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Fire chief convicted of disorderly conduct at MVA scene

Chief Michael White allegedly tried to interfere in a car accident scene

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — A Miss. Fire chief has been found guilty of disorderly conduct for preventing a man from using his Jeep to help flip over an overturned car.

Poplarville Fire Chief Michael White allegedly responded to a car accident in July, where a car had flipped over, according to the Picayune Item.

Those in the car did not have the money to pay a wrecker, so a man the occupants of the car knew offered to use his jeep, which had a wench, to correct the overturned vehicle.

Chief White adamantly disagreed with the suggestion, saying it was incredibly unsafe, while a responding officer from the Sherriff's department argued that the jeep would do the same work as a wrecker.

The responding officer eventually allowed the man with the jeep to help flip the car over successfully, testifying that he had to physically restrain Chief White from interfering.

Chief White was fined $423 and plans to appeal it.

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David Hodges David Hodges Tuesday, October 30, 2012 5:47:58 AM I was not there but I would have been worried about liability.
Jim Caughron Jim Caughron Tuesday, October 30, 2012 5:55:21 AM Fire chief is responsible for safety of the entire scene. If the owner of the jeep had nee been hurt because he wasn't a professional wrecker service the fire chief would probably have been held responsible. My opinion is the chief did right and the officer needs the fine
Michael Richardson Michael Richardson Tuesday, October 30, 2012 6:15:59 AM If no one is injured and there is no fire how is the scene still a fire department responsibility? At that point its an accident investigation.
Michael Richardson Michael Richardson Tuesday, October 30, 2012 6:21:26 AM I also can't help wonder how a wench is going to help flip over a car? I would much rather use a Winch. (This mistake was made in the original article about the incident as well.)
Michael Policastro Michael Policastro Tuesday, October 30, 2012 7:05:01 AM Common sense should have prevailed on both the officer and fire chief. This is not the first time this kind of thing has been Done. I have seen this done by people, with the PD and FD by watching. Common sense.
Jim Howard Jim Howard Tuesday, October 30, 2012 8:07:01 AM She was a big one.
David Goodwin David Goodwin Tuesday, October 30, 2012 9:29:55 AM The cop had no legal right to interfere with the Cheif's decision.
David Hodges David Hodges Tuesday, October 30, 2012 9:46:30 AM Wrecker services have insurance in the event something goes wrong. I doubt if the "wench operator" had this type of coverage. 99 - 100 you will be okay, but then it happens.
Kelly Christ Kelly Christ Wednesday, October 31, 2012 7:06:54 AM I agree with David and Jim. The liability could have been placed on the Chief if something went wrong. I work for a professional liability insurance company that officers Firefighters, Chiefs, EMS and Police Officers career protection insurance. Chief White made a decision as his part of his duties and is now going to have to pay a fine for that. Unfortunately there are many stories like this happening now because of the liability public servants face in today's society.
D.k. Willi D.k. Willi Thursday, November 01, 2012 8:47:42 AM Keith Williams - Training Officer / Mountain Pine Fire Dept. I thought our primary purpose was "to serve." The chief throwing, what amounts to, a tantrum was not fulfilling that part of what we do. He should have been working with the officer and Jeep owner to ensure the work could be done as safely as possible. I agree that the liability, and responsibility, became the officer's when the scene became a crash investigation. The chief helped no one in that situation and has put his department in a bad light within the community.
Steve Robelotto Steve Robelotto Thursday, November 01, 2012 2:04:07 PM In NYS accidents are police actions. Once patients are taken care of Fire has no responsibility.
Mitch Holmes Mitch Holmes Saturday, November 03, 2012 7:05:13 PM I always thaught when Fire was Paged it was Fires Sceene till it was Handed off. There was more risk of personal Injury with out Professional Services to do the Tow " Chief was in the right ".

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