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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    Default How safety forces hose the public

    Came across this on another site tonight........


    How safety forces host the public
    Ronald Khol, Editor
    Send feedback to MDeditor @ penton.com



    Check out the full story at:

    http://www.machinedesign.com/asp/vie...MDSite&catId=2

    There has been a big change in the way safety forces respond to routine fender-benders, at least where I live. When I drive to the office, I use a freeway having four lanes in each direction. Initially, if there was a fender-bender, a single police car would show up, and as soon as possible, the police would have the damaged vehicles moved to the shoulder so that all four lanes would remain open to traffic. Then, a fire-department ambulance began showing up with the police car regardless of whether or not anyone was injured. (As an aside, I'll mention that the police also began to leave the vehicles wherever they collided, apparently unmindful of the terrible traffic tieups this creates.) Next, two police cars began showing up along with the ambulance. Then a fire truck began showing up along with the ambulance and two police cars. With all these vehicles spread over the highway, every minor collision essentially shut down the freeway.

    In the many years I have traveled past these accidents, I rarely if ever saw any people injured. So at first I couldn't figure out why the ambulances showed up. Likewise, there were rarely any fires, so I couldn't figure out why the fire trucks were on the scene. And the only purpose of the second police car seemed to be to add to the congestion.
    Last edited by mtnfireguy; 06-19-2005 at 02:41 AM.
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  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Default

    I would stick that paragraph in quotes, Fireguy. I thought that was your story for a minute there.

    Anyway, just another MUTT. Some of his lines are really just amazingly uneducated. How about this doozy:

    The revenue generated by responding to accidents helps cities perpetuate the overstaffing.
    Here's another:

    So one reason firemen respond to automobile accidents is to relieve their boredom.
    I'm not going to start slaggin this guy, because that would be a waste of my time and yours, but I do have a question.

    Why is this an all-too-common public perception, and what can/should we in the Fire Service do to combat it?
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  3. #3
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    Default You have got to be kidding me!

    I clicked on the link and read the rest of the story. My God! I thought this was an editorial some citizen wrote in to a newspaper, then I was shocked to see it was published in a trade journal by one of the editors.

    I can't believe this journal would let something so incredibly libelious and unresearched actually be published. I posted on his blog and corrected some of his "misconceptions" but it was probably a waste of time.

    Besides, why is an engineering journal writing about public safety?

  4. #4
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Default

    Why is this an all-too-common public perception, and what can/should we in the Fire Service do to combat it?
    Because the fire service does a terrible job with pub ed. What needs to be done is get our administrations interested in educating the public, and I mean more then just CPR classes or passing out free smoke detectors.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

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  5. #5
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Read his "blog"

    This self centered egotistical [size=huge] MUTT [/size] fancies himself to be the foremost authority on everything!

    What a dickhead...
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  6. #6
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    Instead of focusing our efforts on calling this man names (which probably are justified ...) we need to concentrate on why folks have this perception and what we can do about it, as McCaldwell and Dave has pointed out.

    We seem to be seeing more and more of this type of crititism from the public and we do need to ask "Why?". Certainly some of the negative stories coming out of FDNY, Sacramento and T0ampa, as well as "local" issues that may have not made it onto the national stage, haven't helped... but the image of the fire service seemed to have taken a downward turn after riding high after 911.

    The other question we need to ask is how can we change it? That will certainly be a community-by-community answer, but there is no doubt that we need to get out in the public view and certainly do a better job of letting the public know what we do. Are there some departments that probably don't do enough? At risk of being bashed, probably yes, and that applies to volunteer and career? Are there departments that allow thier employees/volunteers to continue practices that give them a bad image? Definatly. So the thing that needs to happen is each department needs to look in the mirror and see themselves as a MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC would see them. After this they need to look at what they see, and make the changes that are required. At times it can be tough, and at times it may require personnel changes, but if the fire service is to ever be as successful as law enforcement in terms of staffing and funding... it's a painful phase some departments may have to go through.

