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Video: What they think of you. Or, is it?

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Above is an excellent video posted to YouTube Wednesday from the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association (OPFFA).  It has some very nice comments in it from citizens telling us what they think about firefighters and some stories about their interactions with firefighters. It’s all stuff you would hope to hear from the public about you and your fellow firefighters. But is it reality?

The comments are the type of things that were heard right after the attacks of September 11th. But since then that universal love for firefighters has been in hiding just a bit. While many of you still, at times, hear these wonderful comments, in recent years there has also been an extremely negative tone. Much of it has to do with the economy, but at other times high profile negative stories, many of them self-inflicted wounds, help bring out the haters.

I worry that there is danger with videos like these that firefighters will delude themselves that all is good and they don’t have to do anything to maintain that relationship with the people they serve (I sound like Dr. Phil). But I see two very good things from a video like this. It helps remind the public what it is they admire about the firefighters in their community and it is provides a goal for fire departments and firefighters to reach.

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CN Ontario What do the public think of firefighters


Comments - Add Yours

  • Mike Roberts

    The only thing that restricts my appreciation for firefighters, or more accurately, fire departments, is cost – if they’re spending ridiculous amounts of money.
    But nearly all departments around here (Wasatch Front, Utah) are reasonable or excellent in their expenses and I appreciate them so much!

    • Roofman

      Part of the problem is that every department wants to run everything themselves. If trucks were strategically placed through out counties and chiefs understood that their departments cant be jacks of all trades. Then one house would be a truck and an engine, the other a engine and a squad. Instead of a truck, engine, and squad in both houses located less than 2 miles away from each other

  • Mike

    Good video Dave. I think no matter how well you are perceived by the public, there will always be detractors. If you can keep 95% of the public we serve happy, you can always strive to make it 100%.

  • mdff

    Nice Video, ay

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  • AbsoluteReality

    “SLICK” is certainly the word for this propaganda.

    It’s quite doubtful that the majority of many communities would
    agree with the very select opinions presented in this union presentation.

    We are our own worst enemy when it comes to the public’s perception.
    All to often, the purple we are supposed to serve sees the OTHER “IAFF”.

    Inbred Amalgamation of Featherbedding Frat-Boys
    “Live to Serve, Serve to Live” (OURSELVES)

    One very graphic example can be found on this blog site.
    The pornography videos of “effen” fire department (Hosed).
    This filth is not what we want shaping the public’s view of our profession.

    Unfortunately, all to often the public see the FRAT-BOYs and not
    the volunteer and career PROFESSIONALS.

    • dave statter

      You may not want it but it is comedy and satire. A production like that isn’t going to sway public opinion about firefighters any more than the Keystone Cops or Naked gun did for police. Read what a very wise man I know wrote about this issue wrote when the webisodes first appeared on in 2011 – . I would worry more about what you can control than what you can’t.

      • Fire21

        Comedy, satire, and insulting presentations are all in the eye and ear of the beholder. I watched a couple episodes of “Hosed”…that was enough. I don’t want any more, so I just skip over them. With network television and Hollywood being what they are today, I think the general public is somewhat numb to what offends them. And most don’t seem willing to admit if it does.

        • dave statter

          All with you on part 1 that if you don’t like something, move on. On part 2, I think the problem today is too many of our fellow human beings spend way too much time worrying about what they think is offensive and what other people might be offended by. I find an awful lot on TV and elswhere that is dreadful and I just don’t watch it but there is very, very little that offends me.