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On-call firefighter fired for responding to scene of fatal crash

Firefighter who broke department protocol by responding directly to the scene says he wasn't responding as a firefighter but as a civilian

By FireRescue1 Staff

COLUMBIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A paid-on-call firefighter who was fired for responding directly to the scene of a vehicle crash with multiple fatalities said he did so as a Samaritan, not a firefighter.

Columbia Township (Mich.) Fire Department protocol requires that firefighters respond to their station; the chief, assistant chief and captain are allowed to respond directly to a scene, according to Wood TV. For that, firefighter Michael Freislinger was fired.

Freislinger told Wood TV that he had previously responded directly to scenes and had been on probation for violating other department rules, which he disputes.

The Nov. 13 crash killed one woman and two children.

"The night of that call, I was not acting as a firefighter," Freislinger told Wood TV. "I was just a citizen that was helping out, giving them a hand. I was in route before we even got called. I was being a good Samaritan.

Freislinger said he is considering legal actions.

The township supervisors said the matter is under investigation and the fire chief declined to comment citing personnel confidentiality, Wood TV reported.

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Bill Hewitt Bill Hewitt Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:28:45 AM That's kind of DUMB! when lives are at stake.
Frank Staffa Jr. Frank Staffa Jr. Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:29:04 AM If an off duty police officer see's a crime being committed, is he suppose to run to his precint for his patrol car too?
Steve Metcho Steve Metcho Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:32:31 AM Protocols are there for a reason. Not good to have someone free-lancing at an emergency scene if your intentions are well meant.
Jim Carley Jim Carley Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:32:42 AM how assinine! if he was closer to the scene than the fire house why bother going there and lose extra yet valuable tim. And also had he just passed the scene and not helped as a first responder isn't that basically against the law not to respond?
Chiefs On FB Chiefs On FB Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:38:27 AM If the incident is between you and the station you should go to the scene. If the station is between you and the scene, go to the station. Simple.
Brenda Childers Kidd Brenda Childers Kidd Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:50:33 AM I agree that if the call is before getting to the station you should stop and help because that is what we are there if the station comes first then stop at the station....not sure what all he has been in trouble for in the past but firing over this call is a little much.....but its up to the chief and courts if it goes that far to decide that.....hate someone died but hopefully he was able to help the others...
Rodney May Rodney May Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:51:19 AM As a Fire Chief this sounds like there something we don't know about this story, I think they should step back and look this over and take there time before they act!
Raymond Joe Pressley Raymond Joe Pressley Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:53:30 AM Understable but the story does not state if the scene was near him or if the station was closer.
Raymond Joe Pressley Raymond Joe Pressley Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:55:21 AM Wish the story was a lil more clear on how close to the scene he was and how far away the station was. That would be like if your neighbors house was on fire and you had to respond to the station and not make sure everyone was safe. Sounds like some protocols need to be redone..
Tracy Erwin Tracy Erwin Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:22:46 PM that's the dumbest thing I have heard....chiefs on facebook your totally right..stopping could be the difference between life and death...what are u going to do run hot right passed the crash...that would just make u and your dept look stupid!
Steven Oliver Steven Oliver Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:25:06 PM One word needs to be swapped out "Procedures" ===> "Guidelines".
Bj Young Bj Young Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:53:18 PM As a volunteer in our rural area when we get a call if its closer to the scene we go there because we have multiple members who can get the truck to the scene thats what our radio's are for communication ... something about it doesn't add up
Kevin Beltran Kevin Beltran Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:59:32 PM As a Fire Fighter its is essential that you follow directions to the T, sometimes for you own safety and sometimes just because its a rule. In this case I'm sure that there are some other reasons behind this for him being let go. As for the question, what do you think?, I think that the chief is a chief for a reason and if he feels that it was best for him not to be on his dept so be it.
Kevin Beltran Kevin Beltran Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:01:49 PM Im sure the call was way out of the way. Pretty sure the chief made a good call letting him go.
Kevin Beltran Kevin Beltran Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:03:30 PM again. i think that the call was out of the way for him and he responded to the scene. Im sure the chief made a good call letting him go.
Jerry Kirsch Sr. Jerry Kirsch Sr. Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:05:00 PM I think the powers that be, should sit back and rethink their decision. Especially if the firefighter had to pass the scene on the way to the station.
