1. #1
    RookieFireFighter
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post How much of a problem are Police Officers?

    How much of a problem are the police officers in your area? Do they tend to walk into a burning building to start an inspection or do they wait until clean-up is done before they go in?

  2. #2
    Lieutenant Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    It sounds like you have the "blue canary" syndrome...It's one thing to go into a burning building to evacuate a residence if the PD are first on scene, but to go in while firefighting operations are going on should be forbidden.

    We have our own Fire Cause and Origin team to do fire investigation, and if we call anyone in to assist it is the State Fire Marshall's Office. There are specially trained State Troopers and arson dogs assigned to ther Marshall's office that are available for fire investigations.

    ------------------
    Take care and be safe...Lt. Gonzo



    [This message has been edited by Lieutenant Gonzo (edited February 10, 2000).]

  3. #3
    smitheps
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    COPS can be a pain...BUT....dont give them any time to freelance into a building...use them as soon as you get there...send them to find additional hydrants...have them help move LDH out of the roadway before it gets charged...have them assist engineers with positioning their apparatus efficiently so that others will fit (ie second ariel)

  4. #4
    benson911
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We have an excellent police support system. They stay away from the fire and keep the traffic out of our area. If they get there first, they may ask the occupants if everyone is out and will advise us if it's a working fire. Otherwise, they keep their polyester clothes away from the heat. Great Guys!

  5. #5
    F02
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Smile

    Keep a box a donuts on the truck.This will keep em occupied for awhile.

  6. #6
    Truck 2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    They park their cars in front of the fire building or block the street off before we arrive and walk to the fire bld. where you can't find them. If you are lucky they move their cars and park them in front of a hydrant! I can't believe you get them to help move hose in Gettysburg, they don't like to get their hands dirty here! I'm showing my predigious I guess

    Lt.Chuck
    Truck-2 C

    ------------------

  7. #7
    Capt. Zada
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    No problems here. The police do their thing and we do ours.

  8. #8
    DD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    The State Fire Marshal's office investigates fires here. The police are not usually involved in cause & origin determination.

    We do not have a local police agency. Just the County Sheriff's Office & the State Police. I have never had an officer block a hydrant or fire building's access with their car. Over all they do a good job.

  9. #9
    Hammerhead338
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    The officers in our town are great. They get on the scene and advise us of what we have, they will help with pulling hose and have in the past hit the hydrant. A few months ago one of the officer asked if we needed anything to drink, he got in his car and went and got several 6 pks of soda. If you are having problems with the officer maybe you should have a talk with them and tell them what you would like them to do.

    Have a good day and be safe.

    Joe
    Local 3905

  10. #10
    Hammerhead338
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    The officers in our town are great. They get on the scene and advise us of what we have, they will help with pulling hose and have in the past hit the hydrant. A few months ago one of the officer asked if we needed anything to drink, he got in his car and went and got several 6 pks of soda. If you are having problems with the officer maybe you should have a talk with them and tell them what you would like them to do.

    Have a good day and be safe.

    Joe
    Local 3905

  11. #11
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    For the most part, we work well with the local police departments and can resolve issues with discussions. Truth be told, one or two of our local cops have also made life-saves on structure fires because they got there ahead of us and did an effective initial search. Fabulous job by them!

    That said, there are also some recurring difficulties with a few who just don't "get it"...

    Even though they are told not to, some new cops (and a few vetrans) often insist on parking at scenes in ways that block out apparatus (after all, they were there first and the vehicle code says they can park anywhere they want...). We've found that intentionally parking them in with the rigs, encircling their cruisers with charged lines, etc. are particularly effective ways to condition them not to do this. The effects are more pronounced if this is done around their shift change times, especially if their municipality considers the time that they are trapped on the fire scene as "unauthorized overtime" and refuses to pay them for it.

    There are some "blue canaries" out there also, especially those you find sitting on a couch in the residence during CO detector activations and such ("I didn't smell anything, so I assumed it was a malfunction..."). We try to explain the hazards of such behavior to them, but we figure that, for repeat offenders who refuse to listen to us, this will eventually be a self-correcting problem. It's sort of like letting that obnoxious kid find out first hand why he shouldn't stick his finger in the wall socket...but without the squealing and cool pyrotechnics.

    It all boils down to this...if everybody (fire, EMS, and PD) do what they're supposed to, everything works fine. If they don't, at least you can push them in the right direction...

