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  1. #1
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    Default Fire Department/Police relationship?

    Just thought I'd ask to see how your Fire department gets along with your police department? Around here, it's becoming increasingly tense. Police officers will tell the Fire Chief what they think should be done on scene. Our personnel and police personnel don't necessarily work great together on MVA's or medical calls either, no communication at all, police won't secure the scene safely sometimes. Some of our personnel have off duty issues with some of their officers as well.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by miked2424 View Post
    Just thought I'd ask to see how your Fire department gets along with your police department? Around here, it's becoming increasingly tense. Police officers will tell the Fire Chief what they think should be done on scene. Our personnel and police personnel don't necessarily work great together on MVA's or medical calls either, no communication at all, police won't secure the scene safely sometimes. Some of our personnel have off duty issues with some of their officers as well.
    Sounds like it's past time to have a meeting of the Chiefs to clear up expectations and communication.

  3. #3
    Forum Member KEEPBACK200FEET's Avatar
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    Our department gets along with PD and SHP great. We have this working understanding of we have our job to do and they have theirs. We'll assist each other if needed (menial tasks); but other than that, we keep to ourselves.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

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    Go put your pussy 2 1/2" lines away kiddies.

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    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

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    Forum Member OlieCan's Avatar
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    We get along well. Throughout the year we have Police vs Firefighters in Basketball, Softball, and Flag Football (which quickly turns to tackle).

    Its a lot easier and safer to do a job with people you get along with and trust.
    Get busy livin, or get busy dyin. - Shawshank Redemption
    IACOJ

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    Our PD and FD's have a great relationship. There used to be little clashes every now and then. It's hard because all responders have a set of duties, and sometimes they clash even though everyone involved is doing what they're supposed to. Now we have a give and take relationship that works well for everyone, and most importantly the citizens in our community. When the "powers that be" step back and remember why everyones in this business it becomes real easy to work together towards a common goal.

    -Nick

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    We have no issues with the police. A lot of the Sheriff's deputies in our county also volunteer, so they understand what we are trying to do. The few issues that we have had are taken care of once the hot-heads cool down.

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    We have a very good relationship with our local police. The clashes over turf are very rare, and usually involve new cops, or one particular department within our mutual aid area whose chief is a strutting martinet. It helps considerably that New Hampshire law (RSA 174) is exceptionally strong and detailed regarding who is in charge at an emergency scene (virtually always the fire department). New Hampshire's statute actually lays the relationship out in a degree of detail you might expect from SOPs or inter-agency agreements rather than state law. For example, stating that the fire department is in charge at MVA that involves injury, leaking fluids, or any possibility of either fire or envirnmental damage. And specifically stating that the fire officer in charge has the authority to shut down any roadway. The police all know this, and while they may not like it, they accept it and do not let their dislike show.

    It also helps to try to interact with them socially. We invite them to all our events. Our association makes a financial contribution to the PBA. We invite them to wash their cars at our station. We discretely handled a situation where a crusier went of the road and into the woods, and once we cut the Chief's son out of a wreck.
    Last edited by randsc; 02-12-2007 at 03:09 PM.

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    We get along with sherriffs very well here. We do a lot of training with them. None of them are actually on the department, but our district is the home of the regional haz-mat team. Therefore, we communicate with them a lot on pre-incident planning and the likes. They are very good about letting us control the scene for our protection, but we always keep their jobs in mind such as keeping the roadway open and interviewing patients while we are doing assessments. I love doing searches with them. They call us for our thermal imagers when people run from them. When that happens we get split up into teams with them. Geez, I thought we were trash talkers. I think some of them are actually more morbid than we are. I hang out with a few of them at the bars also. The highway patrol on the other hand are a little more anal than them. But then again, everything is mutual. No where is it written for who is actually in charge of MVAs but, if you just use a little sense and respect for everyone, you will never have any troubles.

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    The age old problem of the PD-FD relationship is one that seems to never go away in certain jurisdictions. As a former LEO, here is one thing that I know for sure...

    This problem will NEVER be solved at 3 AM on the curb in front of the emergency scene. It is incumbent upon the fire chief to swallow his/her pride and call the police chief TOMORROW morning at 9 AM and ask for a meeting. Begin the dialogue and start solving the problem NOW. Very often these problems are rooted in episodes that either occurred years ago, or were blown out of proportion with rumor and inuendo until they took on an urban myth-like existence.

    Open dialogue always works. Eventually. Persistence is key.

  10. #10
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miked2424 View Post
    Just thought I'd ask to see how your Fire department gets along with your police department? Around here, it's becoming increasingly tense. Police officers will tell the Fire Chief what they think should be done on scene. Our personnel and police personnel don't necessarily work great together on MVA's or medical calls either, no communication at all, police won't secure the scene safely sometimes. Some of our personnel have off duty issues with some of their officers as well.
    I haven't seen any stress between our PD and FD. A few years back, the FD lost an officer during a domestic fight when the male partner shot at the arriving engine. Police officers dragged her and an injured male member of the engine to safety; unfortunately, she succumbed to her injuries.

