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  1. #1
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    Default New Jersey Trooper Incident

    Question, does anyone have any insight on the incident involving the New Jersey and NJ Trooper incident. If the department was in the wrong i would totally understand that. As i have been told, and the way it is in our state. On traffic accidents, the person in control is the fire officer. Basically what he says goes. If the FD had an incident requiring the right hand lane to be closed for a reason (such as, members in process of rescue, clean-up, etc in the right to off road side) they should have NO REASON to appologize to the troopers. There are several concerns in the FD these days. If you find any way to prevent accidents to happen, then do it; especially if it is on an accident. I would rather keep a lane closed down to prevent my firefighters from being in an accident or even killed by extremes. Just my thoughts.....anyone else have any thoughts, or any insight on the incident that happend?


  2. #2
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    We're all in the business together. Although there is always issues about ultimate Command of highway scenes, everyone should get along. If it takes biting one's lip or apologizing to get it done, then why not?

    It all depends on the circumstances. If there was no further need for fire officials to be in command, then it will be the Trooper's "show" because of his authority of traffic on the interstate.

  3. #3
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    Totally agree with you 100%. And thats the thing is figuring out the basis of what had happened

  4. #4
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Actually, I believe in the laws state in NJ that the NJSP is in charge of any scene within the state boundaries. some law stating they were the overall point of authority, probably some outdated law that had some relevant meaning a hundred years ago. But I did get this information from a co worker, so it may in fact be wrong, I haven't verified it myself.

    It was a stupid incident, where the trooper was probably legally right, and that's why the fire chief was probably forced to make a public apology (don't think for a second that he made that willingly) for protecting his men. From what it sounds like, he could have fought in in court, and won in the court of public opinion, but failed when it came down to the letter of the law.

    Personally, I hope that the next time something like this happens, the chief thinks twice about closing a lane without the troopers approval..... and closes the whole damn highway, so there can be no mistake that an emergency is on going, use flares and cones so in case people don't see the BRT in the roadway, they will see the cones.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  5. #5
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    Cloudkicker, check page 2 on this board, Battle of the badges on rte 80. You will find everything about this incident, 19 pages.

  6. #6
    35monroeffemt
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    SCENE SAFETY!!!

    If I feel I need to shut a road down to protect firemen from traffic. I'm going to and if the police want it moved than they can also stay and work the accident too. No disrespect to police officers but the whole holier than thou attitude should be left to use with the criminals. If we are all supposed to be a team than why would the police want to do anything that would put thier teamates in harms way. VERY Unprofessional and a bad call in my book.

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    I couldn't more with you 35monroeffemt. Unfortunately this isn't the first nor will it be the last time an incident like this happens. I think it is a shame that they made the fire dept. apologize. The way I understood it in the original thread both the trooper and the fire chief took it to far and started shouting at each other. If the fire chief had to apaologize to the trooper , why didn't the trooper have to extend an apology back to the fire chief ?

  8. #8
    Forum Member bigdeal's Avatar
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    Default Ics ?

    I don't understand how the trooper would be in command, as if the FD needs to wait for orders upon their arrival from him? Where is the ICS? I'm not blasting anybody, simply saying I don't understand how that could work, who answers to who? I feel whoever assumed command is in charge-no questions about it-end of story. With out that wouldn't it be considered freelancing?

  9. #9
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    In the wonderful state of NJ , Troopers have total control of the state highways even during fires or vehicle accidents. This isn't to say that they run the fire or ems operations , just that when it comes to traffic control they have the final say as to whether the highway gets shut down or whatever. I don't agree with it but that's the way it is.

  10. #10
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    Wow, thanks for the posts everyone. Totally agree with everyones stand point. I have no disrespects for officers. They are out there just like us bustin' theirs as we are as well. I just think its kinda silly that it had to go to court. Sounds kinda fishy like there has been problems before. I also think that it is a very weird situation that the police are in ultimate control. I think they can have control once the hazards from FD aspect are dealt with. Thats the biggest concerns. Thanks everyone for the 411

  11. #11
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    in our area, depending on the location either the fire department or police are in control. On the highways (long island by the way) state troopers and highway patrol have authority over what happens with traffic. Unfortunately, they dont always make the right choices. They once made us move our heavy rescue mid cut on the post of a car, the hydraulic unit had to shut off so our truck could be moved therefore getting our tool stuck, slowing the extrication operation.