  12. #12
    Imaff4free
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Sorry to hear some of my bothers have problems with the police or law enforcement. I must be in the right place now and before. I have always found that a law enfocement agent (officer)is paid and have their own code they work by, don't know any that are 100% volunteer. I have a strong relationship with all officers even the rookies, I try to let them know what were doing and why, makes my job alot easier and they seem to give me the respect we all would want. On all departments I've been on there has always been a member that is an officer (one who truely thinks of their mankind and community) My only suggestion would be if you have a problem with your agencies working together, I would ask do you train together for the safety of your community. When it is safe we let the officers enter the building so they might gain some insight to our line of work and our SOP's/SOG's. Ask them what you as a firefighter do to anger them? maybe this is a two way street.

    If the officer is the one to do the investigating for your dept./ district get the training to become the ivestagator for yourself. and assist the proper angency. Or explain why they need to wait till command gives the o.k. Do they have turn out gear on when they enter the structure or their polies on. NO GEAR NO GOING IN! I'm resposible for the scene until I'm done, you can wait and ask the FF's who were inside what they saw.

    My real life bother is an officer (he thinks he knows all, but if you talk to him and not at him he will see your side of the situation "most of the time"). So as someone once said;
    CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?

    We all try to serve and protect our communities, lets work together for our communities.

    Train together, work together, live together. These are our bothers and sisters of the community/public at large.

    Take care and may God bless us all.

    Todd

    P.S. FO2 in my department if there's donuts on the back of the truck there would be FF's there to. Maybe myself.


  13. #13
    Bobby Halton
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    It is great to see that most of the posts have a good working relationship with the coppers. I think your post infers that your law enforcement folks are doing your fire investigations. If that is so and they are getting in the way of fireground operations maybe a SOP for entry or transfer of command SOP might help you. The first effort should be an attempt to talk to each other, rules tend to grow like crazy if you let them be a cure all. But good fireground SOP's are important stuff and maybe your answer. Chief B from Phoenix always teaches us don't trade relationships for outcomes. The coppers here are super at our fires they are kinda fun to mess with too. There is very little a cop won't do. We have found that under their uniforms many of them are firefighters trapped in cops bodies. Before we look at someone as problem we sould try to figure out what they are trying to do. It's always worth a shot, and someday you are going to need a cop, of course none will be around. Be Safe Stay low Bobby

    ------------------

  14. #14
    Dave Grice
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Our officers are pretty good most of the time. Sometimes they are a little slow blocking off artery roads, but sidestreets they do a great job blocking for us. They are helpful with the LDH hook-ups also. We had a fire last year at one end of town when a fire broke out at the other end of town. Two officers were first on scene and rescued two people, so they've got our respect in our city.

  15. #15
    resqb
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We use the copological indicators quite often. If they come out the front door of the building in choke and puke mode, it's a working fire. Our rig has their channels in our radio so if they're screaming for us(the rescue) to hurry up, then they've got a good wreck. Generally they park the cars out of the way but they occasionally do they're jobs.

  16. #16
    fyrgeek
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Hey, I was waiting for the copologicical indicator comment to pop up. I am a Security Policeman for the US Air Force in Alaska. (Like Army MP's but smarter!) While I was in Montana as a SP I sometimes would arrive on scene prior to FD/Medics and as an EMT/FF on the outside I would try to give a size-up/pt info prior to there arrival to give them an idea of what to expect. I have had some other cops give me grief and some BC's tell me that they don't write tickets so don't tell me about fire. I take this with a grain of salt and press on. I will stand up for my fellow brothers in blue and say we try our best and sometimes we just need to get the heck out of the way. I hope that the local law enforcement officers will continue to aid you all in you jobs or wise up and smell the coffee. I am also guilty of hogging the front of the house on EMS calls. I guess that driving the ambulance got me into that train of thought. However there were some times that they had to look for me to find the house.

    Be Safe!!

    ------------------
    Dennis Kuritz
    Firefighter/EMT
    North Star VFD

    [This message has been edited by fyrgeek (edited February 12, 2000).]

