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Screaming fire captain faces no discipline

Miami Dade Fire Capt. screamed, pushed and attempted to block a photographer from taking a video of a fire rescue helicopter taking off

By FireRescue1 Staff

MIAMI — A fire captain whose screaming rant became a sensation on YouTube and sparked a fire-service debate on handling citizen journalists earlier this year will face no punishment for his actions.

CBS Miami reported that the video showed Miami Dade Fire Capt. Greg Smart screaming, pushing and attempting to block a photographer from taking a video of a fire rescue helicopter landing and taking off.

Photographer and blogger Taylor Hardy was seen standing outside the perimeter for the landing zone and was told he could not record because it was “personal information,” according to the report.

“You’re leaving right now, turn around and walk away, you’re leaving right now,” Smart screamed at Hardy.

After the incident, Hardy filed a complaint that Smart was preventing him from recording at the scene and hoped they would take disciplinary action, according to the report.

A review of the report, written by Chief P.O. Albury, said the charge was “not sustained” because “at no time did Capt. Smart state that the complainant couldn’t film.”

“I have coached Capt. Smart referencing this event,” Albury wrote. “He was under a great deal of stress on this call and acted in an aggressive nature when challenged by the bystander. I feel that he and I have come to an understanding as to the expected behavior when dealing with the public. Capt. Smart agrees that he overreacted and caused embarrassment not only to himself but to the department. I feel that in the future he will have a different perspective as to how we need to act regardless of the severity of the call.”

The only suggestion Albury had for Smart was to take a voluntary stress management class, according to the report.

“The appropriate action was taken based upon the outcome of the investigation,” said Chief Arthur Holmes, Jr., assistant chief of operations.

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Nestor Flores Nestor Flores Wednesday, June 05, 2013 4:32:49 PM this its not a paramedic profetional, Layoff.
Mike Fox Mike Fox Wednesday, June 05, 2013 4:56:20 PM What a complete ass. He should be disciplined. What harm was the photographer doing? The first paramedic had the right approach.
Josh Button Josh Button Wednesday, June 05, 2013 5:06:25 PM That guy is a complete embarrassment to the fire service. If he was under such stress and concern about the patient why was he so focused on the guy with the camera?
Doug Croyle Doug Croyle Wednesday, June 05, 2013 5:08:19 PM I have to agree with the Capt. He is 100% correct. Bystanders have absolutely NO place on an accident scene or an LZ. The Capt was completely within his authority to remove and/or have removed the guy from the scene. The Capt was also correct as to the operation that was going at the time was considered personal information due to the fact that he would have videoed a critical(assumed since they are medivacing the person). Also it IS a safety issue. There is always the possibility of something being blown around by the roustabout.
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 5:22:49 PM The patient has a right to privacy but Captain Smart could have handled the situation better, perhaps like a Lieutenant. Being in the fire service for 23 years Iíve seen this scenario 1000 times, the extra bugle can make a sane man go mad.
Ryan Ricke Ryan Ricke Wednesday, June 05, 2013 6:28:11 PM I think the Captain was trying to care of his scene and not the pt. Think about it he has to think big picture not pt care. Thats for the other medics on scene. Maybe a better approach.
Frank Staples Frank Staples Wednesday, June 05, 2013 8:59:37 PM Negative, Doug! He is absolutely out of control and the photographer, which we all better get used to being associated with, is way out of the danger zone and across an active street. This guy is an embarrassment to his station, his department, and his city. We need to focus on the job and forget about the media. This guy was far enough away that, unless he had a spectacular camera, he posed no privacy risk for the patient. I've done fire and rescue photography for twenty two plus years and I've never encountered a fire official this out of control. And as I photograph wreck scenes in our county for the NCSHP and I'm a certified firefighter, I would not put up with this guy for longer than a few seconds. Guys and girls, we have NO CONTROL or AUTHORITY over the public domain and if you let your "no pictures, no-how" attitude get the best of you then you risk getting your department sued, yourself sued, and your city pissed off at you. The best thing we can do is handle our scene and let the media do their job.
Frank Staples Frank Staples Wednesday, June 05, 2013 9:03:15 PM Also Doug we've got to remember that everybody has a phone now and the job is not as simple as it used to be. Everyone can take a phone picture and have it downloaded to Youtube faster than we can get back to the station. We shouldn't get so focused on the media that we forget our primary JOB!! Also remember that if we get the media po'd at us then they can make our lives miserable. If we work with the media then they can make us shine! And they will!!!
