From big city engine companies to small-town volunteer fire departments, thousands of firefighters across America risk their lives each day to protect our homes and families. “Into The Fire” captures the terror, exhilaration, heartbreak and joy of the self-proclaimed "ordinary people" who have chosen this difficult and dangerous career, even as budget cuts and domestic terrorism add to the challenges of the job.

Hosted by actor Gary Sinise, “Into The Fire” premieres October 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on The History Channel. The film will also air on October 22 at 4:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Along with intimate interviews with a dozen career and volunteer firefighters, Oscar winning filmmaker Bill Couturie intersperses spectacular archival disaster footage, news reports, reenactments and even vintage animation to paint a vivid picture of the firefighting life. The music of Bob Dylan, Talking Heads and others who lent their support to the project by granting permission to use their music on the soundtrack underscores the poignant and sometimes harrowing accounts of those interviewed.

“Into The Fire” allows real-life firefighters from around the country to describe the daily trials and triumphs of their profession, from daring urban rescues to deadly battles with massive forest fires. The 90-minute film also offers a rare glimpse inside fire station camaraderie, detailing the humor and fierce loyalty shared by the men and women who routinely entrust their lives to one another. At the same time, the film makes the point that despite some advances in technology -- such as thermal imaging cameras that can quickly locate survivors in a burning room -- putting out fires still comes down to human beings venturing into potentially lethal situations armed with nothing but a water hose. Unfortunately, despite the peril and the critical nature of their mission, fire departments are often asked to function with less than optimal resources. “Into The Fire” points out that many fire departments cannot afford the $10,000 needed to purchase technology like thermal imaging cameras.

Despite differences of location, ethnicity, gender and age, all of the interviewees share a passion for helping people and an almost addictive desire to be on the frontlines of disaster. But while many recount with awe the thrill of saving a life, just as many are haunted by the victims they were unable to rescue or the colleagues they lost to heat and smoke.