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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 2 months ago

Winter Park Police and Fire Departments team up for lip sync challenge

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The two departments got their groove on to ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’
by: Tim Freed Associate Editor

It’s just a normal day at the Winter Park public safety building – and then the R&B, soul hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell kicks in.

Get ready Winter Park, because your first responders can bust a move.

The Winter Park Police Department and the Winter Park Fire-Rescue Department recently teamed up to film a lip sync challenge video – showing the lighter side of the men and women who work to keep their city safe.

Both departments joined forces to release a video on Monday via social media. It’s a trend that’s swept across the country as departments have been challenged by residents and other first responders to cut loose and embrace their inner pop stars.

“It’s one of those things a lot of the agencies were doing,” Lt. John Montgomery said. “We were getting called out and we were getting a lot of request from a lot of our residents on Facebook wanting to know when we were going to do one. We presented to the chief, the chief OK’d it and then we did it.”

The video is not only a fun project – it serves a purpose. Showing the community that the men and women in uniform like to have fun goes a long way in connecting with residents, Montgomery said. 

“It gets us to show the lighter side of the department and how much talent we actually do have,” Montgomery said. “A lot of times all they see is the serious side. We know we have a lighter side obviously because we’re on the inside, but it’s good to let the citizens see that we love what we do in law enforcement and we all have personalities. Sometimes it’s good for people to see some of the personality that we have.”

While many lip sync challenge videos around the country have featured police departments, the officers at the Winter Park Police Department knew they had to feature their friends at the Fire-Rescue Department as well. It was a no-brainer, Montgomery said.

“When we were putting it together, we were kicking around what we were going to do and everything – one of the things that came up early on was that we wanted to include the fire department,” Montgomery said. “We share a public safety building with them. They’re our brothers and sisters on the other side of the building. We work well with our fire department and we have good relations with them. Why not include them?”

“It was good to work together closely on something that wasn’t an emergency call,” Winter Park firefighter/paramedic Brent Phillips said. “We’re out there working together in times of crisis and emergencies. To work together on the lighter side – obviously the movie was very comedic – we just had a lot of fun.” 

The departments started filming late last month in between calls – the biggest challenge was trying to find time to film, officer James Whitman said.

“It’s been going on all week long – we’ve been doing it between our calls and our regular routine, so that’s the challenging part and why it takes so long to put the whole thing together,” Whitman said. “We can’t put our regular duties aside to do the filming, so it’s whenever we can make it work with everyone’s schedule.”

Another obstacle came with which song to pick, Whitman said.

“Whenever you get a group of people, everybody has an idea of what would be the best thing,” Whitman said. “We have a hard time deciding where we’re going to have lunch, let alone what song we were going to work with. I think finally a person in charge said ‘this is what we’re going to do’ and we moved from there.”

The departments finished the filming on Thursday, Aug. 2 and immediately jumped into the editing process. It was fun and enlightening experience to say the least, Whitman said. Some of the officers were surprisingly talented – others maybe not so much, he said jokingly.

“Let’s just say there are a lot of people who are rhythmically challenged,” Whitman said.

“We knew that, that’s not surprising,” Montgomery chimed in with a laugh.

 

Tim Freed is an Associate Editor with the Winter Park/Maitland Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.

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