Karl Groth Karl Groth Thursday, June 06, 2013 4:48:07 AM The Captain was completely out of control. It sucks having someone filming, but, the guy was not in the danger zone. If he was then the road should have been closed. He never crossed that road or approached the scene. If they were worried about the patient's privacy then they should have made a human barrier or had a couple guys holding up a tarp. We do that all the time. In this case him and the other 2 firefighters could have just walked over and stood between him and the scene blocking his view. As I am sure he is now aware he absolutely had no authority to tell him to stop filming. He can have him moved if he is in the secured area (which he wasn't), but, had no authority to turn the camera off. Next time he is asking for a helicopter he might think about getting PD to the scene for security instead of asking for them after the fact. Another thing you never do is put hands on anyone. The camera person wasn't the smartest person in the world. Anyone with a little common sense would have moved when asked. I think if the initial tone used by the Capt. had been more encouraging instead of screaming they probably would have moved away. I am actually surprised there wasn't a larger crowd which would have been a mess based on the Capt's attitude.
Peter Dobro Peter Dobro Thursday, June 06, 2013 7:10:24 AM He is an idiot!!
David Balsley David Balsley Thursday, June 06, 2013 7:10:55 AM This clown stops the evac to scream at someone. I wonder who was being medvaced, or what they are hiding.
Jon Fernando Jon Fernando Thursday, June 06, 2013 7:28:59 AM If he touched the guy recording he's lucky the guy didn't file assault charges. There is no reason the Capt. acting like he did. There is no stress level that should allow for such a poor display of self control and public relations. Take a 30 day unpaid vacation for making a fool out of yourself, your department, and your fellow brothers and sisters in the fire service.....
Doug Croyle Doug Croyle Thursday, June 06, 2013 7:33:27 AM Frank you have made some good points. But I have to ask, where do you draw the line. If you allow every Tom, Dick, and Harry to just start snapin off pictures there is going to be trouble. You know as well as I do that when you have a bunch of people in the area taking pictures, you are always going to have some move around for "a better view". I understand that people are drawn to emergency lights...throw an aircraft in there and it make everyone even more curious.
Jamie Kennedy Jamie Kennedy Thursday, June 06, 2013 7:45:23 AM He is told by what sounds like another firefighter not to film personal information, not the Captain. Sorry but the captain has every authority to move bystanders at a scene to where he believes they're safe. Period. He has every authority to direct crowd control as there is no PD on scene (we hear him request PD). This is a very loud scene where yelling would be required to get the message to the across. My bet is if this guy was not asked to move and got hit by prop wash debris he'd use the video to sue the FD for not moving him... Idiot. I think the FD should use this video to have him charged for failure to obey the safety instructions of the Incident Commander.
Robert Speanburgh Robert Speanburgh Thursday, June 06, 2013 7:46:12 AM Doesn't matter, our personal feelings do not overrule the first amendment. Personally I think they should have privacy laws in such cases, but until we do, we have to be professional about this. Of course, nothing illegal about holding your hat or helmet in their way non-stop either.
Jim Carter Jim Carter Thursday, June 06, 2013 7:48:44 AM Doug, That is the persons right according to the constitution. You draw the line at the bystander is out of harms way WHICH he clearly was as there was passing traffic. Learn your rights before you spout off saying this hack capt. was well within his rights. He was way out of control and after the photographer moved back that should have been the end. He brought disgrace on himself his department and anyone that is in the fire service. The way the department handle it was just as disgraceful, voluntary stress management REALLY that's a joke in and of itself.
Jamie Kennedy Jamie Kennedy Thursday, June 06, 2013 7:50:00 AM Sorry Frank, but only one person's interpretation of the danger zone is relevant here, not yours... but Captain Smart's. If he says this area is not safe,... its not safe. Bystander wasn't pressed on the issue of filming. That was over early in the conversation, the issue continuing to be pressed was the location of the bystander... not his camera.
Terry Allen Terry Allen Thursday, June 06, 2013 7:54:46 AM some firefighters, and ems personnel.take on a heavy attitude while being on scene, being a former firefighter.i had to deal with an officer that was younger than I was.on several occasions, other firefighters had to pull me off of him.because he wanted to curse at people and call them names.i have dealt with reporters, have played the role as a reporter during haz-mat situations.where I would try my best to sneak into the hot zone, however I could and not get caught.which I found that to be very fun.Ya have to remember, there is a certain perimeter at any scene, that you own.protect it because, these men and women are your family.if you take a moment and tell someone, in simple terms.what happened, don't give name, details , or anything else that you feel is inappropriate info.Think of it this way.If you are kind to anyone that approaches you.explain to them the reason for your concern of that persons safety.besides you never can tell. if valuable time was running out, and you needed one set of extra hands to save someones life, though that person may not have the training. would you ask a reporter for help until backup arrives.its your choice or your call...ALWAYS WEAR, WHAT YOU WERE ISSUED FOR YOUR SAFETY, ITS EASIER AT A SCENE TO TAKE OFF, THAN IT IS PUTTING ON , WHEN TIME IS CRUCIAL.
