EMS reality show coming to Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - People in Baton Rouge will now be able to get a closer look at the work of a paramedic... without having an emergency themselves.

Film crews with the A&E reality series "Nightwatch" are coming to Baton Rouge. The show is similar to the hit series "Cops." Cameras follow medics as they respond to emergencies.

"Nightwatch" premiered in 2015 and filmed often in New Orleans. Medic, Mike Chustz, says NOLA crews recommended Baton Rouge because of their similarities.

"Our services are somewhat similar in size and the way we run all 911 calls, and handle all the things in the city as well as the parish," Chustz said.

The East Baton Rouge metro council approved the contract with producers Wednesday night. Chustz expects EMS crews to meet with those same producers in two weeks to set up a ten-week schedule for filming. There will be a casting process to decide which medics cameras will follow.

Chustz says people will get a clear picture of how difficult the job is. "It's mentally tough, it's physically tough, it's emotionally tough," Chustz said. "You see a lot of bad things. We deal with people when they're having a bad day, a bad moment in their lives. It's a difficult job. I hope people get out of it how dedicated these EMS medics are. How hard they work."

He also says the filming couldn't come at a better time. Currently, there's a nationwide shortage of paramedics, so he hopes the show will inspire more people to pursue the career.

"I actually got into this career sort of by accident, wasn't thinking about doing it, and did it," Chustz said. "So people get in for various reasons and it's just one of the things that you do."

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