First Responders Live premiered on FOX June 12th and many people seem to be torn regarding whether or not they’re interested in continuing to watch the show. This is surprising, given the fact that other shows such as Live PD and Live Rescue are so popular right now, but it’s also somewhat understandable, provided you know why people are either confused or discouraged. For starters, the show is titled First Responders Live. The title of the show is somewhat misleading unless you truly understand the very nature of this type of work. The live part is the commentary that takes place in the studio. The clips that are being shown are not live, but have been recently taped. You might feel like you have been duped by the television studio at first, but if you really sit down and pay attention to the trailer they did for the show before it premiered, it seemed rather obvious that this would ultimately be the format of the show. That being said, it still seems to be a sticking point with a lot of potential viewers, something that the producers of the show will no doubt have to address sooner or later.
It’s entirely possible that fans were expecting to tune in and see virtually the same thing they see on Live PD, which airs on a different night (two of them, actually) on a different channel. The basic concept for the two shows may be similar but it is important to remember that they are indeed two very different shows. In reality, it probably not fair to compare them. It would be like trying to compare apples to oranges and then being disappointed that they don’t taste exactly the same.
It’s equally important to realize that even Live PD has a delay of at least several seconds built into its broadcast. Due to the very nature of the work involved here, it simply has to be that way. Otherwise, the risk is run of showing something that shouldn’t be shown on national television. Think of a situation where an officer is injured. That isn’t something that needs to be shown on television and it’s not something fans want to see. They have a similar delay built into Live Rescue. Even though this show is cut almost directly from the same cloth as its predecessor, people still have a habit of comparing it to Live PD. That is essentially the same thing they are doing with the new show from Fox. It seems to be inevitable at this point but it’s not really fair, either.
Now that all of that has been cleared up, what about the quality of the show itself? In reality, it’s something that is definitely worth watching. It works to show everything that First Responders go through on a daily basis, which is quite a lot. The producers are trying hard to give the audience a first-hand glimpse into the things that these individuals have to deal with on any given shift. They do so with one goal in mind- to bring that information into the homes of the people watching on television. The idea is to give people who aren’t familiar with this type of work a front row seat, all with the hopes that they will eventually come away with a greater level of respect for those who put their lives on the line each and every day. If you think that sounds cliche, it’s not. First Responders never know what they will find themselves being called to do from one moment to the next. They are required to think on their feet almost all of the time and they sometimes have to do so in very dangerous situations. You might have somebody shooting at you or your partner. You might be working to save a patient from a car accident on a busy interstate highway where cars are moving at seventy to eighty miles per hour just inches from you. You might be searching a burning building for a lost child, hoping that you find them in time.
This is a show that works to achieve more than helping lay people better understand the lives of those who serve others. As important as that is, it isn’t the only goal of the series. They also work to bridge the gap between the various disciplines of careers for First Responders. On this show, you will see a little bit of everything. It’s not just police, fire, or emergency medical services. It shows you all of these jobs and in many cases, it shows how they all overlap at one time or another. What is the end goal here? It serves as a reminder that regardless of which particular type of First Responder you might be, the goal is always the same- to save the lives of those we have been entrusted to serve. That’s why it’s important to show all First Responders in their element, as well as showing them working hand in hand with someone from a different department or even a different discipline altogether. All First Responders serve to protect the public and at the end of the day, one particular discipline is not more important than another. The show conveys this idea very well.
If you’re old enough to remember one of the more groundbreaking shows from several years ago, Rescue 911 was what you might consider the grandfather of all of these shows. Its goal was to show the importance of knowing when to call 911, not to mention the importance of knowing CPR and other basic First Aid skills. First Responders Live is set up in such a way that it almost feels like a cross between this show and the current Live PD format. It seems to pull the best qualities from both and then incorporate them in order to make them its own.
Granted, the show has only aired once. Some people already love it and others were critical of it right out of the gate. It is far superior to the so-called “reality” television that seems to pop up everywhere you look. Hopefully, people will give it a chance. Hopefully, they will learn something about what it means to be First Responder, thereby bridging the gap between those who serve and the public they have vowed to protect.