Nate Lopez Nate Lopez Thursday, June 06, 2013 7:58:51 AM both individuals were unprofessional as hell, but the photographer was the bigger ass.
Chris Henderson Chris Henderson Thursday, June 06, 2013 8:02:09 AM As a career firefighter for the last 19 years, now a captain myself, I can see both sides of the story here. The outcome of this whole saga, in my opinion, was handled correctly by his Chief, so let's let the good men and women on this Department focus on the greater good of keeping the citizens of Miami Dade safe.
April Holliday Chism April Holliday Chism Thursday, June 06, 2013 8:04:18 AM Captain Smart was not out of line, in my opinion. I think he did the right thing but maybe in the wrong way. We can not let bystanders take over a scene just because they want to. The guy would not be on my scene and it has nothing to do with video or pictures, has to do with the safety of my scene.
Erik Mandeen Erik Mandeen Thursday, June 06, 2013 8:11:08 AM I think it is just stupid that the bystander had to go file a complaint smart was not cursing or using force agents him. The bystander is just a big baby who can't handle someone telling him to back off. And for all we know it could of been a family member of his. The article says he was under a lot of stress for this call. No one becomes a captain with out being experience thus there must of been something special going on. So mostly the bystander should of turn around and walked away when told so if a cop had asked him he would ether be in cuffs or walking away. But no because a medic said so he questioned it. stop being stupid and just do what you are told i am glad smart did not get anything agents him and stress counseling is always good incident or no incident seeing how we are under so much stress
David Lowrance David Lowrance Thursday, June 06, 2013 8:15:24 AM The Arm Chair Quarterbacks have spoken. First not one of you were there and the Captain has the right and Authority to request the Public stand back and has the authority to set the boundaries for the scene. I personally did not see the captain in the video as being out of control listened mostly to the audio. Over zellious people with cameras get us in our finest or worse moments. That being said the Perception not the Facts of the matter is what people look at. Not one time did the captain tell him to stop Video he simply stated step back in a polite way. Or what I see as a polite way but I only have 20 years in the Fire service. If something would have happened to this camera man he would be upset. In most states there are laws that protect A fire Official if he is acting in the best interest of the public. Simply put the Captain explained why he needed the guy to step back and he refused. Go work for a Big City department and you might understand.
William Butterfield William Butterfield Thursday, June 06, 2013 8:20:39 AM I agree the capt had every right to remove that scene he may have done if wrong but he was right in trying to remove that idiot pt's have rights too
Michael Phillips Michael Phillips Thursday, June 06, 2013 8:24:06 AM If you notice when they are backing out of the rescue truck, the flight medic/nurse is the first to point at the bystander and seems to wave him off. The first fireman approached the bystander and asked him nicely to stop recording. This guy had an attitude with the rescue personnel. AND the Capt DID try to radio for PD NUMEROUS times. Patient care was already transferred into the hands of the flight crew when the Capt and other fireman walked over. The man did his job. It isn't his fault PD never showed up.
Daniel O' Connell Daniel O' Connell Thursday, June 06, 2013 8:28:13 AM I agree he acted out of line and that he should need to chill next time....if it happens again, well then disciplinary action may be necessary.
Daniel O' Connell Daniel O' Connell Thursday, June 06, 2013 8:28:39 AM Oh maybe have him write an apology letter and have it published in the local paper. That would work for now.
Matthew Boyer Matthew Boyer Thursday, June 06, 2013 8:42:17 AM Smart was out of line on how he controlled the situation yes he had the authority to do what he did but he should of done it in a different manner than he did.
Richard Giuliani Richard Giuliani Thursday, June 06, 2013 8:48:11 AM Doug, I agree with Frank on this one. this is way out of control, and has to by systematic of more problems with this captain. He is a ticking time bomb with that much rage. This is simple....set up caution tape and no one gets by. We have to be civil, and respectful of first amendment, and keep them all safe. If I was the photographer, I would have had him charged with battery, and arrested. The department will pay down the road by empowering this guy to do it again.
Keith Dutton Keith Dutton Thursday, June 06, 2013 8:48:34 AM Doug, here's where you draw the line: it was in public, and could be viewed by the public. If the patient was being treated in someone's private home, company, or organization, then no pictures. Based on my 25 years in fire/EMS, I agree with Frank.
Keith Dutton Keith Dutton Thursday, June 06, 2013 8:50:43 AM The guy taking the pictures is across the street and well beyond the fire apparatus marking off the LZ. He's not "taking over the scene...."
