Thursday, May 27, 2021

Celebrating Rescue Photographers

Since the advent of 9/11, global campaigns drove the "NEVER FORGET" mantra that defined the voice of our post-attack era. This mission of public awareness covered headlines from political, social, educational and news platforms. For this crusade to capture the minds of the global witness, messengers used FILM, VIDEO and PHOTOGRAPHY to spread the thousand-words cemented by history and shared with lightning speed throughout today's digital audiences.

The First Responders Cancer Resource (formerly 9/11 CancerScan) published countless feature articles on prevention, early detection and reports about occupational health disorders within the fire service- in response to the rising cases of cancer from the WTC attacks. Thanks to the historical archives of the 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial and Museum, we gained exclusive access to some of the most remarkable works by photographers like KEVIN COUGHLIN (Pulitzer Prize-sharing photojournalist), ROBERTO RABANNE and ANDREA BOOHER - whose timeless photographs continue to grace the many pages of 9/11 related historical presentations. These images greatly fostered first hand experiences of the rescue service community during that time.

"Rescue photography is a powerful topic in documentaries", states Dr. Robert Bard, photography art collector and a long time funding supporter of NYC museums. "It is a golden responsibility for all archivalists, publishers and curators to preserve never-before seen images from unique and remarkable vantage points of any historical event.  These treasures freeze time to preserve elements of our culture, our awareness and understanding ... and sharing tangible visual records is a storytelling commitment to all generations.  They are priceless nuggets of visual narrative and evidence of important occurrences gone past - especially in cases like the collection of prints of 9/11 photos."

"HISTORY IS ETERNAL": FDNY Portrait Archivist - Looking back at the massive collection of photos in his personal vault, Chief Bob Checco assembled this priceless treasure trove of experiences, stories and photographic portraits about many of the retired firefighters of New York in one globally-accessible set of galleries (see: Thanks to his remarkable memory for the many names and faces in this tremendous collection of never-before-published photos, we can finally enjoy coursing through the generations of FD history as far back as his 'probie' years when he snapped that first shot in 1958. This is Chief Checco's gift to the surviving members of the FDNY and their families

Fire Service Documentarians: Capturing the Rescue Call
Thanks to a recent partnership between and F.A.C.E.S. (Firefighters Against Cancer & Exposures), we are working to establish the National Firefighters Image Gallery to honor the works of American photo and film documentarians of rescue calls and disasters.  We celebrate their talents, courage and unique support of our responders in action, facing all hazards to maintain the safety of the community. These unsung photo correspondents provide the global audience with front line access and an their unique perspective with each shot. Their priceless work spans a wide set of applications including educational training, technical tours, records of fire events and news footage and clips for social media publishing.

Many are part of the fire service, capturing dramatic visual records of each fire call, while others. In our updated feature, we will be showcasing the works of our first recent "firefighter lensman" Mr. BEN SALADINO, resident case photographer for the Bedford Fire Dept. in Bedford, TX. 

"As long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with the fire service. I suspect some of that comes from watching the TV show, Emergency! when I was growing up. I also love bicycling, and ended up working in the bicycle industry instead of the fire service. However, since my teenage years, I’ve listened to first responders on radio scanners. Somewhere along the way, I got into photography, and started photographing fire apparatus. I started my website D/FW Fire Equipment News to share my photos and information about new fire apparatus in the area. Eventually, I managed to form some good relationships with the local fire departments and was granted access to fire scenes to photograph. I’ve truly enjoyed the opportunities in recent years to help document the work of first responders, especially in the fire service. I realize that many events I photograph are very tragic for the victims and first responders, but I hope that good may still come from my photos for training, history, public education, and more."

The concept of this gallery is to unite the historical impact and cultural preservation of the fire service while celebrating rescue members within all angles of active service.  The collection is a pictorial experience during the height of response calls amidst the monumental challenges of all forms of adversity (from environmental hazards to destruction and potential toxic exposures). These responders forge the spirit of service to support the safety of the community as shown in this set of photographic artifacts assembled from many areas of our nation's best.

It is also noted that Dr. Bard is a renowned cancer radiologist who dedicated a major part of his practice to occupational cancers launched by 9/11 responders. He has expanded this program to support all firefighters' health issues and has been recently elected as Chief Medical Advisor to the national firefighters foundation called F.A.C.E.S. (Firefighters Against Cancer and Exposures) where images of responders in action inspire his continued research, advocacy and public educational programs for prevention and early detection.  In addition, Dr. & Mrs. Bard will be lead curators for the 2022 F.A.C.E.S. National Firefighter Image Gallery and an international auction is in talks with a major auction house for some of the top prints from "a century of the fire service in pictures".