Kevin Beltran Kevin Beltran Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:13:52 PM Question for all of you. If he would of got hurt on the scene for some reason. Would he have been a Fire Fighter to the press or just a good simple good samaratin? And the video says that he is CPR certified. All the cops are too. He is not ALS or something that would of helped. And what if every good samaratin had a scanner? what a hectic mess every bad call would be, right? He is going to take legal actions and make a fool out of himself.
Treba Trotter Treba Trotter Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:24:30 PM we can do that, but we have to make sure that someone is getting the trucks
Jonathan Douglas Jonathan Douglas Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:37:14 PM Point is if no apparatus is on scene or on way, there might not be much you could do if equipment is needed and you. Go to station till otherwise directed.
Brian Veach Brian Veach Wednesday, November 21, 2012 2:06:29 PM Well said. Too many people, included numerous on here, don't take the time to think they just act. Everyone needs to step back and get all the facts. I doubt this story is all the facts. At first, it sounds dumb and simply a case of rules being applied heavy handedly. Then you see 1 line about him being in probation for other violations. Hmm. Maybe he was warned. And, although he was off duty, aren't all paid-on-call responders off duty until they get a call? People need to calm down and use their heads. The media hypes things up on purpose. We don't know all that happened, only this one persons biased story.
Andy Helms Andy Helms Wednesday, November 21, 2012 2:23:12 PM Yes again, if the call is between you, on your normal quickest route to the station, stop and render aid. If you pass the scene and identified as a trained EMS, firefighter, you could be found negligent for having a duty to act and not. If you are home and heard this call on the scanner, you could have got a jump on the call, to your station and made a shorter on scene time, if all volunteer unmaned station. If the station is maned and you just drove too the call, you are in violation of SOP's/SOG's and become liability of many safety issues.IE: exposure to BBPathogen, fire, chemicals and the dangers of being low visibility on a roadway.
Alisha Alexander Alisha Alexander Wednesday, November 21, 2012 2:32:27 PM When I was in my car accident two years ago an off duty fire fighter came to our rescue, he was right across the street. He didn't get fired for it, he got a high five and a big thank you from me and my mom for helping us.
Evan Adolf Evan Adolf Wednesday, November 21, 2012 2:52:38 PM What if him going to the station (dept policy) is so the apparatus and required equipment makes it to the scene. Firefighters are near worthless without equipment.
Frank Staffa Jr. Frank Staffa Jr. Wednesday, November 21, 2012 2:53:20 PM Rules and SOP's are great, but common sense prevails. if your off duty, how in the world can any firefighter turn his head and not stop? If your responding to a call as a volunteer, and the firehouse is on the way, naturally you go there first. bit if the incident is on the say, and immediate attention is needed, then stopping would be the right thing to do. if therrs sufficiant first responders there already , ie:law enforcement, then continue to the firehouse. its all about using common sense, because if we followed everything "by the book" we all would be probies for the rest of our lives.
John R Eeten John R Eeten Wednesday, November 21, 2012 3:05:08 PM If one responds to the scene in one's POV, do you have the neccessary equipment required to handle the job at hand? I sincerely doubt it. If you were on SHZHVFD, you would be guilty of violation of several SOG's of this department. Without the equipment, you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Especially if you get hit, injured, exposed, trapped, or killed. By the way, Firefighters and Medics are never considered "Good Samaritans". Once you get your specialized training, you become a Proffessional. You would lose here, no appeal, period. That is one of those; "You shall never do this!"
Chris Werner Chris Werner Wednesday, November 21, 2012 3:26:00 PM Fired? Reprimanded maybe, but fired?
E Mark Baland E Mark Baland Wednesday, November 21, 2012 3:28:51 PM Having been in this situation years ago I can see the issues. It matters not the protocol if the reason is sound. We can't address it in a forum except to discuss the possible approaches. When I was responding to get an Apparatus for a fire, the Apparatus was crucial. If I was passing a Medical Patient, then I would usually jump in and assist the human in need and discuss it later.
Josephine Sulentic Stewart Josephine Sulentic Stewart Wednesday, November 21, 2012 3:33:19 PM Fight and God Bless You, for your principles.
