WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - The video looks like a scene from a summer blockbuster action movie. With more than 1,200 views in just a few days, the video has become a hot topic online.
The Wiggins Fire Department asked Lazy Lab Productions to help them create the video for the national Step Up and Stand Out contest, driven towards recognizing the hard work of local fire firefighters.
The fire department offers CPR training, and donates and installs smoke detectors to people who can't afford them. If they win the contest, they'll get a $3,000 dollar grant to attend fire safety conferences, and stock up on more supplies to give back to the community.
"We do a lot of work at the schools and that helps go toward being able to buy materials to do projects with the kids," said Steven Purvis, the fire station engineer.
The video is in the lead with close to 600 votes on Facebook. The chief is happy that people are rallying behind the video, but says his department needs more than votes.
"It seems like there's a downhill spiral for volunteers in the fire service. We're always trying new things to recruit volunteers and it's kind of a roller coaster," said Chief Jody Hatten.
Hatten hopes the video will inspire more people to join the team.
For most emergencies, less than a quarter percent of the volunteer force is available to help out. The station only has a handful of full-time and part-time firefighters. Hatten says his department operates better with extra hands on deck.
"We rely heavily on volunteers to help out with manpower, especially with larger fires," said Hatten.
Most of the firefighters on staff started out as volunteers. They say the job can be demanding, but most of the time they work in a family atmosphere. Lending their free time is something they are proud to do.
"It's rewarding. We go out, we help people in the community, we do public relations events, and we see those people we've been to their house. They'll come up to you and thank you," said Purvis.
Voting ends Sept. 30. The winning department will be announced during Fire Prevention Week in October. To cast your vote for the Wiggins Fire Department, click here.