  12. #12
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    Call 973 983 2865 and ask the Chief .
    He is the only one that has the answer to your questions.
    Maybe it will stop all the bs and rumors that have been here and other
    boards.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubWay1 View Post
    I don't understand how the trooper would be in command, as if the FD needs to wait for orders upon their arrival from him? Where is the ICS? I'm not blasting anybody, simply saying I don't understand how that could work, who answers to who? I feel whoever assumed command is in charge-no questions about it-end of story. With out that wouldn't it be considered freelancing?
    It's really simple. The State Trooper was in charge, in command, top of the "ICS" heap. They (NJSP) are "command" on the state highways. FD Chief disobeyed the order. End of story.


    And personally, I most likely would have disobeyed the order as well. However, not being there and seeing exactly where it all occurred and what the traffic was like...I can't say whether the trooper was correct or not.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  14. #14
    Forum Member CdnFD24's Avatar
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    It's bull***** like this that makes both departments look bad.

    Key thing is: Scene safety. Don't care whos in charge, they damn well better make sure things are as safe as they can possibly be, especially when it's located on a highway.

    That's not too much to ask for, and it's not hard to figure out. People need to learn to work together.

    You aren't going to be much help to those in need if your busy getting run over by traffic.

    *my thoughts*

    Neil
    "You see things and you ask, 'Why'? I dream of things that never were and I say, 'Why not'?

    "I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn't park anywhere near the place."

    "When you are kind to someone in trouble, you hope they'll remember and be kind to someone else. And it'll become like a wildfire."

  15. #15
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    Jesrey State Troopers are in total control of the scene and don't care what needs to happen to get THEIR highway open . I was at an accident scene with 2 other agencies operating and with patients still boarded and collared on the highway and the Trooper basically threw us off the highway, so he could get 1 lane of traffic open. There were 2 engines, a rescue,3 ambulances and a medic unit on scene and he wanted everybody off to one side so he could let 1 lane go by us in the express lanes.

  16. #16
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    There are a couple of take-aways for everyone from this nasty incident:
    1. Know what you can and cannot do at an incident. For example, ANY emergency vehicle in Kentucky can park ANYWHERE it wants as long as 1 emergency light is operating. In Illinois, the fire department is in overall command of any incident with fire (we used to joke we'd break out a cigarette lighter if we needed to get EMS or PD in line).
    2. Try to meet the people you will work with regularly. When we know each other, we are more likely to work as a team.
    3. Don't forget that we are a TEAM. Fire/EMS/Police are all involved in public safety. We have to work together and learn to play nicely with each other.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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    _______________
    Last edited by sfd2605; 03-17-2008 at 07:59 PM.

  18. #18
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    1) Learn punctuation. It can be your friend.

    2)
    vehicle involved in the accident was well off the road
    The EMS crew was wheeling the patient on a stretcher on the shoulder, actually on the "road/travel" side of the shoulder due to positioning of other vehicles. While the crashed car was off the shoulder, the transport path of the patient was not well off the road.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  19. #19
    Dispatch Dweller Jay911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RESQBOSS244 View Post
    This isn't to say that they run the fire or ems operations
    According to the accounts from the scene, that's exactly what Fritz tried to do.

    All I can say is I'm lucky enough to be in a place where our relationship is so good with the police that when they retire after 16 years on highway patrol, they write us a letter thanking us for our service with them all this time. (Thanks, Cst. Ralph Crittenden, RCMP Cochrane Highway Patrol!)
    --jay.

  20. #20
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    The charges were dropped against the firefighters and handshakes were done after the hearing between the troopers involved and Chief. From what I've read, meetings are being scheduled to try and work out the issue(s). It's too bad that things went this far before people got smart enough to brainstorm the problem.

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