1. #1
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    Default videographer rights on a fire scene

    I was wondering if a fire chief or officer in charge can have a civillian videographer removed from a fire scene if they have landowner permission,or removed from property ajoining to a fire scene even with property owner permission?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ff199564 View Post
    I was wondering if a fire chief or officer in charge can have a civillian videographer removed from a fire scene if they have landowner permission,or removed from property ajoining to a fire scene even with property owner permission?
    The incident command has every right to keep everyone off the scene. It has absolutely nothing to do with property lines. Whatever the commander determines is the safe perimeter to keep civilians out, is it. Period, end of story. That includes the property owners, their friends, the media, and anyone else.

    If someone can see the scene from outside that perimeter, then have at it with your camera.
    Last edited by nmfire; 04-17-2011 at 11:25 AM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    The incident command has every right to keep everyone off the scene. It has absolutely nothing to do with property lines. Whatever the commander determines is the safe perimeter to keep civilians out, is it. Period, end of story. That includes the property owners, their friends, the media, and anyone else.

    If someone can see the scene from outside that perimeter, then have at it with your camera.
    Agree with this guy 100%

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    The incident command has every right to keep everyone off the scene. It has absolutely nothing to do with property lines. Whatever the commander determines is the safe perimeter to keep civilians out, is it. Period, end of story. That includes the property owners, their friends, the media, and anyone else.

    If someone can see the scene from outside that perimeter, then have at it with your camera.
    I agree with this as well, but wanted to add a couple things to consider/

    1. Everything is being recorded, just assume that you are being recorded by someone with a video camera or cell phone on every call.

    2. If you single out someone with a recording device and remove them when you aren't removing others you are asking for trouble. If it isn't safe for them, it isn't safe for anyone not associated with the emergency response. Singling the videographer is a good way top make them you enemy.

    3. Be polite about it;
    "hey guys can we get you to move over here, we want you to get the video you need but we don't want you top ge6t hurt"

    If you have time, you could even ask if they have any questions. You can control them and use them to your advantage. Sure, some are going to be hell bent on painting the FD in a bad light.

    If you can't be polite, use PD to get them to move to a safe distance. That way it is a PD uniform on camera telling them they can't be there.
    "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
    "Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571

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    yup...what they said!

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    Ok guys thanks, I am well aware of what a safe distance is, and i guess i was hoping for a different answer but I kinda figured the same thing. I am just dealing with a chief that does not like me or the fact that I am taping his fire scene's, quite honestly there is a lot more to this story along with some safety concern for the guys on his dept, seeing as how his training consists of a 60 hour FF1 class in the early 90's. Wouldnt you think if he's going to have me removed he should remove all other bystanders also?

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    well i'm sure not there to make the FD look bad, the chief does a fine job of that himself, i just vowed to the guys on the dept. that if ever there were something to happen to one of them I was gonna be there to make sure someone was held accountable, you gotta understand that this is a dept. that dont discipline there guys for coming to a call straight from the tavern or have guys in air pack that have had no training since 1991 just to name a few things!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ff199564 View Post
    well i'm sure not there to make the FD look bad, the chief does a fine job of that himself, i just vowed to the guys on the dept. that if ever there were something to happen to one of them I was gonna be there to make sure someone was held accountable, you gotta understand that this is a dept. that dont discipline there guys for coming to a call straight from the tavern or have guys in air pack that have had no training since 1991 just to name a few things!
    I think you just answer your own question as to why he is removing you. Whether you like it or not or agree with him that is his decision and you can only comply. I understand where you are coming from but if someone has concerns about the department that is on the department they should bring it up to their chain of command. If that's does no good find a different department if they are that concerned about their safety.

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    So who are you in relation to this department?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    I was on that dept. for 20 years and basically got pushed out when I started to express concerns about the training qualifications of some members, particularly some officers, thats why like i said before I will be there for the rest of the guys should something ever go wrong to make sure the right person is held accountable, I guess i will just have to push my luck on getting kicked off a scene.