Steve Grundt Steve Grundt Thursday, June 06, 2013 8:59:46 AM Capt. Smart had no right to do what he did. The bystander was in no way shape or form interfering with the operation and was a very safe distance from the scene, and there was no private information recorded. In this day and age we are recorded in almost everything we do. Capt. Smart should not have abandoned his pt.
Allen Smith Allen Smith Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:18:40 AM Your all looking at the photographers rights. Well it is a fire scene so FD controls all parameters around that scene if safety is an issue it isn't a bystanders call of how close safe is. If told to do so move back. [i]n the event of a fire or other emergency or to expedite traffic or to safeguard pedestrians or property: any police officer or other "PERSON empowered" to regulate traffic at the scene may, to the extent authorized by local law . . . direct traffic as conditions may require. The Court acknowledged that a fire chiefís responsibility to coordinate the fire departmentís response to an emergency includes: protecting the public while keeping the public from obstructing the fire departmentís mission.This case enables fire chiefs to delegate authority to firefighters to control traffic at a fire, accident or other emergency. Those who refuse to obey the orders of a firefighter delegated with the authority to control traffic at a fire, accident or other emergency may find themselves confronted with a violation. Not saying he handled it correctly but Firefighters do have the right to tell you to move 15 blocks away if so deemed necessary.
Lorna Reich-Davis Lorna Reich-Davis Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:19:15 AM First responders are required to secure the scene to ensure safety of ALL present first. We are to first make sure the area and people are safe. Then we proceed with the patient, while STILL maintaining a secure surrounding area. The Chief was in the right, although he could have gone about it in a more professional manner, I agree.
Adam Baker Adam Baker Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:23:36 AM Doug, Why was it okay for the cars to drive by the scene while the helicopter was landing and the landing zone was still active, but not okay for the guy recording not to be on the opposite side of the street. He was not across any yellow line or inside the peremiter of the safety zone. The cars were closer then he was. Why is he not allowed there?
Adam Baker Adam Baker Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:25:00 AM Cars were closer then the guy was. Why did they not block off traffic if they were concerned over safety?
Adam Baker Adam Baker Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:25:39 AM I agree. He asked if he could PLEASE not record it.
Lorna Reich-Davis Lorna Reich-Davis Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:31:48 AM Some of you should realize that the Medic requested that the FD remove the person filming. The man IS required to follow the orders given by the Fire Chief. The Chief does have the authority while performing his duties to remove people from the area! The 'journalist' should face charges for willfully ignoring the directions given. He placed himself in danger by standing in the road. See how close that van was to him. It COULD have turned into the guy being hit by a passing vehicle, which would require FD and medical aid that could have been avoided.
Terry Snodgrass Terry Snodgrass Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:39:53 AM What a idiot capt smart is!
Craig Rose Craig Rose Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:45:12 AM I can sympathize with CA Smart, but his behavior was unprofessional to say the least. While he may be responsible for the scene, he certainly could have handled this in a far more constructive way. Where this incident becomes a major problem for CA Smart, and his department, is when there is even the suggestion that the photographer's First Amendment rights were being in some way violated. An interesting take on this aspect can be read here:
Terry Sill Terry Sill Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:56:58 AM Now he knows he can get by with it.
Terry Snodgrass Terry Snodgrass Thursday, June 06, 2013 10:07:31 AM controlling the scene is one thing, but that idiot just fliiped out! power trip capt smart!
Fredric L. Rice Fredric L. Rice Thursday, June 06, 2013 10:12:37 AM His behavior should have resulted in a civil suit against the individual himself since his Department could reasonably be able to note for the court that such behavior is against policy, ergo his Department is not culpable in any way. Now that his Department says he will face no action, that's a fact that can be used in a civil court to drag his Department in to a civil suit against him. A bad move, in other words, not to punish him in any way. A judge and a Jury will see the lack of punishment as complicity, a condonment.
Fredric L. Rice Fredric L. Rice Thursday, June 06, 2013 10:13:33 AM He wasn't in the LZ, he was not involved within the arena of influence, he was far off to the side out of the way videotaping as is his right as an American citizen. Maybe you should actually research things before opening your idiot yip, Doug.
Fredric L. Rice Fredric L. Rice Thursday, June 06, 2013 10:16:06 AM Jamie Kennedy And Jamie, not only that but the Department issued a training video confirming that the civilian was outside of the zone of influence and that the citizen was within his rights -- if not his duty -- to video. The training video produced reconfirmed that there are boundaries both for responders as well as for civilians, and in this case the civilian was wronged, the violent responder was 100% in the wrong.
