I'm wondering if anyone out there has been experiencing difficult working relationships with their local or state police or has sensed a change in attitude about EMS and fire when working together. We've had several "incidents" in our region recently, and I'm wondering if it's just a localized incident, other people are seeing the same thing. We recently had a paramedic threatened with arrest by state police for refusing to draw blood on a suspected drunk driver (he was taking care of another patient). We also had a department in our county who was transporting a critical patient (lights and sirens) when they were pulled over and made to sit on the side of the highway for 10 minutes so the trooper could make sure the ambulance wasn't stolen. One firefighter in our department swears police are targeting cars with firefighter stickers to pull over (his perception, I obviously don't know if it's true), having recently been given a ticket for going 5 MPH over the speed limit on the freeway.
So anyway, I'm wondering if other people have stories, or if it's just our county that's rubbing law the "wrong way."
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10-28-2005, 09:32 AM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
How's your relationship with police?
10-28-2005, 10:56 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jan 2004
We have a great working relationship with both our local sheriffs department and the State Patrol. A trooper just came to our training on Saturday and gave us lots of great information on emergent driving. The city police might look at you a little funny driving through town, but they're MOSTLY cool too.
10-28-2005, 11:22 AM #3
Everyone will have ****ing matches from time to time on scene. Sounds a little out of hand from what you are saying. However the fire chief and police chief should sit down and find out what the problem is. Then they can come back to everyone and give them the we all are going to get along talk. Like it or not we all need to work together. There are a lot of times we do not need to but when we do itís big. May all come back to a big rumor that wasnít true. Few years ago we didnít work well with our police. Both departments got new chiefs, that decided everyone was going to get along or not have to worry about it. Now the pd stop at the fire station to see what is going on. We have been on training and they have come and stop by. We work very well together. We have calls they show up on scene and help out and it how it should be.
As far as the ticket. Being in the wrong is being wrong. Just because we are firefighter doesnít mean the pd shouldnít do there job. Sure 5 over is picky however I remember when I first started I worked a job dispatching. Another thing to look as is how does this guy drive. There are a few guys that might say that on our department, however after riding with them a few times I know that would be b.s. If he drives like an idiot and we all know that cant happen. It maybe this guys is driving bad and canít admit it. When I was a teenage punk it was they where out to get me because Iím just a teenage punk. It is possible that the driving style is getting them stopped.
Riding with one of the police officers to learn the streets better. He did a rolling stop at a stop sign. A state trooper that was running traffic stopped him and wrote him for it. Stopping an ambulance running hot with a critical pt. in the back. I maybe wrong but I would not of stopped. We can figure it out at the hospital. Best bet would be get the heads of these departments to sit down and find out what the problem is.Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!
10-28-2005, 11:27 AM #4
- Join Date
- Sep 1999
- I don't know but I here laughing.
Who is the guy who knows where the dead horse is?
oh, and are relationship is fantastic.
10-28-2005, 12:41 PM #5
We have a lot of problems with our PD. It's not the individual officers-it's their bosses and the department culture. The PD administration has zero interest in training with us or writing policy to address the problem, despite repeated requests by our Chiefs to do so.
At fires, they park in front of the hydrant, in front of the house, break all the windows with flashlights. At accidents they won't close the road, and harass us when we use the rig to block traffic. When you bring it up to the officers, they just don't understand what we're doing, so it is usually resolved with tact and professionalism between us.
The cops show up at all the kid EMS calls, throw the critical ones in the back of the squad car, and drive like he!! to the hospital- passing the medic engine and ALS ambulance on the way. 3 times in the past couple of years.
Everybody wants to help kids. I understand it's hard to wait for better trained help-that's why I became a paramedic. But there is reason why we have the EMS system we have. The last time our Chief asked them to educate their officers on the subject they refused-and put out a press release praising the officer who took the kid, and bashing the FD for questioning his decision.
Okay, now that I have tried to make it clear that the problem is the PD's administration, not the officers, I will nonetheless wait for George to call me a cophater.
10-28-2005, 03:39 PM #6
Originally Posted by gunnyv
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
Boy, some of what you've mentioned sure brings back memories. I can't tell you how many times we've had squad cars blocking hydrants and cops running around breaking out all the windows. One of them ran into a burning house and pulled some kid out awhile ago, pinned a medal on his chest they did. Most of those problems were with the city PD, though, and they've been fixed through patient "mentoring" by our firefighters. The state police, however, seem to have a culture that's very difficult to break through with diplomacy.
10-28-2005, 04:30 PM #7
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
- Vass North Carolina
most of the cops around here are cool. but GOD FORBID they get on scene first. the car could be fully involed with a pt trapped inside and because they were there first its THERE scene. I have been in the middle of extricateing a pt and a tropper ask me to move so he could finish measureing. HOW WELL DO YOU THINK THAT WENT! but other then a few ****ing matches here and there most of the time we have an alright relationship.
10-28-2005, 04:53 PM #8
We've never had a problem between the fired dept. and the two RCMP detachments which cover our district. When the first responder unit was formed 5 years ago, there was some problems. Since then we have met with the local staff sargeant and twice had members attend out meetings. I suggest you try to meet with local police chief and work out a plan to rectify the problems."My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea." - Tommy Douglas 1961.
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10-28-2005, 06:49 PM #9
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
No Problems Here........
We have a great relationship with our Police, County and State. (That's all we have) County Police are the ones we usually work with, and there are County officers who are also Volunteer Firefighters. The cops hang out at the station when they can, and use the station much like the members in that they are free to watch TV, do paperwork, use the head, wash their cars, etc. Sometimes, THEY bring the Donuts. Firefighters don't get tickets UNLESS they do something really stupid. On the flip side, we do what we want with traffic control, (normally we shut the road down) and that's OK with them. When we are out on the road, we see a "Traffic stop" we slow down and look to see that the officer is OK. If we're clearing an accident scene and the officer's backup isn't there yet, we tend to hang out a bit longer. I guess we "get each other's back" from time to time, without really realizing it.
