(KRDO/CNN) — Firefighters aren’t usually up for Emmy awards, but one of the bravest in Colorado actually won one.
Steve Schopper has a new title to go along with being a firefighter: photo journalist. And a new trophy he will cherish forever.
Schopper is the video and audio specialist for Colorado Springs Fire Department.
He went behind the fire lines during a couple of major fires, armed with a video camera.
His work was picked up by the Denver Post and was used in its documentary on wildfires, one that took home an Emmy.
“I sprung out of my chair and just gave a great big scream and ran over to the production crew and gave them a hug,” Schopper said.
He didn’t get to give an acceptance speech for his award, but if he did, he’d thank the fire department for letting him do this job.
“You don’t see a lot of videographers that are assigned to a fire department,” he said. “That’s a sign of a very progressive department, and one that knows that there’s value in this newer technology … to be used for training purposes … and to become better firefighters and serve the public better.”
Memories of the fires he shot will always stay with him, and so will this trophy, a symbol of biggest risks he took in his career.
“I think of all the awards, this is the most beautiful award.”
Before Schopper takes his Emmy home, the statue will be on display at Colorado Springs Fire Department headquarters for a few months.