    Thanks again guy's for your input!!

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    Having been a Fire Photographer for over 20 years, allow me to interject my two cents:

    1. ANYTHING, and I repeat, ANYTHING is "fair game" from ANY public right-of-way, including streets, public sidewalks, etc. As long as you are not within a safety zone/perimeter as established by the Incident Commander, they may NOT stop you from photographing anything, and this includes patients of an auto extrication, their faces, or the faces of any responders. (NOTE: I do not personally condone photographing the faces of patients or responders for the explicit purposes of photgraphing their faces.)

    2. If you are on an adjoining private property, with the permission of the property owner, ANYTHING is fair game, again as long as you are NOT within the safety zone/perimeter.

    3. If you are INSIDE the safety zone/perimeter, you MUST adhere to the directions of the Incident Commander or their designates (this includes Law Enforcement, Fire Police, Etc.)

    Having heated discussions with any officials AT an incident and ESPECIALLY while the incident is in progress is NOT the place to do so. If you are asked to move, do so immediately, the first time, every time. Stop the camera, and move to the area beyond the safety zone. If you don't like it, tough schit. Law Enforcement can and will lock you up, and press legitimate charges- such as "Refusal to Obey a Public Safety Official", "Interfering with a Public Safety Official" "disoderly conduct" and other similar offenses. JUST MOVE. Make them happy, worry about the bullschit later. Back in the early 1990's, I had a fireline card issued by the Fire Commissioner's Office of the City of Philadelphia. Did Philly Cops honor it? Some did, some did not. The ones that did not, I did not argue with. If you argue with a Philly Cop on something like this, you could very well receive a nightstick shampoo and wake up in a holding cage at Central Booking- believe me, not the place you want to be.

    If the Department you are speaking of has the mindset you claim, you will get nowhere with them by proposing a sit-down to discuss the situation and comprimising on terms.

    What about local law enforcement officials? In all eventuality, they are going to be the ones pressed with removing you if the Fire Chief wants you gone. Why not have a pre-emptive sit down with them??? Perhaps you could come up with an agreement about who, where and when. Although I suspect if the Fire Chief were to find out about it, he's going to go right to the Police Chief and quash it.

    Google "The Photographer's Bill of Rights." Read it and understand it.

    And again, don't argue with a Cop if he tells you to move. Just do it.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    What the others said, and to add, they kicked you off the department (Pushed, kicked, etc) and now you want to chase after them video taping them. You have 4 posts here, about your vendetta.

    I am really surprised you got the help you did here. I know, its all that nasty old Chief and his terrible ways....

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    What the others said, and to add, they kicked you off the department (Pushed, kicked, etc) and now you want to chase after them video taping them. You have 4 posts here, about your vendetta.

    I am really surprised you got the help you did here. I know, its all that nasty old Chief and his terrible ways....
    That's kinda what I was thinking.
    Stay Safe
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    Because his first post didn't tell the whole story.
    "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
    "Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571

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    Why don't you move along with your life?

    Let it go....

    We had a guy who did what you were doing. I don't even think he had film in his camera, just looking to stir it up and be trouble.

    It got old and he moved on.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Sitting back reading all of this. If you think the chief is putting his guys at risk then why dont you speak with the state? And ive heard some states when the FD is called to your property for a fire the FD takes total control of your property untill the incident is rendered safe and turned over to landowner. Correct me if im wrong on this guys.. Theres a video floating around of a incident in upstate ny where a journalist with local tv and pushed by a neighbor at a incident. Ill try to find it.

    Video
    http://youtu.be/WkIyfezg4UM
    Last edited by d_holder86; 04-27-2011 at 10:46 AM. Reason: add

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    I agree with most of what you said, however you have to be careful what information you release durring an active scene. you never know how the camera people might be connected to the incident, or how whoever gets information from them might be.