Fredric L. Rice Fredric L. Rice Thursday, June 06, 2013 10:17:31 AM Josh, this was actually a good training event for responders, so the fact that he was an embarrassment was at least mitigated by the consequential training opportunity. Still, it sounds like the individual needs to be punished since it sounds like he did not learn his lesson.
Fredric L. Rice Fredric L. Rice Thursday, June 06, 2013 10:17:53 AM Law enforcement would have ignored the civilian video taping, as the responder should have. There was nothing to "handle."
Fredric L. Rice Fredric L. Rice Thursday, June 06, 2013 10:18:45 AM Everyone says you're wrong, including the chief, including the training video that was made afterwards informing responders that the civilian who videotaped was in the right on this incident.
Kevin Lawford Kevin Lawford Thursday, June 06, 2013 10:21:48 AM Let's not forget that this is a stressful job. I don't really condone Capt. Smart's behavior. However, I do understand where the frustration comes from. Was there something wrong with the transfer of the patient from the rescue to the Lifeflight? I have more of an issue with how relaxed everyone on scene was. And how come three FD personnel abandoned the transfer of the patient to go deal with some guy in no harm video taping a helicopter landing in the middle of a park. We should all know by now that something like that is going to draw the eyre of the public. And to Capt. Smart and MDFR's credit, why the heck wasn't PD there? I think that landing a helicopter in the middle of a community soccer field is reason enough to at least have a traffic officer on scene... Maybe I'm just asking for too much...
Jamie Kennedy Jamie Kennedy Thursday, June 06, 2013 10:54:00 AM I still disagree.... Have you ever had to slap together a safety perimeter? Takes time and if time isn't available its not always text book perfect. I really don't care if there's not a soul on this forum that agrees with me. I've had bystanders in/on my scenes in places not safe to be. It's very frustrating when you instruct them to leave for their own good and they're too ignorant to listen. The bystander asked what authority he had to tell people where its safe to stand.... I say he had EVERY authority until such a time as PD arrived on scene.
Anthony Asmar Anthony Asmar Thursday, June 06, 2013 11:42:44 AM I have to agree with Frank, here. As FF, our job is not to enforce the law ... that's the work of the PD. While the Captain DID call for the PD, and while I'm sure his intentions were in the right place, I think he became a little too overwhelemd by his position of authority, and that's when his actions became inappropriate. Unless the recorder was in iminent danger, which clearly he was not, under no circumstance should the FD treat a civilian the way this cpt did. In the worst case scenario, the man will record, and the PD may ask him to delete the film.
Angela Runswithnuns Martin Angela Runswithnuns Martin Thursday, June 06, 2013 12:24:23 PM recently had an issue like this at work. brought a 21 yo girl back from a heroin overdose. during cpr we removed her shirt and draped it over her and the leads on her chest but it wasn't fully covered. on the way to the ambulance we noticed some skaters about 15 ft away vidioing and laughing about putting the stupid overdosing bi#ch on youtube. so where is the line and where do we stand on it?
James Yockey James Yockey Thursday, June 06, 2013 12:32:39 PM society is slowly going down the drain
Frank Staples Frank Staples Thursday, June 06, 2013 1:57:08 PM Very true, Doug, but like I said...everybody has a camera now and while we must establish a safe perimeter our primary job is to the patient, not the public. He was way out of line.
Frank Staples Frank Staples Thursday, June 06, 2013 2:04:54 PM Jamie, yes, I've had to establish perimeters and once that is done it is NOT our job or responsibility to baby sit the public. We do not have the authority to tell the public not to film a scene if the photographer is in the public domain. PERIOD!!! Try it and get your department sued and maybe you'll change your mind. Even the police do not have the authority to tell someone in the public domain to move!! We simply cannot do it and once we stop fighting with the media over this silly stuff then we'll all look better at our job. Believe me, as a fire photographer I can film your silly mistakes and make you wish you'd never answered a call OR I can make you look like a champ. Your choice! We fight with the media and we lose, period!!
Frank Staples Frank Staples Thursday, June 06, 2013 2:14:59 PM BTW kids...if you'll look at the video there is no way that this guys camera was going to show any detail at that distance. Mine would but then I got a ton of money invested just to be able to detail this kind of incident. Most of the people around here who are actively working for a paper or other media have very simple cameras that do decent work but not outstanding. What I'm trying to say here is that we spend way too much time looking at the man with the camera and not looking at our patient or our scene. Unless the chopper is going to land on this guy's head or he is interfering with our job then we should leave him alone.
Greg LeRow Greg LeRow Thursday, June 06, 2013 2:21:24 PM The reporter should have moved when asked and not question authority. There was a reason the Capt. wanted him back. There are times when bystanders need to farther back. They are both at fault here. The capt. should have been a little calmer too.
