Swift Current firefighters to star in TV show

The Swift Current Fire Department may be small, but it is getting ready for its brush with cable TV fame: The Discovery Channel is filming fire crews for several episodes of its reality show Hellfire Heroes to be released next spring

Discovery Channel expects to find plenty of drama in prairie fires

A firefighter practises at the fire hall in Swift Current. (Swift Current Fire Department/Facebook)

The Swift Current Fire Department is ready for its closeup, even if its chief is wary of all the cameras.

"I'm not sure we have enough excitement and that sort of thing to make good TV," said Darren McClelland.

The Discovery Channel sure thought so.

Swift Current's firefighters will star in several episodes of Hellfire Heroes, to be released next spring.

Small department, big fires

Swift Current's department only has 32 members, half full-time and half on-call. They cover local fires in the municipality, and also lend a hand when needed in the surrounding rural municipalities.

Still, McClelland thinks the show will be a good opportunity to prove to the community exactly how crucial firefighters are to life in Swift Current.

"There's always that person out there who says 'Oh, there's not many fires so you must be sitting around just waiting,'" he said "But there's so many more things firefighters do than just [respond to] fire calls."

The drama, though, will probably be restricted to the firefighting scenes.
Firefighters test water flow in hydrants in Swift Current. (Swift Current Fire Department/Facebook)

"We can still end up with wildfires, but ours are grass. We don't have that many trees," McClelland said of some of the bigger blazes the department fights.

"It does move fairly quickly and with the moderate winds we get, it can definitely change things and get scary at times."'

Filming underway

Discovery Channel crews have already visited and interviewed the Swift Current firefighters, but they'll be back later this month to complete filming.

"Once you're doing it, you don't pay much attention or realize they're actually there. You forget about it and go about your daily business," McClelland said.

The fire chief says he watched a few episodes of Hellfire Heroes after producers approached the department, and he liked what he saw.

"There's lots of things that go on that most people don't know," he said.