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    Well this has been very informative to say the least!... In response to ChiefKN, and LVFD301 I'm sure I will move on,.. I really dont have the time anymore to go to every call they get just to aggravate the chief there, which I will admit is exactly what I did. You have to understand that I was VERY dedicated to this dept. for 20 years and it did **** me off to get the boot for political reasons.

    To FWDbuff, thank you for your input, I am by no means a proffesional photographer and have no intentions of being one, but during the two incidents that i was video taping at i was well out of the way of any part of the operation. I do undrstand the aspect of the IC setting up a safe perimeter, although i'm pretty sure the chief who has a hard enough time establishing a plan of attack (which is obvious in the video) sure didnt have a safe perimeter set up at all.

    To d_holder86, I will be talking to a state official as soon as I gather all the information I feel I need to present to them.

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    If you were a news media member, the following would apply to you in California:

    California Penal Code:

    409.5. (a) Whenever a menace to the public health or safety is created by a calamity including a flood, storm, fire, earthquake, explosion, accident, or other disaster, officers of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, police departments, marshal's office or sheriff's office, any officer or employee of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection designated a peace officer by subdivision (g) of Section 830.2, any officer or employee of the Department of Parks and Recreation designated a peace officer by subdivision (f) of Section 830.2, any officer or employee of the Department of Fish and Game designated a peace officer under subdivision (e) of Section 830.2, and any publicly employed full-time lifeguard or publicly employed full-time marine safety officer while acting in a supervisory position in the performance of his or her official duties, may close the area where the menace exists for the duration thereof by means of ropes, markers, or guards to any and all persons not authorized by the lifeguard or officer to enter or remain within the enclosed area. If the calamity creates an immediate menace to the public health, the local health officer may close the area where the menace exists pursuant to the conditions set forth in this section.

    (b) Officers of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, police departments, marshal's office or sheriff's office, officers of the Department of Fish and Game designated as peace officers by subdivision (e) of Section 830.2, or officers of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection designated as peace officers by subdivision (g) of Section 830.2 may close the immediate area surrounding any emergency field command post or any other command post activated for the purpose of abating any calamity enumerated in this section or any riot or other civil disturbance to any and all unauthorized persons pursuant to the conditions set forth in this section whether or not the field command post or other command post is located near to the actual calamity or riot or other civil disturbance.

    (c) Any unauthorized person who willfully and knowingly enters an area closed pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) and who willfully remains within the area after receiving notice to evacuate or leave shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

    (d) Nothing in this section shall prevent a duly authorized representative of any news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network from entering the areas closed pursuant to this section.


    409.6. (a) Whenever a menace to the public health or safety is created by an avalanche, officers of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, police departments, or sheriff's offices, any officer or employee of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection designated a peace officer by subdivision (g) of Section 830.2, and any officer or employee of the Department of Parks and Recreation designated a peace officer by subdivision (f) of Section 830.2, may
    close the area where the menace exists for the duration thereof by means of ropes, markers, or guards to any and all persons not authorized by that officer to enter or remain within the closed area.
    If an avalanche creates an immediate menace to the public health, the local health officer may close the area where the menace exists pursuant to the conditions which are set forth above in this section.

    (b) Officers of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, police departments, or sheriff's offices, or officers of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection designated as peace officers by subdivision (g) of Section 830.2, may close the immediate area surrounding any emergency field command post or any other command post activated for the purpose of abating hazardous conditions created by an avalanche to any and all unauthorized persons pursuant to the conditions which are set forth in this section whether or not that field command post or other command post is located near the avalanche.

    (c) Any unauthorized person who willfully and knowingly enters an area closed pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) and who willfully remains within that area, or any unauthorized person who willfully remains within an area closed pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b), after receiving notice to evacuate or leave from a peace officer named in subdivision (a) or (b), shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. If necessary, a peace officer named in subdivision (a) or (b) may use reasonable force to remove from the closed area any unauthorized
    person who willfully remains within that area after receiving notice to evacuate or leave.

    (d) Nothing in this section shall prevent a duly authorized representative of any news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network from entering the areas closed pursuant to this section.


