Stupid Idea # 98 - Detroit's Tourist Firefighters

Just this morning I read an article that stated the Detroit Fire Department is considering allowing firefighters and/or tourists from around the country to ride with their companies and work with their crews at fires and emergencies.

Well I have heard some pretty stupid stuff in my 30 plus years in the fire service, but this tops the list.  Oh, did I mention that the city was going to charge these folks admission for the privilege?

This seems like a safe and secure way to raise money for the cash-strapped city doesn't it? Let me list the reasons that this is a stupid idea:

  1. Whoever shows up to ride with these fire companies, there is no way of knowing if they are trained or even capable of performing a firefighters duties.
  2. The actions or inactions of these individuals could injure or kill them, a Detroit firefighter or a civilian, or have any one of a hundred other negative effects on a fireground operation.
  3. What liability does the city or the fire department or even the company officers have for these "tourist" firefighters?
  4. How could a visiting "tourist" firefighter even begin to know the radio codes, SOPs or tactics that a firefighter must study and learn and practice for years?


I have more but this short list should do. Bad idea, Detroit!

What do you think?