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First Responders Live
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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that First Responders Live is a reality series that features first responders across the country doing their jobs in real time. Events range from drug busts and ATV accidents to people in distress (including small children) being treated and rushed to hospitals in ambulances. Bloody wounds are sometimes visible, too. Violence is discussed, and sometimes interactions become aggressive. Curses are muted, but cigarette smoking, drunken behavior, and drug confiscations are shown. All of this is featured within the context of demonstrating the important work that first responders do.
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What's the story?
FIRST RESPONDERS LIVE (FRL) is a reality series that features embedded camera crews following police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other first responders from across the country as they go out on calls. From domestic disputes to potentially fatal accidents, events are recorded in real time as they happen. Due to the nature of certain events, some of the responses are pre-recorded and aired during the episode. While events are unfolding on camera, back at the studio, first response experts discuss what's happening and why with journalist Josh Elliott. Background stories of some of the responders are also shown.
Is it any good?
This solid reality series, executive-produced by Law & Order's Dick Wolf, seeks to to celebrate the invaluable work and sacrifice of America's first responders. It offers an opportunity for viewers to see their work firsthand, from an actual first responder's point of view. It also gives these men and women a voice, allowing them to talk about what they do and why they find the work meaningful. But some of the live events, which are aired with a slight time delay, also feel a little exploitative, especially when cameras begin focusing on the seriously injured or on people who are clearly struggling and in pain. Meanwhile, activities like high-speed chases and arrests sometimes make it feel like you're watching an episode of COPS. Nonetheless, First Responders Live is successful at underscoring the fact that America's first responders are willing to put their lives on the line every day to help others, and for this they should be respected and celebrated.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the reasons people become first responders. What compels people to choose careers that can potentially put them in dangerous situations while helping others?
Are there any downsides to featuring first responders do their jobs live on television? Do you think the events featured on First Responders Live would unfold differently if the cameras weren't rolling?
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