Behind the Spark Look at Fireworks

by Danielle Cotterman on July 4, 2011 at 5:42 am

As you enjoy the firework display this year downtown….here is an inside look at what’s going on behind the scenes.

The art and science behind a fireworks show is no small task. Pyro Technician and Zanesville Fire Fighter, Stephen Vincent, has been setting off the Stars and Stripes on the River Fireworks in Zanesville for about 15 years. He said, for every minute you see in the air, is about an hour of preparation that took place on the ground. Vincent’s interest in fire began as a child and today you could say he is a master of all trades.

"I am still nervous before we shoot," admitted Vincent. "Things can go wrong. The mind, the wheels are turning all the time, we need to check that, you know. We then have a 15 minute safety meeting, maybe even a little prayer."

Vincent has not only passed his passion for Pyro Technician on to his family, but his concern for safety as well. His daughter, Amelia Vincent, became licensed to assist her father at age 18, and then licensed herself at age 21. Last night, Amelia set off her own show at the Zanesville Country Club, where her father actually worked for her….

"I think actually he lectured me last night at my own show on safety," explained Amelia. "He is a big proponent on keeping everything the way it should be and it’s a good lesson to learn."

Stephen Vincent describes the experience as organized chaos, he said their shows are all hand-lit….not electronic. Six to eight people will be lighting fuses, while safety crews stand-by. At the end of the show, while you head home, Stephen and his family have another few hours of work ahead of them. They will begin the clean-up process by searching the area for any debris, and although the experience is fun, the dangers are serious.