FASNY video highlighting volunteer firefighter families wins Telly Award

The family members and firefighters featured in “The Cost of Cancer in the Fire Service” campaign by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York poignantly express the health care struggles unique to volunteer firefighters who have been diagnosed with cancer.

The piece focuses on Wayne Smoulcey of Willowvale Fire Company, Schuyler Volunteer Fire Company’s Tony Pagliaro and the late John O’Bomsawin of Wynantskill Fire Department.

The video, part of a concerted effort to secure lifesaving cancer coverage for New York state’s 110,000 volunteer firefighters, has been awarded a Telly Award.

The “Tellys” are a nationwide advertising industry awards program that recognizes the year’s best creative campaigns.

The campaign, created by Syracuse-based advertising and marketing agency ABC Creative, was launched by FASNY in 2016 to encourage and support advancing health care legislation in the New York State Legislature.

Since both volunteer and career firefighters are exposed to the same health risks on the job, the campaign intends to highlight these dangers, demonstrating the need for presumptive cancer coverage for firefighters of all departments.

The statewide campaign, which included three firefighter families, was shot at different locations across New York. It featured commentary from Diane Smoulcey, New Hartford; Nicole Pagliaro, Utica; and Alicia O’Bomsawin, Troy, all of whom are or were married to a volunteer firefighter who was diagnosed with cancer as a result of the carcinogens they were exposed to on the job.

The campaign was made possible by the families whose members not only volunteer to safeguard their communities in the present, but also share their stories to protect those in the future.

FASNY thanks such individuals for their service.