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  1. #1
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    Default Photographs for Firehouse

    I am member of a Volunteer Fire company in Maryland.. My question is, what are our rights to take photographs on a fire or accident scene, and posting those pictures on our website for the community and other fire fighters to view.. It was my belief if we do not include names or pictures of the victims then it was ok to post them.. Can you advise me on this topic.


  2. #2
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Right Down The Road............

    Since we're in the same state, you would be subject to the same rules that we are. look up our site ( www.gdvfd18.com ) and see how we do it. That should give you an idea. Good Luck, and post your site address, so we can look at it.
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  3. #3
    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    Hmmm..Here's something to ponder.

    Recently in the area, a local news agency took photos of an extrication (from a safe place of course..), and the patients identity was obviously disclosed by these photos.

    Think you could use those photos, if you were given the rights to them?
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

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  4. #4
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    I would check the specific laws of your state, but generally speaking, buildings on fire and car crashes are public events. ANything that could be viewed by Joe Citizen would be okay to photograph and post on your webpage. I would say that ethics and discretion would be the key to reducing problems however. Would an unidentified fatality in a car wreck be leaglly allowed to be photgraped and posted on a website....probably so, but I am sure you would agree that you would not want relatives of that victim viewing those kinds of pictures on your departments website.

    I would stick to exterior shots of building fires and the aftermath of vehicles after being in collisions. Leave the victims out of it.

    One Exception - I would include photographs that included fireman helping people that were not overly graphic.
    Robert Kramer
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

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    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  5. #5
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Red face Oops.........

    Forgot to mention that we don't use photos that show a vehicle's tag if we can avoid it. One might slip thru, but it's not intentional. We also avoid the victim as well, an arm or something may get in sometimes, but we've avoided faces totally, and intend to continue with that approach. I can say that we've never had a complaint.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    In my neck of the woods, there is not a specific state or local law that prohibits the use of video or photographs that can identify a person, place or thing.

    The media and the fire service in my area have a working relationship that is more like a gentleman'a agreement that they do not show directly a face, plate number or street address as long as the family members have not been notified of the emergency. (as if you cannot recognize the planter in the front yard of the house or the bumper/window sticker on the car or something like that )

    As far as publishing or posting a picture or video on a website, the same applies. No law against it but common sense should prevail.

    Even if you have permission from the subjects involved, I would still not show an address or a plate number just because it takes you out of the possibility of them coming back at you or the fire department for identity theft or some crap like that. Just eliminate the possibility of that occuring.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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  7. #7
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    just blur it out ( faces and plates) using a cheap paint program

  8. #8
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    I would say that taking accident photos and working fire photos and than posting them is fine.

    I would omit those photos which of course can identify anyone or those photos that show deceased persons {Have respect for the dead....keep those pictures away from the general public viewing} otherwise I don't see a problem with it......Some pictures can be very informational.

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