What do you get when you cross six Oklahoma City area firefighters with an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper? Apparently, you get an outdoors show.
“Fired Up Outdoors” debuts Saturday, June 30, at 3:30 p.m. on KSBI-52 and also will be broadcast on Sunday mornings on TUFF TV. The show will feature the hunting and fishing adventures of firefighters from Oklahoma City, Yukon and Moore and an Oklahoma state trooper.
The title is not only a play on the firefighting theme, it also describes the adrenaline rush the men get from hunting and fishing, said Brian Magee, an Oklahoma City firefighter.
“I am an avid outdoorsman and have spent most of my life with a fishing rod, gun or bow in my hand,” Magee said. “We always get excited to see a deer or turkey in the woods. It's all about the passion and the lifestyle we share.”
The others who make up “Fired Up Outdoors” are Lt. Chris Walls of the Yukon Fire Department, Oklahoma City firefighter Justin Howard, Moore firefighters Bo Cocannouer and Trent Wood, and Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Caleb Swickey.
Two sportsmen from Gillette, Wyo., — Daniel Peak, an oil and gas lease operator, and Nate Cina, a schoolteacher and football coach — also are on the “pro staff” of “Fired Up Outdoors” because they liked their hunting and fishing videos on the Internet and wanted to be a part of it.
“Fired Up Outdoors” began as an Internet show about three years ago. Magee and Walls, friends who have bow hunted together for more than a dozen years, decided to start shooting videos of their hunts.
One would take turns filming while the other would be bow hunting.
“It started as a hobby, just something to show our friends and family,” Magee said.
Neither had any training in shooting and editing video, but they learned on the fly.
“When we first started we were using what Wal-Mart considered high definition, a little Sony hand-held camera,” Magee said.
Their first videos were shaky and the footage “in this day and age, would be considered terrible,” he said.
But they gradually updated their equipment and created a website called Fired Up Outdoors. They started posting videos on the Internet and “it kind of took off,” he said.
That led them to recruit other outdoorsmen to add to video adventures on the website. They didn't intend to make it largely a firefighters' pro staff, Magee said. It just kind of happened that way.
Most of their outdoor adventures are based in Oklahoma, but they also feature elk hunting in Colorado and deer hunting in Kansas. A salmon fishing trip in Alaska is in the works. The men pay for the hunting and fishing trips themselves.
“It's do-it-yourself stuff,” Magee said. “We are hunting public land or private land that we basically knocked on doors and paid access fees to. We are trying to show that this is stuff anybody can do.”
“Fired Up Outdoors” has two financial sponsors, the Firefighters Credit Union in Tulsa and Magic Bait in Tulsa. Other companies have donated some gear, but getting financial backing has been difficult, Magee said.
“We are still trying to get some more sponsors,” Magee said. “Being a brand new show nobody has heard of before, it's tough. Nobody wants to take the chance.”
In the meantime, nobody is quitting their jobs.
“We are not making any money at it,” Magee said. “Some of us are juggling two jobs. We work hard so we can play hard. It's more for fun and being in the outdoors. We have a good time.”