By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Flames shot more than 20 feet from the roof of Calvary Chapel Church on May 5, 2011, as Enid Fire Department firefighters bravely fought the inferno quickly engulfing the structure.
The church’s steeple collapsed into the charred roof of the church, and Fire Marshal Ken Helms was able to capture the moment with his camera.
For years, Helms has taken photographs at incidents as both an investigator and responder, as well as the department’s historian.
Photographs from the past few years will be used to produce calendars, with all the proceed benefiting United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma.
“I have the opportunity to go to lots of our fire incidents, and I am there to document what is happening from the perspective of, ‘I’m going to investigate,’ but while I’m there I have the opportunity to capture some pretty impressive pictures of what they’re doing,” Helms said. “If we can use those pictures to showcase the work they do and present our department in a positive way, and possibly raise some funds for United Way to help the community, it’s all the better.”
Helms said he wants to use photographs from each of the department’s three shifts to give a representation of the entire department involved in various duties.
The calendars will feature photographs of varying styles, with some enhancements using Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Lightroom.
“Fire Marshal Ken Helms has compiled an extraordinary photographic record of our members in action,” Fire Chief Joe Jackson said. “These photos capture and document the dangerous nature of our work as well as the effort, commitment and dedication of an exceptional group of public servants.”
The department is working with Eagle Marketing and United Way of Enid to produce the 2013 “Wet Stuff on the Red Stuff” calendar. The department previously has created a calendar, which raised about $27,000 in 2003 for United Way.
The calendars will directly help 16 local nonprofit agencies that receive funding from United Way of Enid, and provide more than 50 different programs that benefit the community.
Helms said he enjoys photography and has been doing it in one form or another for about 30 years.
“I enjoy it. It’s a hobby,” he said. “I enjoy photography and the aspect of being able to show off our department, our guys.”
To see some of Helms’ photos go to the department’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Enid.Fire.OK