Harry Jones Harry Jones Wednesday, November 21, 2012 3:42:03 PM Considering this firefighter was a paid on call member of the department, he must have known the SOP's / SOG's of the department. Being duly responsible for the understanding of such procedures and being on probation for other violations, he knew that he was taking a risk. If no one said anything about him "freelancing" to the scene and credited him with being there first, I guarantee you he would have accepted the reward or recognition as a "firefighter" for the Township. This is a clear case of "freelancing". With that said, I do not know much about his past or history as a firefighter. I do not think that he should be removed from the department for this violation. However, any Chief Officer or Company Officer can clearly explain the sometimes damaging consiquences of responding without authority to do so. He could have been injured or killed himself. I applaud him for wanting to assist, I really do! I just know the liabilities the department would face if he were to be injured enroute to or on scene of this crash. One of our worst nightmares is having to respond to a crash as horroffic as this one, but to loose our lives trying to help others if not going to benefit anyone. I am hopeful that the Chief's of the department can come to a resolution and allow this seemingly young and eager firefighter another chance, that is as long as he has not done too much damage with the previous incidents.
Gary Feld Gary Feld Wednesday, November 21, 2012 4:06:19 PM Two key sentences in the piece lead me to think the Chief made the right call: 1) “Freislinger told Wood TV that he had previously responded directly to scenes and had been on probation for violating other department rules, which he disputes.” In other words, he’s been warned about doing this before. And 2) “I was in route before we even got called.” So he heard it on the police scanner and self dispatched? What do you call a Firefighter without gear? An educated bystander. Was he going to cut the injured out of the wreck with his Leatherman? Without gear, tools, and apparatus all he is doing is putting himself at risk and cluttering up the accident scene with another vehicle. I am a Captain and authorized to go direct, but I’ve driven past a scene on the way to the firehouse many times knowing there is little I can do with my jump kit, but a whole lot I can do with the Engine, Rescue Truck or Ambulance.
Jason Willingham Jason Willingham Wednesday, November 21, 2012 4:22:26 PM I was let go from my department for doing the same thing. Except I was directley across the street from the call when the tone dropped. So they let me go for walking about 200 feet to the call instead of responding 12 blocks away to the station.
Jeffrey Lindsey Jeffrey Lindsey Wednesday, November 21, 2012 4:42:22 PM Everyone wants to comment with a bleeding heart on "how they do it" in there dept, but this was not your dept. Freelancer non-rule-following firefighters or medics are a huge problem! As a fire chief for 10 years and now a county EMS Capt. I am very wary of guys like this, who don't follow the rules and do there own thing. They fly down the road at 100 miles an hour to get there and do nothing. I would love to talk to the chief of this department on the kind of firefighter this is. For those of us that have been doing this for a long time we all know this guy in the story. Every department has one and trust me you are better off without them. I don't care what the situation, you don't listen and follow the rules, pack your bags! Period!
Chris Werner Chris Werner Wednesday, November 21, 2012 4:42:39 PM Crash was 4.5 miles away, firehouse was 9 miles away. Sounds like he was really fired for other reasons and this was the convenient 'last straw' for his chief.
Jeff Milton Jeff Milton Wednesday, November 21, 2012 4:47:31 PM very well said! FREELANCING is a huge problem, why even jump the call did he just have to go see the wreck and the carnage. A first responder acting as a "good Samaritan" is one who happens upon a accident or someone needing help. Not someone who hears stuff on the scanner and has to play hero!!
Joe Labbe Joe Labbe Wednesday, November 21, 2012 5:20:37 PM Easy to Monday morning QB and a lot harder to be chief. Who is more likely to be right? The free-lancing probation monkey on the Gosh darn chief of department? Chain of command much?
Fredrick Gibson Fredrick Gibson Wednesday, November 21, 2012 5:29:53 PM He says,"he was in route, before it toned out". He was en route to where? He should've said, he came upon this accident, while on the road to the store. His statement suggests he was listening to police radio traffic, decided to render assistance. He was given orders "do not go directly to the scene". Progressive disciplinary action is warranted.
David Goodwin David Goodwin Wednesday, November 21, 2012 6:31:35 PM Reply to Chiefs On FB. The dept has their own rules; it is not up to "us" to ammend them. You break the rules, in this case freelancing, you get booted out. The FF was on-call, therefore his actions were NOT covered under the good sammaritan laws. The FF created a garave risk to the department as well as bringing the dept into negative public light. Freelancers are dangerous to everyone and should ALWAYS be kicked out!
