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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    Question Providing Run Reports

    Does your department furnish run reports to property owners when they request one? We have always done this but a recent request has the department on edge a little. A few months ago we were paged out for a shed on fire, when we got on scene the owners asked that we let it burn but this is against our policy. After starting the initial attack our chief became suspicious about the nature of the fire and called the Sheriff's office. Turned out to be a meth lab that had exploded (surprise!). The owners were arrested about 2 hours later. Now they want a copy of the run report, with everyones name on it that was on scene that night. I suspect that the lawyers will want to subpoena us for the trial, which is OK. But what if revenge is the order of the day? What are your thoughts on this and what is your departments policy? Any help would be appreciated.
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    IACOJ
    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

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  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber jaybird210's Avatar
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    AR, I would only give them a copy of the NFIRS report; that should only have two names on it: the IC and whomever completed the report.

    If you keep some kind of a sign-in sheet for personnel, I would wait to give that out until you get a subpeona or a freedom-of-information request.
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  3. #3
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Ditto. Hell, I would give them a copy with the names of the OIC and submittal whited out too.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    Jaybird, man was that quick........That's a good idea about the NFIRS report, I'll pass it along to the chief this afternoon. Stuff like this just makes you love firefighting doesn't it!
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    IACOJ
    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
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    1946-2005
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

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    DO NOT GIVE THEM ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All official reports that deal with a criminal prosecution become part of the official file. They should only, repeat only, be released through the prosecutor in the case. They will be provided in the official process known as discovery. Again, do not provide any piece of information to the defense unless it is provided through the prosecutor.

    It is also very unlikely that you will be able to redact any information on the report. All personnel at the scene are potential witnesses at trial and that information must be turned over to the defense.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    GeorgeWendtCFI, just the man I wanted to hear from! I knew that your insight with the legal world would be important.
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    IACOJ
    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
    FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
    1946-2005
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

  7. #7
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    George beat me to it........... Don't give them anything unless the prosecutor requests it......

  8. #8
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    If the fire was accidental, there is no problem with the resident asking for a copy of the fire incident report. Homeowners insurance companies will request that the owner provide a copy of the report.

    My department charges $50 for a copy of the incident report.

    A criminal case... well that's a horse of a different color.... George's advice is 100% correct!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  9. #9
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Post Second the Motion..........

    I agree with George, and I'd like to add more fuel to the Fire (It's chilly here) by asking a couple of questions. George, and possibly Steamer, can set me straight on this.

    These types of Records are Freedom of Information items, Correct?
    You can hold off on anything, including items covered by FoI, until such items are subpoenaed??
    Does the Defense Counsel need to Subpoena items like this as part of Discovery, or is there a different step??

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    1. FOI does not apply if there is an active investigation or prosecution.

    2. Discovery is an automatic process. There are no subpoenas necessary. You also cannot circumvent the Discovery process with a sub. If you recieve a sub for reports involving an incident that is an active criminal invest or prosecution, refer it to the municipal attorney or the prosecutor. It will probably br quashed.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    From what I read here, we need to give this information only to the prosecution......correct?
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    IACOJ
    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
    FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
    1946-2005
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

  12. #12
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thanks.....................

    Thanks George. Happy Holidays to you and Yours.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber jaybird210's Avatar
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    This is what I was told by the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office, when I asked about this very thing:

    Once I send the NFIRS to OSFM, it becomes public record. If ANYONE wishes to obtain a copy of the NFIRS, they need only submit a FOI request to OSFM. At most, it would take six weeks (wait till the end of the month till NFIRS gets sent to Springfield, then up to 14 days for FIO requests).

    Is that how it ought to be? I don't know. I only repeat what OSFM has told me.
    Omnis Cedo Domus

    www.hinckleyfd.org

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    I would imagine that the laws in IL must be different. IMHO, that report does not belong to them. It belongs to the agency who wrote it. I do not believe that they should be releasing records that may be part of an active criminal investigation. However, there may be regs out there that are different than what we have here.

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    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
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    We are just going through something like this, we had a fire in an apartment looked like a cooking fire. Also it was apperant that alcohol was involved. From what we can gather the family that lived there fled, and is now back living on the indian reservation. What we found out is they want a copy of the fire report so they can get there 5000 dollars that the tribe gives out to any native american for any fire! What the local law enforcement has told us, is we don't give any reports to anyone except the state fire marshal, insurance companys, and law enforcement or lawers.

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    What the local law enforcement has told us, is we don't give any reports to anyone except the state fire marshal, insurance companys, and law enforcement or lawers.
    That's exactly what we have been told this morning.

    Does anyone have a written policy on this, I would like to see a copy if you do. I think we are going to incorporate this into our new SOG's
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    IACOJ
    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
    FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
    1946-2005
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

  17. #17
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    I'm sure the laws change from state to state. In FL, we give copies to anyone who makes a request under FOI UNLESS its part of a criminal invest. If thats the case, no copies are given out until we receive a subpoena.

    Dave

  18. #18
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    good question and learning something new everyday ....thanks George. I would have thought that this was all FOI Act information........
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  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    We only give the NFIRS report to the public. Only the NFIRS report is public record. Any sign in sheets or time logs for payroll or anything else is not public record without a sub. In an instance of a criminal case like arson, a sub. is required to get any information. We will not release any records to anyone but the DA. It is up to the DA to release what they want to release to the public. Like George said, the defense can get this information through the discovery process. If someone is truly threatened by the parties involved, the witnesses(any firefighter on scene) can testify via affidavit if the judge sees there are grounds to do this.

    What you should do is release nothing. Only give information to your local law enforcement to be given to your DA. Remember an arson fire is a criminal case, therefore falls under the PD. Hopefully you have a good working relationship with your police dept. and you work together. They shall do whatever they can to protect the names involved. I can tell you from personal experience that the names really do not matter. If someone wants revenge they will go after the person in charge, if they do it at all. Once they figure out they are still going to be in trouble regardless of the threats they make, and after they realize they can get into more trouble by making the threats, they usually keep their mouth shut and nothing happens. Doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared for it because anything is possible.

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    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Providing Run Reports

    Run reports in most cases are legal and are transferrable for cases of arson etc... Your department's chain of command should be followed
    with proper SOG's that describe actions taken for any report to be released. Remember that anyone listed on a list can be subjected too legal issues, also any run, either being B.S. or actual, proper "docummentation" is a key in supportive actions of the facts.
    good luck

    Originally posted by arhaney
    Does your department furnish run reports to property owners when they request one? We have always done this but a recent request has the department on edge a little. A few months ago we were paged out for a shed on fire, when we got on scene the owners asked that we let it burn but this is against our policy. After starting the initial attack our chief became suspicious about the nature of the fire and called the Sheriff's office. Turned out to be a meth lab that had exploded (surprise!). The owners were arrested about 2 hours later. Now they want a copy of the run report, with everyones name on it that was on scene that night. I suspect that the lawyers will want to subpoena us for the trial, which is OK. But what if revenge is the order of the day? What are your thoughts on this and what is your departments policy? Any help would be appreciated.

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