BTW, Swinney, what state are you in?Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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10-28-2005, 08:39 PM #10
Excellent relationship with the cops. They are always willing to help us, and we are always willing to give them a hand."There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."
For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.
10-28-2005, 11:00 PM #11
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
- Reiffton Fire Company, Exeter, PA
In Royersford we have a good relationship with the cops, at least the Borough ones. I think there have been a few disagreements over the years with the Statey's about closing down the bypass for some accidents, but besides that it's not too bad. The Borough cops though, used to stop by our station on training nights and whenever they'd see some guys hanging out, just to talk and see what's up on our side of the emergency service world. When some new neighbors moved across the street a while ago and called every training and engineer night just because we were making too much noise, the cops would come by and tell us about it, and we'd all share a good laugh at the idiocy of John Q. Public.
In Exeter it's not too bad either. The only complaint is when they have county recall us for something that we really shouldn't be recalled for. The majority of those have been accidents. The most recent one I can think of is when a car took out the two front support columns of an old trolly stop on 422 Business. The pd told county to just not dispatch us. Well, our day driver heard it on the radio and decided we'd go down anyway. When the lady took out the two fron columns, the roof of the pavilion came down on her car and prodruded a good way into the passenger compartment, plus it was reported with injuries. The driver had me take a bunch of pictures with the camera that I always bring after our job was done and we were waiting for the backhoe to push the pavilion off just in case we ever needed evidence to take to the pd to show them our side of the argument and hope they see it our way....
10-29-2005, 12:28 AM #12
Originally Posted by hwoods
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
10-29-2005, 12:30 AM #13
We have a very good relationship with the City Police Dept, County Sheriff's Dept. and the Highway Patrol.
There are rare isolated incidents that occur here and there, but I think the vast majority of them stem from misunderstandings and puffed up egos...Ours as well as theirs.
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K of C 4th Degree
"Fir na tine"
10-29-2005, 07:30 AM #14
Police officers: Great. We like them. They like us. No problems on scene.
Police supervisors: Eh, some of them have issues.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
10-29-2005, 11:20 AM #15Originally Posted by KyleWickmanIACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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10-29-2005, 06:33 PM #16
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
well i got to come out of secrecy here. i was the lt at the incident om comm ave on firehouse usa. and these things can happen more than not. if you saw the episode heres what realy happened: i got a new driver they strike a box for 490 comm. ave. , there are two cars double parked and the cop pulls up and tripple parks hit his lights siren etc. to get the car to move. well for us its to late 2 engines and my truck our on scene. so a couple of quick words $#&^$&^% out of the way. go inside investigate and he moves his car infront of hydrant insted. comes over to me from directing traffic and not happy with how i looked at him (no ****)so not everybody gets it right but we have to get over it and get the job done, this stuff happens alot in this area with alot of campus cops going to thier dorms. ( i prefer a ladder truck take the front over a cop car. so its good initiative bad judgement, thats why when i saw him again i apologized because of the zone us jakes have to get into for a box fire, as far as ems we get along like cats and dogs, but its only a few bad apples on both sides
10-29-2005, 06:51 PM #17
We have a good working realtionship with our PD. (most cops would be firefighters, but that "fear of heights thing" kept them from "da job" ) Occasionally, we have a problem when one of the cops pulls in front of a hydrant.. wordsa are exchanged, supervisors call supervisors and the matter is put to rest.
Sometimes we have a problem with the State Police when we have an incident on Routes 495 and 290 (highways).. usually the problems are with troopers fresh out of the Academy and feel that it is "their " highway and they tunnelvision on keeping traffic flowing."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
10-29-2005, 07:09 PM #18
I have never once encountered a police officers (local or state) that gave a crap about delaying traffic on the highway. Shut it down. Screw 'em, they can wait, cry me a river. They are more than happy to have the road closed... it's less work for them!Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
10-29-2005, 07:14 PM #19
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
- Penn Valley, Ca
Yeah around here if there is an accident that causes a fatality, looks like the patient might die, or even has major injuries the Highway Patrol (State Police to those outside Ca) will have no qualms about shutting down the highway for hours if necessary for their investigation. They have a MAIT (Major Accident Investigation Team) that is about an hour away and they will wait for it to get there, and then do the investigation, shutting down as many lanes as necessary. So when we get on scene first and shut down the highway for 20 minutes to an hour it doesn't bother them at all, we have already started doing their work for them. Didn't used to be that way though.
10-29-2005, 07:27 PM #20
Mutual understandingOriginally Posted by nmfire
However, keep in mind that when you stop traffic on a limited access highway like an interstate or turnpike, the implications of traffic dumping into communities is often real (depending on where the ramps are), and so are secondary collisions because of overloaded roads. For me, it's more work to shut a highway down. BUT in the name of safety, I'll gladly do it.
As a LEO, I've shut Interstate 95 down more than several times in the past few months. Last week, we actually had 2 drunks arrested at the scene of a fatal MVC-- both ran our roadblock, and one tagged the cruiser parked next to me at highway speed. I can only imagine what would've happened if they didn't encounter our detour before the actual MVC scene.
The traffic nightmare these types of closures creates on primary and secondary roads is unbelievable, hence the desire to keep traffic flowing even if it is restricted/slowed. But again, we still shut it down for the responder's safety. I wear all four hats (LEO, FF, EMT, Comms) and I feel we all have a responsibility, at the very least, to understand eachother's jobs.
Last edited by Resq14; 10-29-2005 at 07:31 PM.God Bless America! ē Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
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