Camerin Schimenti Camerin Schimenti Thursday, June 06, 2013 2:30:28 PM If that was my relative that needed life flighted out of an accident scene I wouldn't want some pedestrian filming them being taken away. Why would the guy filming want to film that anyway? Seems maybe the guy filming should apoligize to the family for being a creeper, but maybe I'm wrong and all first responders should be allowed to film everything we see (sarcasm) though it would be a good way to show the general public what we do have to deal with on a daily basis. Seems that if we can't at a scene because the way we are viewed by the public and HIPAA then the public should have to abid by the same rules at an accident scene since we are in charge of that scene.
Brendan McStay Brendan McStay Thursday, June 06, 2013 2:40:05 PM Jamie- he had zero authority to do anything. People n public have no expectation of privacy. He had zero cause to assault the photographer with blood-stained gloves. There was no safety issue; that's just an excuse- we can see as much from the cars going by. IF the FD was so worried about privacy, they should have held up a sheet- which they can't do while assaulting the photographer with a biohazard that could potentially kill him.
Brendan McStay Brendan McStay Thursday, June 06, 2013 2:43:48 PM Actually, they don't. Not in public.
Thursday, June 06, 2013 2:58:21 PM What a roid raged wacko...If any of you think this so called Capt was right, you better learn the First Amendment of the Constitution. He was NOT interfering with ANY of their operations or in a dangerous place (the numerous car seen driving through the scene much closer than he was). He lied (his radio broadcast about this man being combative) while he committed Battery on the photographer. Come up and try that crap with me and I can promise you, He'd be arrested for Battery and the city would be writing me out a nice check. What a douche bag.
George Cribbs George Cribbs Thursday, June 06, 2013 4:59:03 PM if the area was unsafe then the area should have been roped off....Video Taping on a public street is LEGAL No To if ands or buts....There job was to assist the victim all they did was prolong the hospital run.
Frank Staples Frank Staples Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:39:42 PM Lorna, please read the comment from Steve...he is absolutely right. We do not ( and the police do NOT ) have the authority to interfere with someone in the public domain. Look at the way he could have compromised the patient's identity. We can live or die with the media. I'll say it again, I can make you look like a blithering idiot or an Angel of Grace by how I portray you with my camera. Work with the media and it's a win-win situation.
Frank Staples Frank Staples Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:43:25 PM William, look at the video, please. No way the patient's id could have been compromised and the photographer was across a street that the M-D Fire had not seen fit to close. Capt. S was acting like an idiot and if I had been the photographer I would have taken him to the cleaners. We have NO AUTHORITY to interfere with anyone in the public domain. Neither do the cops!!
Frank Staples Frank Staples Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:46:39 PM Hate to tell you April but if I were on your scene and not interfering with the operation then you would NOT tell me what to do without getting your fanny in a world of hurt. We do not have the authority to mess with anyone in the public domain. I've done fire and rescue photography for over twenty two years and I've had to be well versed in the legality of it all. That plus being a certified fireman and doing MVA photography for the NCSHP helps!
Frank Staples Frank Staples Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:51:56 PM David, hate to inform you but I've done fire and rescue photography for over twenty two years, as well as MVA work for the NCSHP. You or nobody else can tell anyone to stop doing a legal action in the public domain. Ask your local law enforcement...ask your local news people. If you want to be an a-hole with the media they will fry you...if you treat them right they'll make you look like a champ. We in the fire service need to get over our fetish silliness about cameras.
Frank Staples Frank Staples Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:56:40 PM Camerin, take a deep breath and repeat after me...we do NOT have the authority to interfere with someone in the public domain and the sooner we realize that and stop obsessing over being on camera the sooner we'll get our job done and look like professionals. Being in charge of a scene does NOT mean that we control everyone within half a mile. Work with the media, people, and your lives will be much easier and your departments will shine!!
Frank Staples Frank Staples Thursday, June 06, 2013 10:07:30 PM Jamie, look at the video...the guy was standing across the street, outside the perimeter, and in no way in a position to compromise any patient id. Across an OPEN street, by the way. If Capt. Smart had treated me that way I'd have had his fanny...sorry, but I've been a fire photographer for over twenty two years, and I have to know the pertinent legal aspects of photographing or videoing scenes, even though I do it for the NCSHP. I'm also a certified fireman and that job comes first...I'm Safety Officer, tanker driver, and finally...photographer. On our scenes anyway. In the rest of the county I'm simply the fire, rescue photographer that all the guys know.
Al Watterson Al Watterson Friday, June 07, 2013 6:14:43 AM Where was the police to arrest this bystander after he refused to leave when asked the first time. I'm on the fire service side on this one.