    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/wa...ction=retrieve
    everyonegoeshome.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    The incident command has every right to keep everyone off the scene. It has absolutely nothing to do with property lines. Whatever the commander determines is the safe perimeter to keep civilians out, is it. Period, end of story. That includes the property owners, their friends, the media, and anyone else.

    If someone can see the scene from outside that perimeter, then have at it with your camera.
    Will your police really remove people?
    FF/Paramedic

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNFF319 View Post
    Will your police really remove people?
    I was on the scene, personally involved, and witnessed a medical doctor get arrested for interference on the scene of a child struck by a vehicle. Paramedic was attempting to tube the kid and we were having a heck of a time trying to manage the kid's airway. The doctor was insistent that we just transport to a hospital about 10 miles away. The medic told him we weren't leaving until he had a tube. Doc said "I'm a doctor, you'll do what I tell you". Medic asked if he was medic command; Doc said no. Medic asked if he was going to ride in with us to the hospital, Doc again said no. Medic said then I'm in charge here and we're not leaving until this kid has an airway, easier to get one here than in the back of a moving ambulance. Doc grabbed the medic's shirt and said for us to load up and go. Medic turned to the municipal police officer and said "he's interfering with my care". On went the handcuffs and Doc watched the medic get a tube from the back seat of a police cruiser.

    So, yes, the police really will remove people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNFF319 View Post
    Will your police really remove people?
    Why wouldnt they?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    1. ANYTHING, and I repeat, ANYTHING is "fair game" from ANY public right-of-way, including streets, public sidewalks, etc. As long as you are not within a safety zone/perimeter as established by the Incident Commander, they may NOT stop you from photographing anything, and this includes patients of an auto extrication, their faces, or the faces of any responders.
    I have to caution you on that train of thought. HIPAA Privacy Rules guarantee a patient's right to total privacy, including forbidding having their photo taken without their consent if their identity and their injuries can be identified.
    I have only 2 allegiances, to my country and to my God. The rest of you are fair game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    I have to caution you on that train of thought. HIPAA Privacy Rules guarantee a patient's right to total privacy, including forbidding having their photo taken without their consent if their identity and their injuries can be identified.
    No it doesn't. It has nothing to do with it. You obviously don't even know what HIPPA stands for let alone what it means. Like most people, you throw it around having not clue what it even means. Your entire statement is completely wrong and total bull****.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    No it doesn't. It has nothing to do with it. You obviously don't even know what HIPPA stands for let alone what it means. Like most people, you throw it around having not clue what it even means. Your entire statement is completely wrong and total bull****.
    Easy there cowboy! First of all, its HIPAA, not HIPPA. My statement was based upon the fact, since this is Firehouse.com, that the previous remarks came from an off duty firefighter or medic. And yes, since I have worked in both the pre-hospital and hospital setting, I am familiar with it. Especially this clause: "A patient must sign an authorization form before health information can be disclosed for marketing." So, lets say Mr. Off Duty Firefighter takes photos or video of your mother while she is being extricated from an accident. He then turns around and publishes these photos or places a video on Youtube. And, because your mother's face and injuries are identifiable, she starts getting mail, email and phone calls from chiropractors/pain management clinics/physical therapists,etc offering their services that she doesnt want. Did the photographer/off duty firefighter/medic disclose private medical record information, even though he or she is very familiar with HIPAA (not HIPPA)? Its muddy waters that lawyers cannot decide one way or another. Do you want to be the test court case? My advice, and my law director's, for anyone taking photos is never show a patient's face! We are not the media or a curious passerby or a buff. Remember this quote?: "The funny thing about firemen is, night and day, they are always firemen." Google it, its from a movie that was made about 7 years before you came on the job. Its a totally different ball game for us my friend. On duty or off. PS...Did I mention that its HIPAA and not HIPPA?
    Last edited by firepiper1; 06-26-2011 at 08:54 PM.
    I have only 2 allegiances, to my country and to my God. The rest of you are fair game.

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