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Must see video: More adventures in public relations. Is this the Captain Smart of the north?

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As you watch this, I will be the first to admit, other than what is evident on the video, I have no clue what kind of scene this was or what the person with the camera did or didn’t do to warrant the expletives coming from the man who says on the video he is the “fire chief”. What I do know is that, much like Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Captain Greg Smart’s infamous on camera tirade, this is probably not the best way for professionals who deal with public to handle with this situation. Even if you are right, you undermine your own authority and reputation with actions like this caught on camera.

The description with the video from ccspagan simply asks, “Is this how public officials should treat taxpayers?”

It claims to have been taken in Uniontown, Pennsylvania (Fayette County) and that the fire chief is Charles Coldren of the Uniontown Fire Department.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • FLFF

    Now that I’ve seen the video I can only say that I think he’s doing some kind of field work for his college thesis on “How to look, act and be believable as a douche’ bag when everyone else around you isn’t.” Many ex-wives, chief?

    • RJ in florida

      DAVE: as of 6/12 I cant believe this aint made the news up there?

      this guy is gonna be a hoot at the state chiefs conv.

  • Blue

    Your a class act Chuck!

  • 8truck

    Way to act professional chief…..can you say goodbye

  • Anonymous

    Do we know what the incident was? If there was a powerline down or something (it looks like the pole next to them has its structural lines down) I can see keeping people back. What I can’t see is the reason to be an asshole about it. I know that if I were on the board for that district, that “chief” would soon be flipping burgers for a living.

  • Fire21

    A real class-A professional…and we all know what the “A” stands for.

  • WOW

    This young man should take this to the local news. That “FOORE CHIEF” is the most unprofessional “unpaid professional” I have ever seen. That obvious physical threat needs to be addresed. ASS HAT!!!!

    • Andrew

      This unpaid professional makes over 50,000 a year.

  • Hmmmmm

    What a complete idiot.

  • Anonymous

    One guess………………volunteer?

    • CHAOS

      Don’t be too quick to lump all the vollies in with this moron.
      Remember, our beloved Captain Not So Smart is a PROFESSIONAL. Professional what we can discuss later.

      In this day and age, what possesses these idiots to behave like this while looking into a camera??

    • Tom M

      Just because you presumably get paid doesn’t make you a better firefighter than the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who don’t get paid. That was as stupid and disrespectful to say as what we saw in the video.

    • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      He is paid.

    • Just another firefighter

      Anonymous, When you drive through 70% of the U.S., don’t call 911. You obviously don’t need our help with your superior knowledge and ability. Personally speaking, your comment lumps you in with the chief in the video.

  • RJ in florida

    Dave: I was wondering if CAPTAIN SMART had a father…I guess he does

    I believe there is more to this BUT being caught swearing to a civilian is plain stupid I just wonder if its gonna come back on him

    if it was me I would have stood my ground and waited for him to lay a hand on me (then I would have called Curt Varone) then the cop would have something to do

  • Dave LeBlanc

    I appreciate the efforts of this Chief. Daily I look for ways to improve myself and be a better fireman and officer, and in this short video I learned how not to be a Fire Chief. Although I am not sure this guy has earned the title.

    So many opportunities are lost to educate and work with the public. How do you think this guy will vote the next time the Fire Department needs something?

  • Sharppointy1

    I sure hope ccspagan takes this video to the Mayor and leaders of Uniontown, PA. The video speaks for itself, and should be widely shown, especially in Uniontown. This person (NOT going to call him a man) is a disgrace, and should be relieved of his duties.
    At least the swearing jerk didn’t have bloody gloves on.

    • tlynn

      Mayor Ed Fike is well aware of the entire incident and still believes the chief “must have been provoked”. this is typical for the city of uniontown. They are all in cohoots! Trust me, nothing will be done.

  • Fayette County Pa scanner freqs,incident,pics and more

    You can follow this incident on my webpage on facebook.Feel free to leave your opinion’s and follow other people’s opinion as well. This happened in my home town,actually not even 2 miles away. The original post on my page made it viral and others shared. Feel free to share the updates from my page as well. Thanks. I will provide the link below to my page.

    • RJ in florida

      if I lived up there I’d be on every call taping everything but i’m birddogging capt smart’s firehouse

      smart and this chief should go on tour

  • 117Truck

    Should read Fire’d Chief. Although i have a feeling he’s not compensated for his job anyway by his attire.

  • waheid

    Great recruitment tool. Watch this video and then run down to your local VFD and report to “The Chief.”

  • Ritt

    I don’t know why, but its hard to take a Fire Chief seriously when he’s wearing shorts.