Friday, June 07, 2013 7:17:26 AM The asshole recording was trying to cause a problem and be a tool, If you think the captain was an embarrassment to the fire service, all I can say is I hope to God you are not in public safety, you must be a D-bag reported who thinks you can do anything you want. The ass clown needed his ass beat down and thrown from the scene, tool
Tom Flint Tom Flint Friday, June 07, 2013 12:27:41 PM Stop trying to sugar coat it. He was out of place. He called for police. That's their Job.
Scott Evans Wilson Scott Evans Wilson Friday, June 07, 2013 1:18:18 PM Hello LEO thats what they are there for it wasnt an issue filming but how close he was during helo ops we dont allow cicilians within 100 yards of helo ops
Anthony Burns Anthony Burns Friday, June 07, 2013 3:21:14 PM I agree 100% with Frank. As for where we draw the line the US constitution does that for us. Violate the first amendment at you own peril. Not you or law enforcement can stop anyone from filming anything they are protected by the constitution. This "Captain" is very out of control. My guess is he is a new Captain with little fire service experience in a department with a weak training program for management. I have been doing this 18 years and seen these tyrannical, screamer leaders before. It is in effective management that gets no respect as we saw in the video. Had the situation had a calmer approach and ditch the my way or the highway bit. It would have turned out different. This is an excellent training tool for a PIO class in how not to handle the media. As if we were not getting an almost daily dose of that education from DC Fire and EMS, and Detroit Fire. Doug I understand your point and it it despicable. But in the information age you can not stop it.
Frank Staples Frank Staples Friday, June 07, 2013 7:13:03 PM Al, have you just refused to read any of the posts?? The good Captain does not have the right or authority to ask the photographer to "leave". We have NO AUTHORITY guys to tell the public to leave the "public domain". We are NOT responsible for people's safety even if the want to act like idiots. Once we make a suggestion then it's up to us to leave it alone or call the popo. And the popo do NOT have the authority to "control" someone in the public domain, even though they try to do it frequently.
Brian P Slattery Brian P Slattery Saturday, June 08, 2013 3:40:04 PM @Fredric L. Rice.... respectfully, you made your point but you could've remained "above the fray" by not making the "idiot" remark... we all have the right to state our opinions on a matter, and at the same time we have the right to disagree with someone else's opinion... what we have all seemed to forget is that we can do these things without it being uncivil or disrespectful
Brian P Slattery Brian P Slattery Saturday, June 08, 2013 3:49:10 PM Sam Rogers.... it sounds like you could use a refresher course in civics. What the "asshole" recording was doing was entirely protected under the First Amendment. Captain Smart was out of line in what he did, as the scene lines were apparently already established (as others have pointed out, note that the street BETWEEN the photographer and the scene was still open and had vehicles passing by), so the photographer was CLEARLY outside of the "danger" zone. The photographer was in NO way interfering with emergency personnel. Captain Smart is just one of those in the fire service who mistakenly thinks that they have a right to push others around for no other reason, just "because they can". Authority goes hand-in-hand with accountability and responsibility... authority without responsibility/accountability is a dictator or tyrant.
Brian P Slattery Brian P Slattery Saturday, June 08, 2013 3:55:27 PM The unfortunate part is that you had to take the patient out into a public space... you do what you can within reason to protect the patient, but you really cannot stop others from doing stupid or inappropriate things. It is a shame that this younger generation doesn't seem to be brought up with any kind of sense of respect for others... but you would be even more in the wrong if you had gone after the skaters in an aggressive manner.
Brian P Slattery Brian P Slattery Saturday, June 08, 2013 3:58:50 PM overzealous would've been the photographer trying to get up closer, which they did not... I have to disagree with you that Captain Smart was "in the right"... it would appear that a safety zone WAS established and the photographer was OUTSIDE of it...
Brian P Slattery Brian P Slattery Saturday, June 08, 2013 4:03:15 PM so... in the video there are vehicles still continuing down the street between the photographer and the scene... if you're claiming "safety reasons" and you're not going to close the street to traffic, how can you reasonably justify telling a person they have to go farther away? What if the person was sitting in their legally parked vehicle and recording it... with traffic still flowing on a street between the camera and the scene.... do you still claim "safety reasons"??
Brian P Slattery Brian P Slattery Saturday, June 08, 2013 4:04:30 PM what road was the photographer standing in???
Brian P Slattery Brian P Slattery Saturday, June 08, 2013 4:14:49 PM George Carlin and others are right when they try to teach us that there are times in which we should question/challenge "authority"... this is an example of one of those times... Captain Smart was doing nothing more than being a "bully" because HE felt he had the authority to boss the photographer around... if "safety" was such a true concern why were there vehicles still proceeding through the "danger zone" (which was clearly between the photographer and the scene).
