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    Default "Just Yell Fire" - preventing attacks on ABC News

    Not sure how I feel about this.

    Watching the morning network news on ABC, and they have an extended segment on ways women can prevent and escape from attackers. Along with the standard fare about groin kicking and eye poking, they now advise to yell "fire".

    While there have always been stories about how people turn the other way when someone screams for help, I guess it is probably true that fewer people can deny their personal curiousity to check out an apparent fire in progress. In fact, I have always felt that in certain severe personal danger situations when I had doubts about a timely police response I might consider reporting a structure fire instead. The sirens (numerous and prompt) would be effective at chasing off bad guys.

    Will this "Just Yell Fire" idea work? Could it eventually negatively impact our work in that folks might not be quite so quick to pick up the phone and call us or even learn to ignore it?
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    I dont know how "true" your statement is, but I have had a few folks tell me similar words. Mostly it depends on where you are, but in general yelling fire seems to bring out something in person that causes them to investigate rather than yelling for police or that really bad "R" word. Seems either calling for police or "R" gets people running the other way so that they dont have to "get involved" whereas yelling fire will get the required attention for some reason.
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    Perhaps one might get the same reaction of curiosity if one were to yell something along the lines of " you cheating SOB " or "you slept with my sister." I think the key thing is to make some sort of scene that draws attention and focus onto the attacker.

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    Not too make lite of the situation but I find that if you yell,"FREE BEER" a lot of people will come runnig towards you.

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    I think that in a situation where you're being attacked or whatever, I don't know that you'd be able to think about what you're saying, I think "Help" would be the first thing that comes to mind for most...

    Also, I don't know what kinda of people they're thinking of, but if I was somewhere, and I heard "Help" I would proceed with caution to where i heard it, and see what was goin on. Maybe also have 911 on my phone also.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricHoser View Post
    Along with the standard fare about groin kicking and eye poking, they now advise to yell "fire".
    This is nothing new. Self defense / security experts have been telling people to yell, "Fire!," instead of "Help!," for years -- even decades. Human psychology being what it is, yelling, "Fire!," has a far better chance of generating assistance.

    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricHoser View Post
    Will this "Just Yell Fire" idea work? Could it eventually negatively impact our work in that folks might not be quite so quick to pick up the phone and call us or even learn to ignore it?
    Consider this: It's been around for a long time and hasnt impacted us negatively yet.
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    If it is my mother/wife/sister/daughter being attacked, I really couldn't care less what they yell as long as someone comes to help them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    If it is my mother/wife/sister/daughter being attacked, I really couldn't care less what they yell as long as someone comes to help them.
    I couldn't agree more. Does it really matter what they yell?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    If it is my mother/wife/sister/daughter being attacked, I really couldn't care less what they yell as long as someone comes to help them.
    Exactly. When it comes to personal safety, whatever gets the jobs done.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    If it is my mother/wife/sister/daughter being attacked, I really couldn't care less what they yell as long as someone comes to help them.
    amen to that
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFDNJFF View Post
    I couldn't agree more. Does it really matter what they yell?
    To us here, probably not. To the "Average Joe Schmoe", though, it absolutely matters. Most people don't have the cojones to investigate, let alone take action if they hear someone yelling for help. Hell, I'm relatively sure the only reason they would come if you yell "FIRE" is because hey, everybody wants to stand around and watch, right? I'm a county guy, so maybe some city boys & girls can set me straight on this, but doesn't everybody and their brother from half the city show up to watch at your fires?
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man View Post
    To us here, probably not. To the "Average Joe Schmoe", though, it absolutely matters. Most people don't have the cojones to investigate, let alone take action if they hear someone yelling for help. Hell, I'm relatively sure the only reason they would come if you yell "FIRE" is because hey, everybody wants to stand around and watch, right? I'm a county guy, so maybe some city boys & girls can set me straight on this, but doesn't everybody and their brother from half the city show up to watch at your fires?
    I agree with the yelling of fire. The point I was trying to make is they can yell all they want if it gets them help.
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    As I alluded to in my original post, I am not against calling for a different kind of help than what is actually required if that is what gets the job done. I guess I thought the idea might not be a popular one here, and then when I saw it on ABC I didn't know how I felt about it being publicized in such a manner. I was curious to see what the general attitude actually was. I find - somewhat unsurprisingly - that generally we all seem to agree,
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    The idea behind yelling "Fire!" is that the average Joe realizes that fire will spread and possible affect them, hence, they will call for help. If you just yell "Help me!", it doesn't affect the average Joe listening so he/she will do nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by k3twpfire View Post
    The idea behind yelling "Fire!" is that the average Joe realizes that fire will spread and possible affect them, hence, they will call for help. If you just yell "Help me!", it doesn't affect the average Joe listening so he/she will do nothing.
    One thing that I have learned in 30 years or so of being involved in fire and law enforcement, is that time and time again, the "Average Joe" shows incredible integrity, courage and strength when confronted with a serious risk to life or property.