Jon Whiskey Jon Whiskey Wednesday, November 21, 2012 8:18:34 PM Must be nice to be on a paid department, we are expected to respond directly to the scene unless you make the truck which is only required to have a "driver" to leave the station. What exactly does it mean to be on call if your a paid firefighter? If you're paid then you should either be on or off duty, and if on at the firehouse.
Sean Baird Sean Baird Wednesday, November 21, 2012 8:34:07 PM CPR only helps so much, he had no medical experience other than that. also did he have a medical bag or anything that could help perhaps control bleeding? I bet his apparatus sure did, he messed up once he got a warning with the probation yet he continued to do so he deserves to be fired. even if his name is cleared he now has a reputation. I gotta say I feel bad in the sense that his actions that he prolly thought were good intentions were his downfall.
JJ Timpe JJ Timpe Wednesday, November 21, 2012 8:40:06 PM He's gotten in trouble before for playin gearless, truck less superman, he knew better. Just one more vehicle cluttering up the scene and one more guy running around with no accountability. If he'd gotten injured, would he want the department to cover it or hold his position while he recovered? Probably. He thinks the rules don't apply to him and sounds like this was the last straw for the chief, unpredictable folks aren't a good asset.
Sean Baird Sean Baird Wednesday, November 21, 2012 8:44:40 PM Now ask your self did this police officer have the proper equipment to stop the crime? Handcuffs? a gun if needed? maybe he does because that is his gear he carries. If your a fireman you know you do not carry your gear around even some EMTs do not carry bags in their car. he had only him self and a CPR card.
Sean Baird Sean Baird Wednesday, November 21, 2012 8:44:40 PM Andy Helms it happens all the time i'm sure no way you could face such a stupid charge, do ALL of your departments EMT's carry the proper equipment in their cars? yours might but mine do not. you follow the SOP's they are there for a reason, now i will admit i stopped at a scene once and this was before someone called i was told by a friend someone went off the road so i drove not even 100 yards down the road and saw this i provided a warm comfortable place for them to sit while the ambulance and my guys came to check on them. BUT that was with the knowledge that no injuries were sustained. the difference between him and i was i went before the call, he went after the call was transmitted at that point your on duty.
Christina Carpino Christina Carpino Wednesday, November 21, 2012 10:01:27 PM I concur Mr. Feld and well said.
Christina Carpino Christina Carpino Wednesday, November 21, 2012 10:02:24 PM I agree .
Christina Carpino Christina Carpino Wednesday, November 21, 2012 10:02:46 PM I agree.
Timmy Beaulieu Timmy Beaulieu Thursday, November 22, 2012 3:13:59 AM Whats the big deal if he had all of his PPE? We all know at a scene like that a extra set of hands is always helpful. if he came without all his gear then shame on him for being a liability. Guess we dont know the whole story
Rich Koski Rich Koski Thursday, November 22, 2012 4:17:17 AM I'm sure there is more to the news story that we don't know about. If you are going to come upon the scene enroute to the station and you have training that could potentially benefit the victims (protect airway, stop major bleeding, etc) common sense says you should stop. Not to mention ethical, moral, and possibly legal issues. Why do we do what we do? I know why I do it. If my loved ones are involved in an accident I would want someone with knowledge and education to stop and render assistance not drive by. After 25 years I still stop at all traffic accidents that I come upon, unless responders are already there, whether it is in my own area or not. Those people have families too. I know I don't want the guilt of driving by and later asking what if. If I were a lawyer and my client died potentially because a responder drove by I would have to question a department policy that said that responder couldn't stop. I think guidelines for when a responder does stop may be better than threatening discipline if they do stop.
Ed Woods Ed Woods Thursday, November 22, 2012 5:10:13 AM As a Chief, This was a totally irresponsible action on the Department's (Chief's) part. I say this from one standpoint, that of Public perception. In the News, the Community is reading a story about a Firefighter who has been discharged for helping people. Citizens have absolutely no understanding of our operation, and 99% don't want to know. All they know is if they call 911, they expect help and if someone interferes with that help, they're going to be upset...... The folks in that department are going to have to deal with a difficult public relations problem for quite some time.
