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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Fire Department videoing responders on scenes.BAD OR GOOD?

    How to you feel about a firefighter responding to scenes with his department. Too fires,accidents,and rescue cases to photograph the response.

    One thing that troubles me is the right to privacy.The second thing is the guy taking the shots is one of us, a responder.The family involved usually has negative comments.

    I say we should let the media shoot the video and the fire department do its job.
    Last edited by coldfront; 11-27-2005 at 09:31 PM.
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  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Default

    This has been discussed somewhat before, but I guess it depends on why the person is shooting the video.

    If it is for training purposes, performance review, legal documentation, etc. It might actually be valuable to the department. It can back up your officer's and firefighter's accounts of the incident should you end up in court, or it could possibly catch some valuable fire activity or evidence before it is destroyed. If it is simply for personal or entertainment reasons, than you have a right to speak up and let the shooter and the dept know you don't want to be filmed.

    Either way, the filming should always be discreet. You don't film the carnage like a war photog, and you should always be mindful of family/residents/friends present on the scene.

    Many trucks these days have dash-cams (some are dept installed for documentation, and some or handicams jury rigged in place), and several cities have command trucks with camera towers that record the scene's events.

    Cameras are here to stay in many settings, and we all have to live with them to some extent, but if you still feel they are being used inappropriately, speak up.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  3. #3
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Default It depends

    I don't think it is necessarily all negative. I would say it varies by incident type. I absolutely see nothing wrong with fire pictures or vehicles in MVA's. I am guessing that you are being more "sensitive" about photgraphs of people.

    As far as privacy goes, a general rule to go by is that if you are photographing something outside that anyone can see, you are okay. Pictures in people's homes or businesses is another story. I think as long as the main concentration is on the incident, not the person, it can be okay. I also think that firefighters, ems, or police doing their job is okay; even if that means a civilain is in the picture at one of their less than best moments.

    A little tact will go a long way. I keep a camera in the cab of the pumper. I try to snap a picture of stuff that we pull up on. Here is one that one of my guys got pulling in to a pallet company. Nothing wrong with that.
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  4. #4
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    I don't understand why you would be so against a fellow firefighter filming the situation. I agree that the carnage should not be filmed exclusively but filming the operations can only be of service to the company in either training or legal issues. A lot of companies have a designated fire photographer. That's why I'm able to teach Fire Photograhphy since there is a real need for such a positon.

    Filming the crowd gathered at a scene can also be helpful in investigations. If you have a series of suspicious fires and the same civilians keep showing up you may have just found your problem.

    I agree with the other posts that you do have to be careful with what and where you film in certain situations.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonfyre
    I don't understand why you would be so against a fellow firefighter filming the situation. I agree that the carnage should not be filmed exclusively but filming the operations can only be of service to the company in either training or legal issues. A lot of companies have a designated fire photographer. That's why I'm able to teach Fire Photograhphy since there is a real need for such a positon.

    Filming the crowd gathered at a scene can also be helpful in investigations. If you have a series of suspicious fires and the same civilians keep showing up you may have just found your problem.

    I agree with the other posts that you do have to be careful with what and where you film in certain situations.
    I can see the benefit in film ,if it is being used for training.Who should take control of those tapes?Some of the footage I have seen that this department shoots is direct shots of faces of accident vitims.

    My fear is that they fall in the hands of gore seekers.Filming of a working structure fire is benefit to training.If the video is being view in a training session that is great.

    When a group is back at the station eating popcorn and allowing girlfriends and wifes watch a gore show them a line has been crossed.

    They hide behind the theory of filming for training when it is be used for entertainment.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

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  6. #6
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    Luckily, we have a former Asst. Chief from a neighboring company that recently joined my company who takes the time out of his schedule, if he is available, and films most major incidents. I have viewed every tape that he has made for us and all he shows are the operations aspect of the call.

    You might have a few crowd shots, but that is limited. The advantage that we have is that since he has the experience, he stays out of the way and lets us do our job. Actually, I have only heard compliments regarding his professionalism.

    As to any member who films responses, they should have enough knowledge of the fire service and the legal issues involved in filming a scene. Also, if they are an active firefighter, they should be fighting the fire and not taping it.

  7. #7
    Forum Member PattyV's Avatar
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    For a lot of the etiquette and legal side of it, do a search of the forums because we have had a big talk on what should and should not be filmed. Maybe you should think about having a system where you make a copy and edit out the faces of victims or any firefighters who do not wish to have their faces on it. Maybe edit it to protect victim's modesty as well. And keep the originals locked away only to be used for legal reasons.

    Just food for thought...
    "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.

  8. #8
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    I just wonder your definintion of "responding" to take pictures.

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