  7. #7
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Default

    After reading the whole story, I put together a nice, four-paragraph reply to his drivel. Of course, before sending it off or saving it -- you guessed it -- the lights blinked and my computer rebooted. To write it again would constitute spending too much energy on this guy.

    However, as some of you have said, his opinions are not uncommon. Last week, the state police shut down the primary four-lane boulevard through my city to investigate a fatality MVA. Although it did occur during the afternoon rush, traffic was detoured to side streets and (with a bit of patience) was able to get where they were going.

    One idiot walks at least two blocks up to the scene and starts in on our chief. He tells chief that the people who have the nerve to block off traffic should be forced to sit in it so they know how it feels. Although chief was way too nice to this guy, he did try to explain the situation -- including the fact that there had been a fatality. Of course, that didn't faze this guy. He didn't care about our purpose on scene... He didn't care about what had happened to begin with... He just wanted to know why our big engine was blocking the road.

  8. #8
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    Just to clarify my post in case there was any confusion ...

    There are times that we will do things that will upset the public, that need to be done. An example of this is blocking off a road for an investigation, or the personal safety of our firefighters. These cannot be avoided ... and will upset some folks. This can be minimized if the department has a functioning PIO who is avaialble to the media to fully explain the situation. There are other methods of informing the public of why we acted in a specific way at a specific scene that can be utilized, but that would be for another discussion at another time.

    My post refers to the stupid acts that some firefighters perform in public, or even those that occur beyond closed doors that bring bad press to thier agency. This is what I am refering to when I talk about "looking at ourselves in the mirror" ... I was not referring to the everyday scene stuff that unavoidadly ****es people off.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber rualfire's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by cozmosis

    One idiot walks at least two blocks up to the scene and starts in on our chief. He tells chief that the people who have the nerve to block off traffic should be forced to sit in it so they know how it feels. Although chief was way too nice to this guy, he did try to explain the situation -- including the fact that there had been a fatality. Of course, that didn't faze this guy. He didn't care about our purpose on scene... He didn't care about what had happened to begin with... He just wanted to know why our big engine was blocking the road.
    I'd be tempted to walk him up to the wreck, lift the tarp and SHOW him why the road is blocked.

    We can't do this of course, but it would certainly send a clear message.

    Had a serious Semi Vs pickup T-bone with an extended extrication. Hiway closed, and helecopter landed on the pavement between roadblock and accident. Had a guy manover his car around a semi because he 'couldn't see'. I re-manovered a blocking vehicle to block his view and went to have a conversation with him.

    How do you change the perception of people who are so numbed to the reality of what is actually involved in a serious accident, that they are going to pull stunts like this, or drive by, camera in hand yelling to ask if anyone died...


    IMO the general public doesn't have a clue about the impacts of a bad MVA on the people involved in the crash, the health care system, the first responders, the police, etc...

    IT takes some sort of an incedent where people are directly impacted for them to understand the gravity of what is going on, and the dangers to emergency services workers.


    If you take for example 9/11. The FF's there weren't doing anything out of the ordinary for their jobs. They put thier lives at risk every time they go out. It took the TV dissimenation, and the massive loss of life for the whole world to stand up and take notice. The outpouring of support for firefighters was tremendous. And rightfully so.


    The loss of a loved one in a wreck, or a fire, or whatever is no less tragic to the families of those involved just because its a head on collision, or a Tbone, or a rollover. They happen every day right? But not to you and me.

    I can't believe I'm still ranting... I'm getting to my point. Really.

    I'll go back to public education. Like explaining why it is important for us to have our lights AND siren going at 2:00 in the morning when leaving the hall past a residential area to go to an accident or a fire... The general public still may complain about the noise or traffic delay or whatever the flavor of the month is. Just wait until it is their family who needs us. Then it is the question of why did it take so long... etc..

    End rant...

  10. #10
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    Angry

    I found this in this guys blog section


    "That’s a good idea about getting a ride in a fire truck. Except that aside from picking up couch potatoes who have had heart attacks, most fire departments today rarely make any real fire runs. That is another indisputable fact that the “responders” hate to hear.