Patty Bila Ives Patty Bila Ives Thursday, November 22, 2012 5:25:31 AM If you have the training, experience and know-how on how to help then you should be able to respond without consequences. The guy did a good thing and got fired for it...Go figure.
Frank Staffa Jr. Frank Staffa Jr. Thursday, November 22, 2012 5:30:15 AM Do you need your gear to save a life? You need your bag to keep someone's heart pumping? Do you need your gear to pull a victim out of a burning vechicle that's possibly about to explode? Or would you try your best to give immediate attention? I've been in the fire service for over 30 years, and I would never turn away from a possible disaster because my turnout gear is hanging on a rack at the house. But to each is own. If I Didn't atleast give it my best try, I would never forgive myself. Not every accident requires extraction or your med bag to save a life!
Kim Parnussie Kim Parnussie Thursday, November 22, 2012 7:04:41 AM I'm a vol. fire fighter. if the incident is between your station you should resopond to the scene, if the station is between you and the scene you should go to the station. if this fire fighter did not stop some one have might have died as firefighter we are trained forrescue and we havesome medical training to a emspeople get there. what is wrong with this fire deparment.
Jim Guy Jim Guy Thursday, November 22, 2012 7:36:13 AM It is not a free for all when the tones are transmitted for a call. My experience as a past fire chief and deputy county fire coordinator has taught me that not all fire department managers are good at personal issues and sometimes poor decisions are made. So the questions are: 1) How were previous issues handled? 2) Was this a knee jerk reaction? 3) What kind of council/mentoring personnel management strategies where used to mold this resource? Having said that, in this case it sounds like the fire fighter was monitoring police and fire on a scanner and responded before the fire department was dispatched. I suspect that he simply ignored SOP/SOGs as a matter of choice for his own selfish reasons.
Todd Evans Todd Evans Thursday, November 22, 2012 8:29:14 AM He is a "paid-on-call" firefighter. That means you go when you are called. Stay out of it unless you are called to it. If you really happened to just find a problem while driving somewhere then you should help. If you are sitting around listening to a scanner though then stay away until told to go. The end.
Torrey Sanders Torrey Sanders Thursday, November 22, 2012 10:04:34 AM all am going to say is this the chief made the call and the township supervisors and the community need to stand behind the chief call.
Stephen Ulberg Stephen Ulberg Thursday, November 22, 2012 2:09:19 PM Maybe I am getting this wrong. But, the way it sounds to me he said he was listening to all this on the scanner and self dispatched himself "As a good Samaritan" Ok. sounds to me like his department was a mutual aid department. If that is the case he should have self dispatched himself straight to the station for stand by. Not to the scene as a "Good Samaritan" He is wrong no matter how you want to slice it. SOPs are there for a reason. Maybe they had a problem of everyone going POV and had a house burn down because no one bothered to get a truck. At some point someone decided this rule needed to exist. It is not up to him to decide if he is going to follow it or not. On a scene if you want to stay alive and not do harm to others you better do as your told. Not what you think you should do. Freelancing has no business in the fire business. Every rule has a reason. the only one who should change the rules is the IC that is all there is to it.
Stephen Ulberg Stephen Ulberg Thursday, November 22, 2012 2:11:06 PM BTW, Look at the map. It was further to the station. but, the difference depends on the route you choose.
Patrick A McMahon Patrick A McMahon Friday, November 23, 2012 1:06:13 AM Chiefs On FB sadly though for this guy this incident as it shows on the map the crash wasn't between him and his FD, if you look at it as pre-planning your route from home to station you would see that it would have been a longer route going past that accident scene to go to the station, sure he could have said yes I was responding to the station in getting ready for our department to paged out but I stop on scene instead... No he said I went to respond as a Samaritan, not a firefighter.. Freislinger also admitted to having other violations which he was put on probation for and also admitted to going direct before... I do agree if you pass the scene you should stop but if your SOP/SOG tell you need you to go to your Department for the trucks and gear its for a reason... With my department I proudly served on for almost 5 yrs the SOP was only officers was able to stop at the accident even if we passed it, if we was to pass right by the accident was to turn off our lights and sirens, in some cases did stop once and awhile per officers decision if FF was also FR or could be used for additional traffic control cause scene from the direction wasn't safe... Otherwise normal SOP applied straight to the station we hauled no questions asked no if ands or butts about it! SO the reason the SOP is there is for getting the truck or rescue squad is cause I know working an accident you cant get a trapped victim either live or recovery from the vehicle with your hands if they are in twisted metal without jaws/spreaders or anything else or cant even save their lives without the proper equipment.