  • Steve

    WHAT A JACK ASS! Im sure hes an absolute delight to work for as a firefighter. Needs to go back to civics 101 in high school…oh thats right, he never got above 5th grade so he never got civics class. SOmeone post his mailing address and Ill send him a copy of the BILL OF RIGHTS.

  • Steve

    I love it that hes wearing a “boy scouts of America” t-shirt…someone needs to send this video to the national headquarter to make sure he gets his redneck butt kicked out of there. Terrible example their chief!

  • Tenured Chief Officer

    Anonymous – “One guess………. volunteer”? I don’t understand what that has to do with any of this. Obviously you’re a hater and you are no better than the Chief. There have been many documented similar circumstances that involve career people so what is the point in your comment?

    Volunteer or Career makes no difference, this was very unprofessional. This Chief should be suspended immediately and ultimately loose his job over this or not be permitted to serve in any position of authority again. Not saying there wan’t one, but I saw no emergency and he certainly wasn’t dressed for one so what was the problem. It did not show him interfere in any way and he certainly was polite and abided by the orders, only to be followed and verbally attacked and abused. In many areas, that would be sufficient for charges of “disorderly conduct”. What was the police officers role is supporting the Chief when he clearly was in the wrong.

  • FOBS

    Typical wanna be vollie “chief” and his posse.

    Are there no physical fitness standards in that town?

    Police and fire need a diet, and that “chief” needs a lesson in anger management and public relations.

    Another black eye for the fire service.

  • Rich Schaffer

    Super chief fucking…. disgrace to Uniontown

  • Rod Fraser

    Too bad we didn’t have a bit of background to this situation, Dave. Maybe if you find out a bit more, our comments could be a bit more objective. In the meantime, I would suggest that this department start looking for a new chief and maybe some new firefighters to replace the ones that just maybe, got their dismissal letters.

    • Kathryn Jones

      There really is no background. There is a full five minutes of video preceding the tirade. There was no interaction between the camera operator and the personnel on the scene until the Chief went off unexpectedly. The only conversation in that preceding five minutes of video is the chit chat between the camera operator and his brother and a brief interaction with another (female) civilian.

  • http://statter911 Glad to be retired

    What a transgression of the fire service, absolutely embarrassing to volunteer as well as career and yet a purported member of the community. The entire membership should remove him, have the city, borough, township also view this and see what represents the fire dept. His aggressive style would indicate that he has been around way too long. I am sure that the vol’s are maybe afraid to remove his obstinate behind due to his poor anger management. Oh yes you fellas up there ever wonder why good guy’s get out of town to better themselves! You little burg has sent many good guys south, rest assured at least 2 of them would run his butt out of the dept. Yes I too left the commonwealth to better myself and be dammed it worked, I spend many hours of free time training in the keystone state giving back when I can.

    • Anonymous

      Many a good Firefighter left Uniontown for greener pasture in Va. I am one of them. What an idiot.

      • Anonymous

        this guy does not represent the majority of the FF of Uniontown he is a good ole boy who is under the mayors thumb he is a sell out and nothing will happen to him. all of his training is through osmosis just think this guy is a boy scout leader as well

  • Mark

    He has a Boy Scouts Of America shirt on ! Wow I want him teaching our youth. Typical western pa. Tough guy. He continues even after the camera person complies. Notice how he needs his backup every time he approaches. Then call the P.D like he just got bullied on the playground . What a big mouth. I can’t believe this guy is in charge of ( if he truly is the Chief) of a paid /combo dept. The public supported the FD there when layoffs came in the last years . Great way to say thank you , by being a real dick to a taxpayer . Get a real job Chief , you don’t deserve this one.

  • ED Roche

    The IAFC and the IAFF are tring to get the respect for firefighter’s back to where it was after 9/11. Capt Smart and this idot and many like them are killing that effort.

  • Mark too

    While I don’t condone his behavior, it seems quite clear to me that there’s more to this than what this short video shows. The guy is across the street shooting video at what appears to be an incident that’s under control and in under 2 minutes the Fire Chief is yelling at him from across the street, walks over to confront him and then pulls the cop into the matter.

    To me, this screams that there’s some sort of history between the guy and the Fire Chief and/or something happened prior to the video with this guy, he went home and came back with the video recorder looking to get something like what happened on tape.

    • dave statter

      I am not saying you are wrong Mark too. It could be, but the way the conversation starts on the video doesn’t seem to support that.

  • Capo

    I believe this guy is a PAID fire chief:

  • Tim

    For one, if he’s the chief why is he not setting an example of WEARING YOUR GEAR!! Next if this was a scene where there shouldn’t have been anyone around then it should be taped off (like the guy said in the video) anyone can say what they want to anyone that’s our first amendment right… Just because someone pissed in his fruit loops that morning does not give anyone especially a “chief” of a fire dept the right to say “put the camera down and we can take this to another level” this man should be removed from his position by 1.the body of the dept. and 2 the mayor/first selectmen of the town for Embarrassing the town and the dept…..

