NOTE: The video has now been removed by the user. A shame. I wrote all of these words about something that no longer exists. Well, I guess you had to be there.
And in case you weren't in on the joke earlier, this is what the videographer was laughing about and yelled. "This is going on fail blog".
You don't know how many times I've heard from firefighters and cops, "All the news media wants to do is show us messing up". I have made the point for a while that the traditional press may be the least of your worries these days. It's everyone else with a camera who are more likely to take video of your mistakes and show them to the world.
In this case they are promoting a "Firefighter fail at 1:57". Yes, you will see and hear the great entertainment those watching the fire get from a firefighter falling backwards over a curb onto his SCBA as he stretches a line. My back aches just seeing it from my chair (I have back issues). There is great excitement by the photographer to get this on YouTube.
Unless this was a serious injury to a firefighter, I wouldn't have seen it as newsworthy and it would not have made my story on the fire when I was in TV (even if it was a major blaze). I think most of the people I worked with would feel the same way. But a bystander with a camera doesn't necessarily have the filters (however skewed they are) that the more traditional news operations have (not that the news media's standards aren't being pushed lower and lower).
To me it's all about context. While I don't like to laugh at firefighters falling (unless the firefighter is laughing at himself) I think this video is probably okay for training. Maybe for a review of situational awareness and the hazards around during the everyday tasks a firefighter is involved in.
And that is the double edged sword of our cameras everywhere environment. Because of the fire paparazzi, this generation of the fire service has an enormous amount of material to use for training. And this includes firefighters falling. From the Pennsylvania fire a few days ago where a firefighter fell partially through the flaming roof of a house (I don't think anyone was laughing at that fall) to a video that was briefly on YouTube a few months ago of a Maryland firefighter who failed to lock in on a ladder before opening the nozzle and ended up on the ground.
It is a natural feeling that is perfectly understandable. I haven't been a firefighter for thirty years and I feel the very same way (but I always need to double check my position when I find I am agreeing with Rhett). I guess it comes down to the age old question of whether they are laughing at you or with you.
This is the nice video: The video above was shot by the Red Deer Advocate of a fire in a detached home in Edmonton’s Sylvan Lake yesterday that spread to three other homes. No one was seriously injured. If you click here, we have details and some early videos shot by citizens including a couple we dub the fire critics (sorry Rhett). They got to the fire before the firefighters and if you can handle the language you might be interested in what they have to say.
Deadly dumpster explosion report: A state fire marshal’s report has been issued in the December LODD of Firefighter Steven Koeser. FF Koeser died when a dumpster exploded at a foundry in Wisconsin. Click here to read the report and our coverage.
It takes a village: An interesting video from Lebanon City, Pennsylvania showing a short staffed crew getting some help from a police officer and other bystanders. Click here.
Chief and councilmember square off this morning: At 9:15 this morning there is another City Council hearing on the DC Fire & EMS Department’s overtime expenditures. As we reported yesterday, Chief Dennis Rubin sent an email to the department explaining the error of Councilmember Phil Mendelson’s ways in drastically cutting OT in the next budget. It is the first meeting since Mendelson requested an investigation of the chief for overspending his budget and Rubin’s response showing the impact of the cuts. Click here if you missed it.
Retirees must repay pension funds lots of money: For the average retired firefighter it is $43,000 and it is almost double that for the former cops. That’s how much a judge says the retirees must repay two pension funds in Minneapolis because of overpayments. Check out the story.
Chief’s job on the line over apparently innocent ID switch: In Huntsville, Ontario Chief Stephen Hernen has been reassigned after an apparent security breach in preparation for the G8 Summit coming to his town in a little more than a month. It seems the chief temporarily gave his security pass to his assistant chief. Here’s the operative part of the article by Colin Freeze at The Globe and Mail:
Sources say that, as fire chief, Mr. Hernen had a pass to an RCMP-led Integrated Security Unit training site, where some local firefighters were participating in exercises. When one firefighter had to be replaced and another escorted in, the fire chief allegedly sent an assistant in his place – carrying his personal security key.
Right now that assistant chief is running the department.
Firefighter stabbed while working on patient: A firefighter/paramedic with the Los Angeles Fire Department was stabbed in the thigh yesterday and is in stable condition. Charles MacDougal, who had previously been Paramedic of the Year, has been released from the hospital (watch the video as he heads home) At last word the assailant was on the loose. Firefighter Close Calls has more details.
Looking Back: That’s the title of Firegeezer’s regular feature of pictures and advertisements from fire service publications of long ago. If you have never seen it , check it out. It is one of favorites.
Congratulations to some friends in Alexandria: Not that either of them would tell me about it, but two of my friends were recognized by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce yesterday. You may recall the story we did on Firefighter Doug Townshend last year when he saved his own brother from a house fire. It remains one of my all time favorite stories. Doug received the Gold Medal of Valor. Congratulations Doug. This is a fire/EMS blog and we don’t normally cover the cops unless they get in the way of the fire department (he wrote with a smile). But I became friends with Sgt. Terri Mucci when I was a firefighter (ancient history) and she was barely out of high school. So, I guess that counts. Terri and Fire Captain Doug McDaniel received Silver Medals and other police and firefighters received Bronze Medals for their roles at a shooting scene where a woman was wounded and a little girl was in harms way. Click here to read about all of the award winners and the emcee of the event (another friend and former co-worker), former Redskin Charles Mann.