We are not super humans,” Kwiatkowski said. “We are real people.”

This isn’t the first time the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department has been filmed for television, said spokesman Mark Brady.

The department was filmed in 2012 for History Channel’s “101 Gadgets,” in which fire fighters talked about the smoke alarm. Brady said participating in these shows gets the word out about the fire departments and its workers.

“Our department decided to work with the media instead of against it,” Brady said. “It’s about marketing and showing people that you have the best fire department.”

Kwiatkowski said he hopes Furtado’s show gets off the ground. He had cameras follow him on his overnight shift from Jan. 6 to 7, and he said he thinks Furtado has good intentions to show the real story.

“I think if they do get it off the ground, it will be a really awesome show,” Kwiatkowski said.

ccook@gazette.net