On Saturday, emergency service workers in Borås in western Sweden uploaded a short video clip on YouTube inspired by an internet theme featuring music from Harlem Shake, a song by US producer Baauer.
“We saw that a group of firefighters in the US made a Harlem Shake clip to raise money to fight cancer. We got inspired and hopped on the bandwagon,” one of the firefighters told the local Borås Tidningen (BT) newspaper.
The Harlem Shake internet fad has spawned tens of thousands of 30-second video clips in just a matter of days, including YouTube hits featuring soldiers, students, professional athletes, and countless office workers who break into a visual orgy of writhing, dancing, and booty shaking.
The Borås firefighers’ video, which has garnered over 50,000 view on YouTube, features a life-sized monkey mascot, some scuba gear, and several firefighters dressed only in their underwear.
But the spectacle, filmed at the local fire station, didn’t sit well with operations leader Sven-Åke Josefsson, who found the video “shocking”.
“I didn’t react so much to the content. Rather, it was the fact that they had posted it from our workplace,” he told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
“It’s not included in our work with values and media policy to post something from our workplace without discussing it with management. I had no idea about this.”
Other Swedish Harlem Shake videos
The clip includes information about how to donate money to the Swedish firefighters’ own cancer prevention fund, Röda Slangen (‘The Red Hose’),and is part of firefighters’ efforts to have cancer classified as a workplace injury.
“Our field is over-represented when it comes to cancer cases because we exposed to a number of toxins when we extinguish fires,” one of the firefighters told BT.