Orlando R. DeDominicis Orlando R. DeDominicis Saturday, June 08, 2013 7:10:24 PM Capt "SMART" was anything but....... He was wrong to react like that as there was no immediate danger and the camera wasn't close enough to pick up anything personal at all.
Wyley Daughtry Wyley Daughtry Sunday, June 09, 2013 5:37:31 AM @Jamie Kennedy -- If you believe that officer acted professionally and proper, then your'e just as ignorant and out of line as he was. Absoulutely no place in the fire service or EMS service to act like that. Just because someone wants to act stupid in public, doesn't mean we react in the same manner. We're better than that.
Patrick Hamilton Patrick Hamilton Sunday, June 09, 2013 8:22:07 AM He definitely over reacted. Did anyone else also notice that he was touching the guy filming with used, blood covered gloves?
Friedrich VonDeitsch Friedrich VonDeitsch Sunday, June 09, 2013 11:33:47 AM When asked by a public servant to adopt a certain protocol it is very irresponsible to say no then become combative. It is the Captain's scene to command. He has determined the safe perimeter to be 300 feet. A responsible citizen would simply comply. I feel he would have complied if it were a Police Officer instructing him to move away from the scene. If he chose to be threatening ( in the legal sense of the word- just saying "no" to a cop is considered threatening by them) a Police Officer would have confiscated his devices and arrested him for interfering with police business. It is standard policy for most policing departments to not allow officers to be captured on video so this would have never made it to YouTube. The chip or film would have been destroyed. The Captain was no louder than your average law enforcement agent. I wonder how many of you here who feel the Captain was "out of line" would have tolerated this individual refusing your orders to clear the scene if you were in command? In our state(Nebraska) a Fire Department Officer ( Captain or above) has the legal authority to arrest citizens who fail to comply when requested to follow an order and hold them until a uniformed officer arrives, then press charges. It is my feeling that citizens today have no respect for authority, the rule of law or the many privileges afforded to them such as police and fire protection just to name two. Rights are earned and privileges are offered only to those of us who are willing to accept the responsibilities that go with each right and have the good sense to appreciate the many privileges that come with being a respectful and obedient participant in our democratic society. I see too many Americans these days who are very comfortable enjoying rights and privileges but are unwilling to sacrifice what is required to have them. The Captain, just like all of us, was doing the best he could even if it was not up to other peoples standards and expectations.
Bro Montana Bro Montana Sunday, June 09, 2013 1:09:54 PM Standard. Great customer service.
David Lowrance David Lowrance Sunday, June 09, 2013 5:23:07 PM Once again If you read my response I am not infringing on the right to video or take pictures. Duh every fireman or glory hound wants to take pictures of someones else misfortune. I really understand I dont mind looking at a Great shot of a fire Scene. The issue i was talking about was the Captain establishing a safe area. and by what i interpreted as well as his superiors was he was asking the man to step back not to stop filming. But i guess i am not seeing everything. But from my perspective of 20 years he asked the man to step back. I was not there nor were any of you so what the captain sets well i will not say right or wrong.
Amanda McDuff Amanda McDuff Monday, June 10, 2013 5:29:57 AM Kids r kids. In the end, the blame ultimately lies w/the parents. I had called out a few kids recently for pulling some low class stuff...when I told the parents about their kids behavior, they laughed in my face. Turns out the parents were trash that's where they got it from.
Ryan Asbrock Ryan Asbrock Saturday, June 15, 2013 7:55:49 AM Doug, first off, if the capt. was so concerned about safety and it being a secured LZ, then why were cars still allowed to drive by? Where was the protective gear for the medic crew (helmet and eye protection at a minimum)? The engine crew should've made a clearly identifiable LZ perimeter with cones, trucks, police cruisers, etc. Outside of that, in this day and age, the general public can film/photo whatever they like. We may not like it, but we have to deal with it in a much more professional manner than this capt. did. He needs a lesson in communicating effectively.
Ryan Asbrock Ryan Asbrock Saturday, June 15, 2013 7:59:07 AM Wow Sam, really? Wake up on the wrong side of the bed today. He was not trying to cause a problem. The problem started when the capt. handled the entire situation incorrectly. If he had calmly requested that the man film from a little farther away for safety sake, then I'm sure he would've complied. Plus, the capt. could've technically been charged with battery if the man filming wanted to pursue that.
Dave Adams Dave Adams Saturday, July 06, 2013 2:18:17 PM I would have popped him right in the throat. His manner was extremely aggressive from the very start.

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