Two Cape Coral firefighters will soon travel overseas for a week to join a fire department in Switzerland for an episode of the Swiss reality television show, "Job Swap."
Engineers Amanda Brashear and Mark Solich of the Cape Coral Fire Department were recently selected by the show's producers to temporarily switch places with two Swiss firefighters. They were chosen from a pool of 30 applicants - all employees of the CCFD - to take part in the episode.
"Initially, the reason I chose to apply was it was a trip to Switzerland," Solich said, noting that he has never been to the country before. "I thought it would be an excellent opportunity."
Engineer Amanda Brashear as she learns she has been selected.
"Job Swap," produced by Constantin Entertainment, a German television-production company in Munich, focuses on the similarities and differences tied into doing the same job in different countries. The show has two major intentions - a job portrait and cultural exchange, according to officials.
"It's an opportunity to learn from people in a different department," Solich said, adding that he wants to gain insight on what it takes to be a Swiss firefighter. "Halfway around the world things change."
While Brashear and Solich are gone, two Swiss firefighters will join the Cape department.
"I think it's an amazing opportunity. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance," Brashear said of taking part.
The two were notified last week that they had been selected to participate.
"I was thrilled," she said. "I was extremely excited, shocked."
Solich echoed that.
"Initially, it was obviously surprise," he said. "Once it sunk in, you realized, 'This is real.'"
The swap is tentatively set to take place toward the end of the month. Film crews from Constantin Entertainment will arrive to begin filming the Cape department and locations around the city.
"We will spend at least two 24-hour shifts, like we normally would here, on a fire engine there," Brashear said. "I'm hoping to learn something new - everybody does things differently."
She noted that the Swiss may have some tricks of the trade or unique operations.
"But also to learn about their culture, their style of living, their food," Brashear said of going.
Both anticipate taking something away from the trip and hopefully sharing something.
"They obviously probably have stuff to learn from us, too," Brashear said. "For us, the bond between us as firefighters is huge. I'm hoping they'll be able to see that, see that we all stick together."
Solich hopes his experience as a firefighter transfers over in Switzerland.
"I don't really have any expectations," he said. "I just want to go over there with an open mind."
Solich, 30, of Cape Coral, has been with the department for six years and is a Cape native. He is married to his wife, Riley, and the couple have a 6-month-old son, Noah.
"It's a great opportunity for me to go over and represent the city of Cape Coral and the Cape Coral Fire Department," Solich said. "I hope to bring my experiences over there, the lessons that I've learned from my coworkers, and bring some of my experiences back."
Brashear, 29, of Punta Gorda, has been with the department for nine years. Born and raised in Port Charlotte, she is married to Toby, who is a Tice firefighter. The couple have a 3-year-old girl, Carter.
"I'm just grateful I was selected and given the opportunity," Brashear said. "It's an honor to go."
Constantin Entertainment handles TV programs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
For more information, visit online at: www.constantinentertainment.com.