(3/29/2017 – Fire Engineering) The family members and firefighters featured in “The Cost of Cancer in the Fire Service” campaign by The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) poignantly express the healthcare struggles unique to volunteer firefighters who have been diagnosed with cancer. The piece focuses on Wayne Smoulcey of Willowvale Fire Company, Schuyler Volunteer Fire Company’s Tony Pagliaro and the late John O’Bomsawin of Wynantskill Fire Department.
The video, part of a concerted effort to secure lifesaving cancer coverage for New York State’s 110,000 volunteer firefighters has been awarded a prestigious Telly Award.
The “Tellys” are a nationwide advertising industry awards program which recognizes the year’s best creative campaigns.
“We would like to thank these brave families for allowing us to tell their stories in hopes that one day volunteer firefighters will have the coverage they deserve,” said FASNY President Ken Pienkowski. “We hope that this recognition inspires real legislative action so a video like this won’t have to be made for volunteer firefighter families in the future.”
“We’ve been proud partners with FASNY for nearly two decades now on many different marketing initiatives and campaigns,” ABC Owner and Creative Director Travis Bort said. “This project dedicated to such a critical issue in the volunteer fire service has been particularly rewarding and we feel privileged to be a part of it.”
The campaign, created by Syracuse-based advertising and marketing agency ABC Creative, was launched by FASNY in 2016 to encourage and support advancing healthcare legislation in the New York State Legislature. Since both volunteer and career firefighters are exposed to the same health risks on the job, the campaign intends to highlight these dangers, demonstrating the need for presumptive cancer coverage for firefighters of all departments.
The statewide campaign, which included three firefighter families, was shot at different locations across New York. It featured commentary from Diane Smoulcey (New Hartford, NY), Nicole Pagliaro (Utica, NY) and Alicia O’Bomsawin (Troy, NY), all of whom are or were married to a volunteer firefighter who was diagnosed with cancer as a result of the carcinogens they are exposed to on the job. The campaign was made possible by the brave families whose members not only volunteer to safeguard their communities in the present, but also share their stories to protect those in the future.
The video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OCEBLSEz3E&t=6s.