Tele­gram pho­tog­ra­pher gets in­ter­na­tional award

Keith Gosse rec­og­nized by fire­fight­ers’ union

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - LOCAL - BY JUANITA MERCER [email protected]­gram.com Twit­ter: @juani­ta­mercer_

Tele­gram pho­tog­ra­pher Keith Gosse has been awarded sec­ond place in the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Me­dia Awards news pho­tog­ra­phy cat­e­gory.

His win­ning en­try, “Or­phan­age Fire,” shows two St. John’s Re­gional Fire Depart­ment (SJRFD) fire­fight­ers sur­rounded by bil­low­ing smoke dur­ing the fire at the for­mer Belvedere or­phan­age in April 2017.

Gosse’s en­try placed be­hind an en­try from the Bos­ton Globe in Bos­ton, Mass., and is one of only two Cana­dian win­ners in the North Amer­i­can-wide con­test.

“It’s re­ally nice to be rec­og­nized for some­thing like this,” said Gosse. “But it’s the emer­gency re­spon­ders, the first re­spon­ders, that re­ally de­serve the recognition for the stress­ful and dif­fi­cult work that they do. I’m just the guy who takes pho­tos, and these men and women are the ones who do all the work.”

The IAFF Me­dia Awards hon­ours re­port­ing and pho­tog­ra­phy that best por­tray pro­fes­sional fire­fight­ers and paramedics as ded­i­cated, all-haz­ards re­spon­ders.

Lo­cal unions across North Amer­ica must spon­sor all sub­mis­sions. Lo­cal 1075 rep­re­sents SJRFD fire­fight­ers, and union pres­i­dent Craig Smith spon­sored Gosse’s en­try.

Smith said ev­ery year a short­list of en­tries from St. John’s is sub­mit­ted to the con­test, which is open to all 3,200 lo­cals across North Amer­ica.

“When I saw Keith’s photo – a shot of two fire­fight­ers in a bucket work­ing, filled with smoke around them – for me, per­son­ally, it gave an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of ac­tu­ally what a fire­fighter would do

“It’s re­ally nice to be rec­og­nized for some­thing like this. But it’s the emer­gency re­spon­ders, the first re­spon­ders, that re­ally de­serve the recognition for the stress­ful and dif­fi­cult work that they do. I’m just the guy who takes pho­tos, and these men and women are the ones who do all the work.”

Tele­gram pho­tog­ra­pher Keith Gosse

if they were in a par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tion,” said Smith.

Smith said both Tele­gram pho­tog­ra­phers, Keith Gosse and Joe Gibbons, are sen­si­tive to the work of first re­spon­ders.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate what they do be­cause they’re ac­tu­ally al­low­ing the pub­lic to see a dif­fer­ent side of scenes. … They’re re­spect­ful not only for our job on scene, but they’re also very re­spect­ful for the vic­tims that we’re there for, and that’s im­por­tant for us, to show re­spect and some dig­nity.”

Gosse said he aims to show read­ers “how raw and stark it is at emer­gency scenes, and how well our emer­gency per­son­nel deal with these sit­u­a­tions.”

Gosse said he tries to give read­ers an un­der­stand­ing of what hap­pens at these scenes so they might learn some­thing from it, and hope­fully try to avoid such sit­u­a­tions them­selves.

KEITH GOSSE/THE TELE­GRAM

Keith Gosse’s photo “Or­phan­age Fire” was awarded sec­ond place be­hind an en­try from the Bos­ton Globe in the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Fire Fighters Me­dia Awards.

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