Local filmmaker celebrating the Langdon fire department with documentary

The six-part documentary is available on Telus Optik TV.

A Langdon-based filmmaker is highlighting the stories of local volunteer firefighters, with the Telus Optik TV documentary, “Langdon’s Heroes.”

Filmmaking has always been a passion for Robert Peddle, but after taking a hiatus from film to start a family in 2017, he was inspired to start a new project and wanted to tell the stories of Langdon’s volunteer firefighters.

“I used to be a volunteer firefighter for 15 years. When I moved to Alberta, I was considering joining the Langdon Fire Department, but couldn’t because of health reasons,” Peddle said.

Peddle had heard about a grant STORYHIVE was awarding to Alberta and B.C. filmmakers and pitched his idea for a six-part documentary. He approached the Chief of the Langdon Fire Department, Rocky View County, and finally, pitched his idea to STORYHIVE.

“Filmmaking started out as a hobby, but turned into a passion, I really enjoyed doing it,” Peddle said. “With my experience as a firefighter, I thought it would be a great story to tell.”

Once Peddle and his filmmaking partner, Kim Kelln received the $10,000 production grant, they hired a camera person, editor and collected drone and B-roll footage.

“We filmed in February for about two months. Fortunately, for us the fire department was having their basic training for the new members, so we were able to film a lot of the training,” Peddle said. “The fire department also did a mock car accident we got to film.”

After the footage was collected, the firefighter interviews were completed, music, sound effects, and credits were added, Peddle sent the project to STORYHIVE for approval.

“Once it was signed off it was ready to go to Telus Optik TV, Peddle said.

One of the most significant challenges Peddle and Kelln had to overcome while filming was working around COVID-19 health restrictions in place and being limited to a filming crew of three people.

“We wore many hats while we were filming. Usually, there would be a dedicated sound person, a camera operator, and an interviewer, but we had to do it all ourselves because we couldn’t have that many people on the set,” Peddle said.

When making the documentary, Peddle wanted to showcase the firefighters when they are on call, the risks they take, and everything they have to go through to keep their community safe.

“They train just like the firefighters in the city, they are constantly training and always on call. I wanted to show what they go through,” Peddle said. “The documentary is about the firefighters, this is a people story, and to show the community what their firefighters do.”

The six-part documentary highlights the history of the Langdon fire station, firefighter training, the calls they respond to, the diversity of the fire department, mental and physical stress, and the future of the fire department.

“The importance to me is to tell their story. A lot of volunteer firefighters don’t get much recognition, they are an unseen service, you only see them when you need help, and a lot of the community doesn’t know how much time they dedicate to training. I really wanted to give awareness to the community,” Peddle said. “People don’t know what they go through, I wanted to give the community an idea of what these firefighters do, and more appreciation.”

For Peddle, being back in a fire station was a highlight while filming the documentary.

“It’s been 20 years since I’ve been around a fire station, for me, personally, being back with the firefighters at the station, seeing all the equipment, that I missed,” Peddle said. “It was really good to see it all again, it brought back a lot of memories.”

“Langdon’s Heroes” premiered on Nov. 15 and is available to watch on Telus Optik TV, STORYHIVE’s YouTube channel, or the Bull and Ship Films website at, https://bullandshipfilms.com/.

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