Local Firefighter Makes it to National TV

<p>Keith Ramsay and Rodney</p>

Keith Ramsay and Rodney

A Richland firefighter is about to make his national television debut on a brand new reality based talent show called Showville.

Six months ago, Keith Ramsay auditioned for a new AMC TC show about talent in a small town, and he was picked as one of four area finalists.   

During the day, Ramsay saves lives at the Richland fire department, but it's his other job that makes him unique.

He works with puppets, using them to teach kids safety - from bike helmet safety to gun safety.  

"Because I'm a firefighter, it started out with educating kids about fire safety, and then turned into something else," said Ramsay.

He said his oldest puppet Rodney was a $300 investment.

"I knew I had something memorable immediately, and then I developed an entire show," said Ramsay.

Even the guys at the firehouse agree Ramsay's a gem... if a little different.

"I'm sure he gets plenty of razzing. But you gotta have a pretty tough skin to work here," said firefighter Joe Derousie.

"Sure we tease back and forth. Some of it's probably not good for camera," said Captain Mike Wroolie.

In early January, auditions were held in Walla Walla for a new show. It would feature the lives of local talent acts, and give them a shot at the spotlight. 

Ramsay says he jumped at the chance. "It was a talent-based reality show and normally I can't participate in those things because I can't sing or dance or barely play any kind of an instrument, so this one was open to any talent," said Ramsay.

Out of hundreds of acts, Ramsay's schtick was picked as one of four local finalists to appear on the show.

And Rodney the puppet said he enjoyed the celebrity status it brings him.

Meanwhile, the firefighters who work with Ramsay said he inspires them.

"He's very talented, entertaining.. and doing all that stuff. And it's good to see him advance and bring his act further along," said Derousie.

"The education stuff that he does with it as well as teaching young kids - it's all great," said Wroolie.

Ramsay says the attention is nice, but with or without the fame, his act will go on.

"I do it a lot for myself. I do it for fun. It's who I am, and it's helping people.

On Thursday, Ramsay will be featured on Showville on AMC TV with three other contestants at 8p.m.

He may also win the weekly grand prize of $10, 000.