NEW GLOUCESTER – A parody recruitment video produced by New Gloucester Fire and Rescue and set to rap music is burning up the internet with hundreds of thousands of views.
Running about five minutes long, the video features New Gloucester Fire and Rescue staff acting and rapping about their day-to-day job over music from the song “Area Codes,” a 2001 hit by Atlanta-based hip-hop artist Ludacris that also features deceased performer Nate Dogg.
The video’s title, “I got hose,” is a reference to firefighter equipment that doubles as a clever riff off of the chorus in the original song. That Ludacris version uses a derogatory term for women and discusses having multiple romantic interests in different area codes across the country.
“The video was originally shown at the New Gloucester Fire & Rescue Annual banquet April 1. Due to the response and quality, we posted it to the department’s Facebook page,” said firefighter Connor Boucher, 21, who was the driving force behind the video and does the rapping in it.
Boucher is from Hooksett, New Hampshire and lives and works at the New Gloucester Fire and Rescue station as part of a program at Southern Maine Community College.
While the parody video may have debuted on April Fools’ Day, the response has been no joke. As of April 17, the video had more than 1.3 million views on Facebook.
“In minutes, we hit hundreds, in an hour we had hit a few thousand people,” said Capt. Scott Doyle, New Gloucester Fire & Rescue’s public education & public information officer. “We have done other marketing videos in the past, but nothing to this quality. It’s amazing to see the response and where it has been seen.”
In an interview, Doyle, 37, of New Gloucester, said the response to the video has been overwhelmingly positive. And while it shows the volunteer fire and rescue department can have fun, he was clear they are all business when called upon to serve the community.
“We do have a lot of fun inside these walls, but when the tone goes off, we’re different people,” Doyle said.
The fire house-themed lyrics in the video give listeners an amusing window into the serious daily routine at New Gloucester Fire and Rescue.
“Calls sporadic/Yeah I’m always on my toes/When there’s a fire, you know I’m always on that hose,” raps Boucher, leading up to one of the choruses.
The video ends with Captain Ryan Mitchell, 36, saying, “That’s a lot of hose,” as he and Boucher stack lines of fire hose on a shelf.
“Way more than I expected,” Boucher replies to Mitchell, who lives in New Gloucester.
The same could be said for the attention the video has received on New Gloucester Fire & Rescue’s Facebook page.
According to Doyle, Boucher is also a fan of the Ellen DeGeneres Show and hopes that the video will find its way there. Boucher has started a hashtag, #GetConnorOnEllen, that has thus far not achieved its stated goal.
Attempts to reach Ellen or Ludacris for this story were not made because that would be, well, ludicrous.
Update: DeGeneres’ official Facebook page shared the New Gloucester Fire and Rescue Department’s video, saying, “Good thing Connor from New Gloucester Fire Rescue is a firefighter, because these rhymes are burning up.”