Library to host screening and filmmaker Q&A for Post 53 documentary


Darien’s Post 53 is the subject of a new documentary film titled High School 9-1-1 directed by former Post volunteer Tim Warren. Darien Library will host a free screening of the film along with a Q&A session with Warren and Kelli Joan Bennett, a producer and editor for the film, on Dec. 20.

High School 9-1-1 documents a year in the life of Post 53’s teen volunteers, who serve as the primary emergency medical service providers for Darien. The organization has provided 24-hour  ambulance response for more than 40 years, building a powerful legacy within the town. High School 9-1-1 explores the benefits and values that come with volunteering with Post 53, as well as the relationships between the high school volunteers and their adult mentors. The film premiered at Indiana’s Heartland Film Festival on October 21.

Warren has a personal relationship with Post 53; he volunteered from 1982 to 1985 and served as the organization’s vice president of operations during his senior year of high school. He eventually found a career in media as a director and producer. His production company focuses on narrative films, documentaries and reality programming, and Warren worked as an executive producer on shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Bar Rescue for more than two years.

It was Warren who pitched the idea for a Post 53 documentary to Bennett, his co-producer. While she was originally in disbelief that high school students could operate an EMS program, her experience with through the film seems to have changed her mind.

“Fortunately for me, I agreed to produce High School 9-1-1 despite my negative bias against teens,” Bennett wrote in a statement on the film’s site. “By the end of production, my mind was open! Open to what teenagers are actually capable of…in a good way. If I ever get hurt in Darien, I’d be lucky to have the teens of Post 53 come to my rescue.”

Post 53 Director Nancy Herling said the volunteers who took part in the film were, “even more proud to be a part of Post,” after seeing the film’s premiere in October. Herling said Warren was committed to capturing the story of Post 53 properly and that she is confident in his portrayal of the organization’s long history.

Darien Library will host back to back screenings at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 20.

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