Shooting yourself in the foot
Unless provoked, reporters want to be your biggest allies. Everybody once wanted to be a firefighter, even reporters. In California, state law allows a reporter to be anywhere, including in harm's way, unless the reporter is directly interfering with emergency ops. If Florida doesn't have such a law, it should.
This situation, if it occurred the way the reporter describes it, was a travesty. Now you have a reporter who will be skeptical of firefighters when she started out in awe of them. If she had been allowed to do her job, the resulting story would have had "heroes" written all over it. Now they are chumps.
Keep in mind that somewhere down the line your fire department probably will want to go to the voters for something--a tax increase, bond issue, donations, support for an embattled chief, "come to our pancake breakfast." Every encounter with a reporter beforehand helps build your reputation in the minds of the voters. You can be heroes worthy of community support. Or not.
Fire Technology student
and board member of a fire protection district
1st Amendment [BoR] U.S. Constitution:
First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution
CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF; OR ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, OR OF THE PRESS; OR THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE PEACEABLY TO ASSEMBLE, AND TO PETITION THE GOVERNMENT FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES.
The Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on December 15, 1791:
“Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime . . . .” — Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, dissenting Ginzberg v. United States, 383 U.S. 463 (1966)
“The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.” — Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)
“First Amendment freedoms are most in danger when the government seeks to control thought or to justify its laws for that impermissible end. The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Ashcroft V. Free Speech Coalition
Some "officials" have forgotten, or ignor the U.S. Constitution, mainly because it is not taught [anymore] in the public schools. Some "officials" like to take control and give orders any time the opportunity arises, "AUTHORITY...gives 'em a feeling of POWER"...for the moment.
Lynne Hough: It is my job to document what goes on in Santa Rosa County. I can't do that from behind my desk. I'm going to fires and I'm going to accidents and I'm going to shoot pictures and I'm going to tell the stories of the people whose lives are affected.
Keep on photographing and reporting Lynne Hough, and use common sense to stay out of the way. The citizens NEED to know HOW their tax funds are being spent, the workings of various departments (both good and bad)...keeping all govenment "officials" accountable.