    I believe his reference to “responders” (another nice made-up word, like “providers”) refers to an editorial column in the June 16 issue of the print edition of Machine Design. In it, I tell how I saw something like 14 safety vehicles and on the order of 50 firemen, policemen, and EMS personnel show up to drag a body out of the water after it had been dead for three days. I surmised that all these people heard the call on the local police and fire frequencies and then, without being assigned, came to the scene to see what was happening. What else can a person conclude other than that they were satisfying their curiosity and putting some excitement in a dull day? Yet when I pointed this out, a whole bunch of “responders” got mad at me. These guys are incorrigible. Even when it is obvious they are doing something goofy, they mouth off at anyone criticizing them. My observation may have been insulting, but it is a valid conclusion to draw from what I saw.

    Finally, I have another overly long highway closure to report. This one concerns a truck rolling off the highway in a one-vehicle accident where two Interstates intersect. From what I can see in a photo, the truck extends only over the berm of one road and is clear of the other. One of the Interstates was closed for four hours and the other for more than 12 hours."

    [URL=http://forums.machinedesign.com/eve/ubb.x/a/tpc/f/7890016462/m/1280011133]

    This guy is nuts. I would like to beat this guy with a wet noodle

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber SkipJack270's Avatar
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    Vaguely off topic, but what is a MUTT?
    Isiah 43: When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    9-11-01. We Will Never Forget You.

  12. #12
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Skipjack.. go here...

    http://foolsinternational.com/

    click on the "alphabet"
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber SkipJack270's Avatar
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    Gotcha.... Thanks Capt. I knew there had to be a reasonable explanation.
    Isiah 43: When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    9-11-01. We Will Never Forget You.

  14. #14
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Default

    Rual,You could have saved some typing by just inquiring why people don't have a clue.Watch the movie "Clueless"sometime,it speaks volumes.We live in a me/mine world.IE what's in it for me? If it doesn't affect them,they don't want to know about it.If it DOES,it's "how long before I can get going?"'When are you people gonna get my brother out""When can I get in my house?(Hint:AFTER I put the fire out!)"You're keeping me from a very important engagement!"(Well,there are other roads)and my personal favorite:Oh,I can get thru there.(While I have a three part line of 1" wire rope strung across the entire road about 3 feet off the asphalt;Good luck,convertibles while you wait.)We're lucky,we have good Fire officers and good Law enforcement people who have higher priorities than traffic expediency.And for those who still can't grasp why the road's closed ask them if they know the meaning of the word: L I T I G A T I O N!!!!!!!. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 06-27-2005 at 04:32 PM.

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber rualfire's Avatar
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    Default steamed

    Thanks Rescue101...

    I'm still steamed... unbelievable.

    I did send a reasonably coherent email to the editor....

    Made me feel a little better.

  16. #16
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    Brothers, I think you're wasting your time trying to change this self-centered mutt's opinion...seems pretty intractable.

    It is a good reminder though to try and educate the more resonable majority of the general public on how many of us as well as cops and EMTs & Medics are killed in struck by accidents every year and what we are doing to try to change it.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  17. #17
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    Default

    Nice to know that this MUTT has the time to drive past an accident and remain in the area long enough to know what responds, but I have not noticed where he has ever lifted a finger to help out...

    I also liked how we "sit around listening to the radio for a call to go on" - must be hell on dispatchers when units dispatch themselves to other's calls.

  18. #18
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Talking Well..................

    I sent a reply also, very civil, and offered him a Ride-along if he ever gets to the DC area. "A look at what we face....." I'll let y'all know if he accepts.... Thing is, If he does, it'll be a slow night. Right Rick??...... Rick?? ......??
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber Thaddie's Avatar
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    our friend here has stated much the same to another article in which he wrote, you can see his ramblings here

  20. #20
    Forum Member StayBack500FT's Avatar
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    What a moron.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

    I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

    E6511

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