  17. #17
    Frank Allen
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    I guess I am glad I serve in the area that I do we have a great working relationship with all local law enforcement. I have been on the scenein the past with just a drive and another firefighter and my self (3) guys, when out of nowhere here comes a trooper or other law officer around the corner of the truck and they say what do you need. I have no problem telling them to grab some gear and help out. At MVA's I have told them to hop in the car and take C spine imoblization
    or other task that was just another set of hands. I have never had an officer refuse to help. And it also work the other way around, if they need lighting at one of there calls they have called before. I have always told the guys that you never know when you might need one of the boys in blue for a little back up. (The only thing is when the aux. gets to the scene with coffee and food you will loose you extra set of hands HAHAHAHA) I would rather have them than the chief over my shoulder.

    Yall stay safe

    ------------------
    "Volunteer and Loving it"

  18. #18
    Firekatz04
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Smile

    Yeah, we use the "copological" sizeup as well. We usually get a car or two near the fire scene before we arrive. They USUALLY do a good job. We have seen one or two puking outside and incoherrent as to whether anyone is inside so they're not a WHOLE lot of help there. We've also been on calls where they get on scene and report a working fire... and we pull up to a light ballast or wall outlet smoking ;}
    To be objective , I'd have to say I'd rather have them there then not, the "goofs" are maybe less than 5% of the time... and OUR guys also screw up.
    As far as "investigations", the township fire marshall is chief of the neighboring dept. and a retired police detective that knows his **** from BOTH aspects. Couldn't be any better than that!

  19. #19
    chiefjay4
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    yesterday they were....they parked in front of the only hydrant at a working garden apartment fire!

  20. #20
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Perfect example of what I was talking about in my earlier post...Two nights ago, woking fire in the walls of a section of a house under renovation. Cops get there first (it was dispatched at 0446), confirm a working fire and confirm that all residents are out of the house and OK. So far, so good.

    What's the next logical step??

    a. Clear your cruiser from in front of the building
    b. Gather useful information on the events leading up to the incident to relay to incoming fire units
    c. Assess the occupants to make sure that there are no injuries that they haven't thought to report in all the confusion
    d. Grab your little 10 lb. ABC extinguisher from the trunk of your cruiser and dash into the smoke-filled house (standing up, of course) to fight the fire, which you have no hope of actually extinguishing

    You guessed it...the correct answer is "D"!!!

    Hey, I'm all for anyone trying a reasonable rescue if there is no other choice, but cowboying around doing silly things when you've already confirmed that there's no life hazard any more...that's just stupid.

  21. #21
    wt311
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Hammerhead has a good answer. But lets go one further. We have a police/fire operations sop. So we no before hand what the other is going to do. Just another form of Pre-incident planning. Also talk to them not at them and let them know what your concerns are and ask how you can help them. Talking before is much better than ****ing and moaning after and healther too! Also have you ever ridden with the pd or asked them to stop by for coffee. Or maybe the would like a quiet place to do a report from time to time. We welcome the PD, SO, and Az. DPS into our station they even use our weight equip. Now we have no problems that we can't talk about. (Fringe) helps when we get stopped!

  22. #22
    STATIONTWO
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    For the most part i find all cops rather good.

    just a bit of advice, if you ever get pulled over by one.Don't tell that you are a firefighter or your great uncle louie is a cop.Just tell them you own the local dunkin donuts. works all the time.

    have a good day

  23. #23
    MetalMedic
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    Being a full time cop and a volunteer firefighter... let me put in my 2 cents. Around here for the most part, the cops are the ones who prefer to run out of the burning buildings we run into. From what I have seen in the past 20 years, the police stay out of the way and take care of crowd control while the smoke eaters do their thing.

    For those of you who have problems with what the cops are doing on your scenes... have you ever made an effort to offer them some training? We're all public safety professionals. I am sure the police officers do not intend to block your scenes and hydrants with their cars. My guess is that no one ever bothered to show them where the fire department wants them to park at and what the fire department NEEDS them to do at a fire scene. It is easy to do the wrong thing when you are at the scene of an emergency and don't know what it is you are expected to do. In an effort to do SOMETHING, the police could do the wrong thing.

    Get some of them donuts, put up an overhead of a fire scene and invite the coppers to join you for some pre-planning. Be sure to include their cars and their people in your scenario... who knows, maybe they'll invite you to their next bank robbery! :-)

    ------------------
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

  24. #24
    Capt. LaFrance
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    We work with the PA State Police and for the most part they are always helpful. Especially the rookies fresh from the Academy. It is interesting to watch them use a road flare to find out precisely when the saddle tank started to leak fuel onto the highway.

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