  • slackjawedyokel

    paw paw too old to be roistering up like that. He’s gonna stroke out.

  • Roofhook22

    Looks like ablove comments cover it, Chief ass eyes will probably get same punishment as Captain Smart ass.

  • Brandon

    This is seriously embarrising to the fire service. There cant be that great of a risk to the public if the chief wont even put his gear on. On the Department website it states staffs both volunteer and career so we cant blame it on volunteer’s. What we can blame it on is horrible leadership, public relations, anger managemnt, etc…

  • Anonymous

    That kid should have gone straight to city hall with that footage. SHow them what an idiot they have for a fire chief.

    • tlynn

      thats the problem….city hall is siding with the chief…what does that tell you?

  • Anonymous

    Typical power hungry tick. Any guesses on how many flashey lights he has on his POV!

  • Old Man1

    Uniontown PA fire department must be one of those volunteer fire departments run by a power hungry good old boys club fire chief. The big bellied foul mouthed slob for a Chief is a disgrace to every dedicated hard working firefighter in the country both volunteer and professional.

    • Capo

      HE IS A PAID FIREFIGHTER NOT A VOLUNTEER…look at their union website where it lists him as the secretary

  • Scooter

    Great training tool Thanks Chief I will be showing this a lot at classes with Capt. Smart’s video! PS where was your gear chief! Remember lead by example and you example SUCKS! Strike Da Box! K

  • Kathryn Jones

    There is a full five minutes of video preceding the tirade which shows no interaction whatsoever between the camera operator and the personnel on the scene. In addition, if you look closely at the video, there is a gentleman standing on the sidewalk across the street observing the same scene in the same manner…minus the camera. He was not similarly assaulted.

  • Anonymous

    This Chief is a Boy Scout leader as well

  • Capo


  • LFD Captain

    Typical volunteer chief, power hungry dumb ass…….

  • NC Fire Capt.

    undoubtable that he is wrong, Understand that paid or volunteer has nothing to do with this. He is just a jerk. So now it appears he is a power player in the union. I would say this is just as much a black mark on the union as anything else. Certainly is reminding me of how the unions started (mafia related control). A positon of power does not change who you are inside.

    • Mark too

      He was not acting as a union official, so I think you’re stretching to tie the union into this behavior and I wouldn’t exactly call the Secretary in a 13-man Local a “power player”. Regardless, I think you need to review the history of labor. Yes, the mafia may have had some influence with some Unions or their Locals, but labor unions were not created by the mafia.

  • Kathryn Jones

    One more detail….

    The camera operator had a 9mm pistol in his waistband and a concealed carry permit in his wallet. This situation could have deteriorated quickly if not for the composure of the camera operator/responsible gun owner.

    • Mark too

      I think you lack sufficient evidence in this video to label him as a “responsible gun owner” simply because he didn’t use his gun.

      • Kathryn Jones

        I disagree.

  • Anonymous

    Everybody in Uniontown needs to grab their iPhones and record this guy every time they see him.


    when you burp in a restaraunt in France…its a compliment to the chef…..when you’re a Fire Chief in Western Pa and say the F bomb repeatedly to a citizen, your really saying thanks….thanks for supporting our fundraisers, pancake breakfasts and for the many pictures you’ve taken of us at the local musters…

    • dave statter

      Thanks for the translation. Now I understand.

  • Really

    Quality people person for sure. Another Im the fire chief type. Oh boy your a volunteer fire chief. Be still my heart. This is why fire stations and firefighters across the nation are falling from grace. Morons like this guy brand us all. You sir are a joke. Put some gear on and act like you have a clue. What a joke. You can be sure he beat on his chest at the station when that run was over, mess with me huh….Im the Fire Chief……

  • Please add comments if you see this…

    I’d ask anyone reading this who had not commented to comment. Then go see the capt smart incident from florida and comment on that one. Then continue to spread the news to our fellow paid and/or unpaid professional brothers about how wrong this is. This kind of stuff is disgusting, embarrassing and only pushes the fire service back.