Terry Parris Terry Parris Friday, November 23, 2012 6:10:41 AM I agree that if you are responding to teh station and the scene is on your direct path then stop and render aid or at least give a size up. If you have to alter from a direct path to the station to go to the scene then you should go to the station and get the necessary equipment needed at the emergency. Not knowing all the factors involved so I don't want to Monday morning quarterback this, but it sounds like the firefighter has a history of violating depatment rules and has gotten in trouble in the past so the exact same thing. I believe the Chief made the correct call.
Frank Perna Frank Perna Friday, November 23, 2012 7:49:31 AM he is protected by good samaratian law end of stpry.
Doug Copp Doug Copp Monday, November 26, 2012 7:30:32 PM comments from linkedin post... Doug Copp • THere are 26 different rules that have the death penalty as the punishment, for breaking them, in CHINA. Maybe something other termination would be a more approprite judgement;especially, christmas time, for someone wanting to help. One thing is for sure...bad public relations is a consequence. Doug Copp • I was not too far off topic; however, let me clarify. The crime suits the punishment. I hate the thought of stopping a good soul from doing good things..even if he is an out of control wildman. I would try to find a better solution. I would put him in a position which would get him to NOT follow rules..per se..but be smarter and act in a way that would be btter for everyone involved. This is a complete administrative failure. It shows obedience to entrenched rules; but, very little effort to create a solution that didn't turn into a multi-faceted fiasco, for everyone involved. The very best, most successful people, in every activity of life; are the ones who 'broke' current 'rules' to make an improvement. 'Partner' him with an old 'dog' who can teach 'the young pup' ; take away some of his pay or give him a medal. There are many solutions..blowing everything up for this firefighter, the dept. and the l. Doug Copp • How about the victim? Doesn't anybody care about the victim? I hope he sues..and the person who fired him should be fired. Doesn't anybody know the difference between right and wrong anymore. Is it just about liability and let the victims die. By the way, I am , also, a Fire Capt. I would give him a medal. ocal community is the 'worst' choice. An idiot can say: " You are fired. ' Anybody, above this would find a better solution. Perhaps, this was an excuse for firing him; because of, another reason. I saw that a zillion times. Firing a firefighter for trying to help people is BAD BUSINESS! Doug Copp • A Chief deals with many different agendas. In the Fire Service, I just can't see any sense in eliminating people who want to do good. From a dozen perspectives this was a less than an optimium administrative decision. Doug Copp • There is much more than appears in the article. It is always a real 'knock'em down' battle between good and evil. Major Disasters art like a candle attracting moths...the forces of 'good'; and 'evil' are always at battle. The good come to help..the bad come to exploit and harm. As far as I am concerned the heart of a 'good' firefighter is one of the most wonderful and beautiful things, of this world. It should never be stopped. I support firefighters and their desire to do good and help people. This is not complicated, for me.
Dana F. McDaniel Dana F. McDaniel Tuesday, November 27, 2012 4:40:30 AM DRIVING PAST A SCENE WILL GET YOU A LAWSUIT HERE IN PA
John Coffey John Coffey Tuesday, November 27, 2012 4:56:32 AM Please excuse my ignorance of what precisely a paid on call firefighter is. Was he on call that night and so making himself unavailable as a team response by going straight to the incident. How did he know about the incident? Did he call it in? Does he have special skills say being a doctor. While there is not much to go on, there are varied opinions about the best options in this case. A positive aspect of it is that at least we can think more about the best response strategies for responder and casualties alike, rather than appeal to previous rules or practices. Is a fast good samaritan response what we want and need to support? There are not many books about response strategy. My own opinion about sacking him is that by doing so we no longer can have him respond as a firefighter and now he is a civilian he can be a good samaritan all he wants, punishments shouldn't facilitate what we don't want.