    There have been plenty of times when we call the ambulance to treat minor injuries to a police officer (including me)...and they never complain about the nature of the call or the hour of the day.

    I just try to keep my cruiser out of the way of hydrants and let them do their thing. At the same time, they tell us when a suspect can skip a ride to the ER or if we all need to go. In short, we work pretty darn well as partners.
    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).

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber dday05's Avatar
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    We get along pretty good with our PD. They do a good job assisting us on medicals as well.

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    MembersZone Subscriber KevinFFVFD's Avatar
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    we had some issues with our deputies attemtping to make entry and save someone, but that issue has been solved. since we are volunteer and have to respond to our station to get our trucks, the deputies are usually on scene before we are. they are real good in telling dispatch what is going on, like if a strusture is in fact on fire and how bad it is. we have an understanding they we are the fire department and they are police and we do not try to do each others jobs. we work really well on MVC's as well. and they are good about responding to calls when we request them, like when we deal with someone drunk or violent. we also have to work with the city fire department ambulance service which is our primary ambulance service, which we also have a real good relationship with.
    you have to have a real good realtionship with everyone you may be scene with. if you dont you jeopardize the safety of yourself, fellow firefighters, police, and any other civilians or emergency personnel on scene.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinFFVFD View Post
    we had some issues with our deputies attemtping to make entry and save someone, but that issue has been solved. since we are volunteer and have to respond to our station to get our trucks, the deputies are usually on scene before we are. they are real good in telling dispatch what is going on, like if a strusture is in fact on fire and how bad it is. we have an understanding they we are the fire department and they are police and we do not try to do each others jobs. we work really well on MVC's as well. and they are good about responding to calls when we request them, like when we deal with someone drunk or violent. we also have to work with the city fire department ambulance service which is our primary ambulance service, which we also have a real good relationship with.
    you have to have a real good realtionship with everyone you may be scene with. if you dont you jeopardize the safety of yourself, fellow firefighters, police, and any other civilians or emergency personnel on scene.

    So.........

    The PD arrives on the scene 3-5 minutes before you do, with people at the windows. And you really expect to stand there and tell you what is going on via the radio instead of doing something because you're the FD and they're not?

    You honestly have to be kidding.

  14. #14
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    For the most part, our FD/PD has had a great working relationship up until a few years ago. Basically, the PD was trying to take command of incidents. It didn't go well, and since then numerous issues have come up. Nothing resolved either. No communication and I just hope the scene is safe in general, as if there's no communication, I don't know how in the world we're going to operate at 3 am in the right lane, when the PD won't close it down.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by miked2424 View Post
    I don't know how in the world we're going to operate at 3 am in the right lane, when the PD won't close it down.
    Thats easy just put the big red truck across the road.Take care

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber KevinFFVFD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    So.........

    The PD arrives on the scene 3-5 minutes before you do, with people at the windows. And you really expect to stand there and tell you what is going on via the radio instead of doing something because you're the FD and they're not?

    You honestly have to be kidding.
    no, thats obvious that we would allow them to do something if they are at the windows. what i am talking about is they would get on scene and actually make entry into the house to try and search for people.
    Last edited by KevinFFVFD; 02-13-2007 at 12:52 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinFFVFD View Post
    no, thats obvious that we would allow them to do something if they are at the windows. what i am talking about is they would get on scene and actually make entry into the house to try and search for people.
    Obvious??????

    we had some issues with our deputies attemtping to make entry and save someone

    Not obvious. But your FD should be commended for "allowing" the officers to save someone's life.

  18. #18
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinFFVFD View Post
    no, thats obvious that we would allow them to do something if they are at the windows. what i am talking about is they would get on scene and actually make entry into the house to try and search for people.
    Do you think the public cares who pulls them from the fire?

    We've had officers help make rescues and we've had firefighters detain suspects. In fact, one was at a bar fight where the FD was there first, one of the guys turned on a medic and it turned into a Signal 7 (Officer Needs Assistance) for the FD. By the time the cavalry arrived (that's the guys with guns and handcuffs), the situation was secure. But we didn't take offense to having the FD pin the bad guy down until we got there. Ironically enough, the primary perpetrator was a special deputy sheriff from another county. He was arrested on felony charges, despite "having a badge." He even asked me on the way to the jail, "So, do you think this will affect my chances of getting on your department?" Ummm........yeah, I am pretty sure it will.

    The key is to turn over the job once the other guys arrive and remember that we are all on the same team!
    Last edited by firemanjb; 02-13-2007 at 09:45 AM.
    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).

  19. #19
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    Talking

    Don't bother too much with the PD, unless on scene.. we get along I guess. However, there was an instance where there was a 24 ft extension ladder extended and an officer took it upon himself to help and attempted to climb and lock in without notifying anyone. Needless to say he got stuck and it was an hour before he finally knew how to remove his foot from the rung.

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    We do most of the traffic control (country roads) no problems with the SO except when a new officer gets hired from some big city. The HP sometimes get a littel upset when we shut down a road. One wanted to know why a truck was accross two lanes until he came around the truck and saw ambu., car parts and people in the road
    Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!

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