    People who walk on by and do nothing are not the average American...thank God.

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    The only down side to yelling 'fire', when in fact you have a police incident on your hands, is you end up with unassuming firefighters bringing their hoses to a gun fight. Also, yelling 'fire', creates unnecessary hysteria and panic among seniors and invalids residing in large highrise/hotels.

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    I believe it was the Smothers brothers who had a bit that went something like this.

    Tommie; "I fell into a vat of chocolate and I yelled FIRE"

    Dickie; "Why did you yell FIRE when you fell into a vat of chocolate?"

    Tommie; "Because no one would come to help if I yelled CHOCOLATE."

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    Lightbulb

    What George said:
    One thing that I have learned in 30 years or so of being involved in fire and law enforcement, is that time and time again, the "Average Joe" shows incredible integrity, courage and strength when confronted with a serious risk to life or property.
    What reality says:
    The "Average Joe" shows incredible integrity, courage and strength when confronted with a serious risk to their own life or property.
    Last edited by the1141man; 03-29-2007 at 08:10 PM.
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

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    Most people will look if someone yells "FIRE!"
    Nobody wants to get involved in someone yells "HELP!"

    I say do what you have to do to get someone's attention by any means necessary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man View Post
    Fixed it for ya.
    DELETE YOUR POST! DO NOT EVER EDIT MY WORDS. I ALWAYS TYPE WHAT I MEAN. ALWAYS. YOU HAVE ALTERED MY POST TO MEAN SOMETHING I DO NOT BELIEVE. I DO NOT CARE IF YOU HAVE AN OPINION DIFFERENT THAN MINE, BUT IT IS UNETHICAL AND IMMORAL TO CHANGE SOMEONE ELSE'S POST.

    DO IT NOW!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhvfd1214 View Post
    Perhaps one might get the same reaction of curiosity if one were to yell something along the lines of " you cheating SOB " or "you slept with my sister." I think the key thing is to make some sort of scene that draws attention and focus onto the attacker.

    The only person who will come running on hearing those words is Jerry Springer........
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    Back when I was in high school we had a seminar that was solely based on sexual assualts and the like. The leader of the seminar firmly advocated for yelling 'fire'.

    I think it's effective.

    I would like to see some statistics on how many sexual assuaults are conducted with weapons, i.e. guns and the such.
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    Default flip side

    Am I the only one who disagrees with yelling, "fire" for victims of an sexual assault? Is it really fair, to have a brave young neighbor say, dash to the rescue in his underwear, only to be shot or stabbed to death? I believe the vast majority of men would investigate repeated screams for 'help' and would know to proceed cautiously with the right tool for the job.. i.e. louisville slugger,big bertha driver etc.

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    I havent heard the word "Fire" yet. But I do hate when they mace you in the face.

    Joking...."Help" might be the best bet since people tend to run away from "Fire".

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    Quote Originally Posted by polecat View Post
    Am I the only one who disagrees with yelling, "fire" for victims of an sexual assault?
    Yup.

    Quote Originally Posted by polecat View Post
    I believe the vast majority of men would investigate repeated screams for 'help'
    The research doesn't (or at least didn't used to) support that belief. It's been a while since my Social Psychology classes but I doubt anything has changed. By and large, most people don't tend to respond well to generic calls for help. Yelling "fire" is far more likley to get you assistance of some kind than yelling help.

    The case of Kitty Genovese's murder* is still the classic example of how people will defer responsibility to "someone else" if they can. (Even thought the true story was not so blatant as intentionally protrayed.)

    Solitary individuals will typically intervene if another person is in need of help: this is known as bystander intervention. However, researchers were surprised to find that help is less likely to be given if more people are present. In some situations, a large group of bystanders may fail to help a person who obviously needs help....

    Bystander Effect.
    Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 03-29-2007 at 05:01 PM.
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