Gary M Dreyer Gary M Dreyer Thursday, November 29, 2012 6:44:41 AM Responding directly to the scene of a mutual aid call, if he responded using emergency warnign equipment he was not acting as a citizen. According to other reports he was aware of it through his department radio. Sounds like there is a lot to the story that is not in this article maybe he was showing up on neighboring departments calls regularly? Read between the lines this sounds like a continual problem for him and his departmnet.
Todd Meisner Todd Meisner Monday, December 03, 2012 6:54:55 AM You can't follow directions to a T everytime. I served on a vol dept a couple years back where i was told to vent the roof and i mentioned that it was showing signs of colaps, the chief said it looked fine and as soon as we laddered the building it did colaps injuring two of our own. I was more certified and had more schooling then the chief as well, some times the chief gets his postion because who they know not what they know. On to the story at hand, yes he did break the SOG by responding to the scene but no where in the story did it say what came first, station or scene, but if it was the scene then he is in the right, if CPR can be started then it needs to be done right away, you don't need gear for that just two hands and the ability to count, thats the good thing about the new CCR. Being from wisconsin we are way more aggresive when it comes to medical aid so all our first responders have bags with them at ALL times, if we were to drive by a scene we would our dept would look like a bunch of fools. Again this story doesn't have all the facts so its hard to make an argument on what should of been done, it doesn't say what he did in the past and doesn't give all the facts for this call either. But everyone is right if scene is first stop, if station is first then jump a rig and then respond. As far as self dispatch thats a sore subject because our depts let them respond here because all our POC firefighters carry there gear and a radio here, if they can help evacuate, size up and give report to the full time crew, or start aid then more power to them, we have guys that even listen for what hydrant and grab the hose as we drive by, runs real nice, all we ask is they don't park there cars where we need to put the rigs. I do agree with some of these other posts it sounds like protocols are out of date and need to be redone.
John Clenaghan John Clenaghan Wednesday, December 19, 2012 11:57:33 AM Well put Gary. Rules are made for the guidance of wise people and for the obedience of fools. I believe in rules, there many rules which in life must and should be followed otherwise chaos would prevail. The guy attending off his own back I feel was a blue light chaser, looking for glory - these guys are a menace to the emergency services and like Knights on white chargers with noone other than his greed of glory make him a danger to most emergency workers. Never liked loners - I too was in the fire & rescue service and witnessed this and other events that got out of hand (they eventually start to either set fires or call in mallicious calls so they can attend and smother themselves in some of the glory (firefighters do not look for glory "they are just doing the job they joined up for and know in their heart or through a Job Well Done are satisfied") The Cheif called it right this time and his interview showed that heaspires to freelancing. J Clenaghan QFSM. KOMV. PKPB. GIFireE.
August Furman August Furman Monday, November 18, 2013 4:57:52 PM .
Larry Zipper Larry Zipper Sunday, February 16, 2014 8:05:00 PM If that is the protocol you have to follow the rules. If he was actually off duty that is one thing. But being paid as on call firefighter he was not actually off duty. Yeah it sucks, and if you are a firefighter or paramedic your gut says go help. But you have to face the consequences of violating the rules. The protocols may not be right and if so get them changed. But most are tried and test and serve a purpose. It's just like being in the military. You have to follows orders and SOP. Being a cowboy breaks down the chain of command and gets people injured and killed.
Larry Zipper Larry Zipper Sunday, February 16, 2014 8:08:09 PM The distinction seems to be he was "paid and on call". He was not actually off duty. As a result he was bound by the protocols. If you feel compelled to violate policy maybe he should have called the station, or someone and advise them of his intent and get their okay. He might have gotten it. Going against the protocols and procedures without approval of your chain of command is never going to turn out well.
Larry Zipper Larry Zipper Sunday, February 16, 2014 8:11:30 PM Then maybe he should have called the station or chief and advise them of his intent and not going 'cowboy' and get an okay. Violating protocol is never going down well with the chain of command. If it is really a good idea to respond without going to the station, and it does sound like it could be the 'right' thing to do at times, is to get the protocol changed. Maybe calling in and getting the okay from the station. He can get there first and make a difference maybe and they can bring his equipment. Or the officers can say no. But a firefighter generally can't just go 'cowboy' and make their own decisions when it goes against protocol.

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