Early video as muffler shop burns in Chicago: Someone was rolling around 6:50 PM yesterday as the first engine arrived at Foster and Cicero (4801 W. Foster). There is later video of this 2-11 from our friend Steve Redick that you can find here.
Someone who gets it: If your idea of handling the news media at a fire or other emergency is to fill in the blanks of some script (At 3:30 PM our units arrived at 250 Main Street for a reported dwelling fire … ) you need to see this. In Buffalo, New York, Division Chief Scott Barry uses his moments in front of the cameras following a fire where two firefighters were hurt to tell a story and educate the public (and reporters) on the workings of his department. To me, this is effective communications and a great example for all of us. Take a look.
And now we know the rest of the story (or at least some of it): City officials are finally speaking out (as predicted, their initial silence stretched this story into another news cycle or two) about the apparent rift between police and firefighters in Daytona Beach. As we all figured, we were missing some elements behind memos from police that a firefighter told them to handle the EMS work at call were an 81-year-old woman was found on the floor. It turns out the firefighter in question is the union president. Part of the tension may have to do with the police chief accusing an unknown firefighter of witness intimidation in the case of a colleague arrested on a pair of sex charges. It is getting rather complicated to explain, so just read it yourself.
The welcoming committee: It says “Welcome to Baltimore”, but the message from the IAFF & FOP is a rather pointed one. Check it out.
What the tow truck operator spotted that the firefighters didn’t: This seems to happen once a year somewhere in the country. In Cleveland, Ohio firefighters missed the body in a burned out vehicle. Firegeezer has the story.
More than just pot growing accusations against FDNY member: The New York Daily News reports prosecutors claim that Firefighter Patrick Murray is a member of a gang known as “The Master Race”. Murray which is responsible for grow houses throughout Queens. His lawyer tells the paper, “He is not a member of any organization except the Fire Department of New York City.” Read the story.
Deadly moment captured on video: If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the video from Iran where a man was rolling off some video of a fire 10 days ago at a petrochemical plant when it suddenly exploded. Four people were killed. Click here.
Dave the video killer strikes again: Here is my advice for the day. If you are going to put your fire or other videos on YouTube, look at the clips with the same critical eye everyone else will BEFORE you hit the upload button. Think ahead a bit and project how you are going to defend any potentially controversial items on the video when the fire service community sees it on STATter911 or some other forum. If you are truly comfortable with the good, bad and the ugly that is on there then by all means post it. We know no fireground is perfect and there is always something to learn. But it doesn’t make a lot of sense to boldly put the videos out there and then have to take them down a day later because some people pointed out the obvious. My lecture is over (what a pompous pain this guy has become since he quit the reporter job). If you are wondering what the hell I am talking about click here and read the comments.
A social media dos and don’ts theme show: Similar to my advice above, when you are writing nasty things on Facebook about someone you work with or anything to do with your business you might want to think how this will play when your boss sees it. A woman who USED TO work for an ambulance service in New Zealand can now explain this concept better than I can. Here’s the story.
A payroll mess in Birmingham, Alabama: The way the mayor tells it police and firefighters are supposed to make the same annual wage but not the same hourly rate. Somehow that didn’t translate into practice and the council has given orders to reduce the salary of firefighters. It is also being linked to a federal case involving the city’s payroll computer. Firefighters are threatening legal action of their own. Check it out.