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The leadership of two fire departments, one in California and the other in Arizona, are not happy with Jimmy Kimmel. As STATter911.com first reported yesterday (Thursday), a comedy video on Wednesday night’s show that poked fun at Trump supporters burning their MAGA hats, used images from both the Chino Valley Fire District in San Bernardino County and the Northwest Fire District outside Tucson. In the bit, an actor identifying himself as Chino Valley Fire Chief Bob Cooper provided safety tips that included not burning the hat while it was still on your head.
Both fire districts told STATter911.com they were not aware of the video until our emails and tweets early yesterday. A short time later, both departments issued statements expressing disappointment over how images from their department were used. This prompted news stories in California and Arizona.
It has come to our attention that one of our Engines was displayed in a skit on The Jimmy Kimmel show last night. The video appears to be footage found on the internet and was NOT provided by the District. This footage was used without our knowledge or permission.
— Northwest Fire (@NorthwestFire) December 14, 2017
Sometime late Thursday, the video was removed from the Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube channel. While no explanation had been given for the removal, the real Chino Valley Fire District chief, Tim Shackelford, told a reporter he was contacting the department’s attorney.
“We are not a political organization,” Shackelford said. “Our mission is to protect lives and property and I am troubled by the video because it does not portray us in a positive, professional manor.”
Shackelford said he planned to talk with the district’s legal counsel on how to proceed.
The graphics for the video used the real Chino Valley Fire District logo. The video gave the appearance the fake fire chief was standing in the bay of a Northwest Fire District firehouse with one of the department’s engines behind the actor. The engine pulls out of the station at the end of the bit. As STATter911.com initially reported, the actor was not actually in the fire station, but his image was keyed over the firehouse video the talk show obtained from inside a real Northwest Fire District station.
This segment fooled some into thinking a real fire chief participated in a comedy skit about President Trump and his supporters. This includes a reporter for Salon who makes no mention in an article yesterday that the fire chief is an actor:
The late-night host tapped Fire Chief Bob Cooper of the Cino Valley Fire Department for a few important pieces of advice.
For those who want to see what the fuss is about there is — as of this writing — still a recording of the sketch showing on Huffington Post.