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Actor Kyle Chandler Volunteers to Help Texas Fire Departments
Actor Kyle Chandler Volunteers to Help Texas Fire
After an intense year of record drought and wildfires, Texas Volunteer Fire Departments are badly in
need of funding and Emmy-nominated actor Kyle Chandler, who played Coach Eric Taylor in the
television series Friday Night Lights, has volunteered to help with the cause.
Chandler recently volunteered to record two different public service announcements for television
and a voice over for radio announcements urging Texas residents to donate to their local volunteer
fire departments, and to volunteer their time, as well.
The recordings were made in Austin, Texas and will air this fall, according to Chris Barron,
Executive Director of the State Fireman's and Fire Marshal's Association of Texas (sffma.org) who
made the announcement on August 24, 2011.
Chandler's character in Friday Night Lights is Eric Taylor, head football coach for the Dillon High
School Panthers in the prime time Emmy Award-winning show that aired from 2006 to 2010. Friday
Night Lights, which takes place in the small town of Dillon, Texas, was filmed in Austin, Texas.
The show was cancelled due to low ratings, which did not seem to affect the career of Chandler or
the rest of the cast members who have all moved on to new projects. Chandler's most recent work is
in Steven Spielberg's new science fiction thriller Super 8 where he plays Jackson Lamb. Super 8 is
predicted to be one of 2011's biggest hits.
Chandler's other film appearances include the role of Captain in the 1996 film Mulholland Falls;
Baxter in the 2005 version of King Kong; and John Driscoll in the 2008 film The Day the Earth Stood
Chandler has received three Emmy nominations during his acting career thus far. He was nominated
in 2006 for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for an appearance on Grey's Anatomy. He
was also nominated in 2010 and 2011 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his
performances in Friday Night Lights.
According to the Texas Forest Service, October of 2010 to April of 2011 was the driest seven-month
period recorded in Texas history, prompting Texas Governor Rick Perry to refer to Texas as a
"tinderbox" in a March, 2011 press release.
April Saginor, Communications Specialist for the Texas Forest Service confirmed that the 19,259
separate wildfires reported since November were responsible for the deaths of three firefighters and
two civilians, as well as the loss of 665 homes. Texas Governor Rick Perry's March, 2011 press
release states that more than 10,000 livestock were lost to the fires. Texas Forest Service reports
show that a total of 3.4 million acres have burned in wildfires this season.
Driving through west Texas is a heartbreaking experience as the ground is charred and barren for as
far as the eyes can see. Although this area has seen the most fires this season, the wildfires have
occurred statewide, and according to the Texas Forest Service, wildfire activity is currently on the
rise again in Northeast Texas.
The Texas Wildfire Relief Fund assists approximately 1,400 volunteer departments. According to
Chris Barron, Executive Director of the State Fireman's and Fire Marshal's Association, 86% of
volunteer firefighters use personal money to help purchase supplies, fuel, and cover the cost of
repairs to equipment used by their department.
"We have roughly $500,000 worth of requests so far for wildland fire protective clothing," Barron
explained. "At this point, our goal is to raise $1 million for the wildfire relief fund."
Chandler's public service announcements also encourage Texas residents to volunteer for their local
"Over the last two decades, the fire services has seen a drop in the number of volunteer firefighters,"
Barron explained. "In Texas, over 77% of our fire service is made up of volunteer fire departments.
Volunteer fire departments are always in need of firefighters, and people that can help the
department out in various other ways, such as administration, webmaster, accounting, and other