    • RJ in florida

      “please”: if the captain smart incident would have happened in ANY OTHER CITY in florida he would have been fried in the media then fired or at the least demoted.

      the fact that MDFD brushed this under the rug probably created the uniontown incident. Considering where uniontown is, this will probably be swept under the rug too because it seems that all the chief has to do is whistle up a couple of fire thugs and a cop to bully a citizen…having been in this situation myself and almost arrested “because the cop didn’t think it was right to photograph a fire” I stand with the videoguy and say that if it was me I would have DARED him to touch me then OWNED uniontown in the end.

      if I were a resident I would see this as a black eye on my town and call for the chiefs resignation yesterday and I urge anyone with a camera to tape EVERYTHING this guy does until he gets the message that he aint the boss AND the boyscouts should drop him like a hot potato for conduct unbecoming while wearing a BSA shirt

  • ffp20

    uniontown fd is a combination dept with 13 career members, the rest are volunteers.

  • frankie

    Look Larry, Moe And Curley Man that prozac is some good stuff Little ass—le chief has to gather his posse from unionville or where ever

  • MichiganFF

    I’m not sure what more can be said that hasn’t been said already, but if you read the youtube comments it seems the video taker admits to giving the chief the finger (im guessing near the end as he is walking away down the alley, which prompts the last bit of yelling from the chief).

    It’s still a disgusting way for a public official to act.

  • donnie gauthier


  • Hmmmmm

    What I thought was funny he went to get his boys to intimidate the camera guy. HILLBILLY PUNKS

  • Ty Tyson

    If I was a city father he would have just answered his last alarm.

  • Father Gregory

    That would be the end of his career!!!!

  • Anonymous

    The Uniontown Fire Department serves the City of Uniontown which covers an area of approximately 2.5sq miles with a population of 12,034 people.

    We are staffed by both career and volunteer firefighters. IAFF Local 955 comprises of 13 members, a Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, Captain, Lieutenant and 9 Firefighter/Engineers who staff and drive our units to the scene. Operating out of 2 stations the UFD runs 6 front line apparatus as well as 1 reserve engine

  • Len Schneider

    That is the most un-professional act of duty I have ever seen. I’ve been in the department for over 35 years and not once have I seen that kind of irresponsibility. THAT SO CALLED CHIEF NEEDS TO LOS HIS JOB and pay some sort of restitution to the man he verbally abused and threatned on camera. If that civilian was smart he’d get a lawyer and hang him out to dry. He has the proof and witnesses. WHAT A JOKE…CHIEF, MORE LIKE A DONKEYS BUTT.

  • Roger

    Theres more to a firechief than just putting out fires. He also has to have good people skills. Also able to handle any situations when they arrise. I fully understand that you need to set up a safe zone. I also know that at times you need to be stern to get your point out. But to just start threatning and swearing like this is just unreal. Being in the Fire Service Industry for over 30 years. I dont see where the person with the camera did anything wrong. He was asked to move back, and did so without any problems. He was not in the way. Or in harm of any emergency situation. This Fire chief was out of line. Very unprofessional and a disgrace to his department and for anyone in the Fireservice. I would expect nothing less than for him to be asked to step down as Firechief.

  • Joe

    Real professional.

  • Puzzled

    Someone call Ringling Bros. to tell them where to locate their missing clowns.

  • cjb

    The Mayor and Council of this town need to see this video, and have the chief resign at once. This is no way to act. If I were to behave like this in my town I would be out, no questions asked. The chief here is clearly out of line talking to residents like that.I give the guy filming lots of credit. If I were in his shoes that chief and his hillbilly sidekicks would have all been knocked the –ck out.

  • JW

    I know why that Uniontown chief is upset, it’s because he lives in Uniontown ! I had a long ago ex-girlfriend who was from there. What a dump that place was. It obviously rubs off on some of the officials. Unprofessional from start to finish. If it was such a danger zone, then why did three personnel leave the immediate area to harass someone who was within their right to film in public?

  • Surfer

    The mayor says Chief Coldren is “a pretty decent low-key kind of a guy”. Go figure.

  • Titus

    23 years service, last 5 as chief. All I can say is what’s up with this fool, as one comment said good ole boy. Man what a fool. Act professional,at least put on gear and I.D. (maybe you know how), Maybe hire a P.I.O and stay in the back ground.

  • Capt

    What a disgrace to our profession!! I did not see the camera man do anything wrong and held his cool while being cussed at!He was right to say that if the “chief” didnt want him there that it should be taped out. What bothered me is how the so called chief pursued the camera man with his “back-up”

  • ukfbbuff

    Goon Squad mentality

    Pink Slip the “chief” after making him and his two red shirts with him apologize to Mr. Shellerman and the community first.

  • mdff

    Most likely a Pittsburg Steelers fan so he already was predispositioned to be challenged. In other words he couldn’t help himself, so I do understand how this could happen. Go Ravens!!!

  • Anonymous

    Nothing will happen to this chief, trust me he is a company man, the mayors boy. he will get a paid vacation for several weeks out of this and the mayor will say he was suspended without pay. to quiet the public outcry, I am a volunteer at this department with no confidence in this chief

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