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

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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