The man who took the video of being confronted by a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue captain at a helicopter landing for a stabbing victim told WFOR-TV yesterday “photography is not a crime”. We received a large number of comments about the video after posting it Friday morning. The large majority are critical of the captain for confronting Taylor Hardy and the manner in which he did so.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue says it is reviewing the situation. The initial statement of the department does not address that Hardy was initially ordered to shut down his camera to protect the patient’s privacy. Instead it focuses on the same scene safety issue that the captain voiced rather aggressively with Hardy. Many writing in thought the bigger safety issues was potential contamination from the bloody gloves worn by the captain.
A criminal defense attorney points out to the TV station that Hardy could have easily been arrested for obstruction for failing to follow the captain’s orders. One interesting point is that despite the captain calling on the radio urgently requesting police numerous times for a “combative bystander” Hardy wrote on his YouTube page that no police ever came.
Yesterday, during my presentation at Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute’s Staff and Command course, there was a lively discussion (it was a very lively and enjoyable group) about the issues you will see raised in the video above. We were discussing the fact that it is somewhat of a rarity to be at a scene these days where no one is recording your actions. The issue of scene safety versus censorship came up and about the same time it was playing out live in Florida.
This involves a fly out, a videographer (MiamiImpulse) and firefighters from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. At 3:24 into the video a firefighter and captain cross the street. The firefighter makes the cut sign with his hand across his neck asking, “Can you not videotape that please?”. MiamiImpulse replies “Why?”. The firefighter says “This is personal information.” At the same time the captain approaches, telling the guy he is leaving. As the captain makes his first request for police and tells the man to turn around and walk away, the firefighter says he is not allowed to videotape this and repeats that it is personal information. Following that, the captain shifts gears and makes it a case of scene safety. The videographer notes in text that cars were driving between him and the helicopter. He refuses to leave.
What we don’t know, of course, is if anything happened before MiamiImpulse began rolling video. It appears that this is unedited video from a camera and a smart phone.
So, is this Miami-Dade Fire Rescue policy? Is this the crew’s policy? Who is right and who is wrong? Is this really a scene safety issue or is it being used to keep the man from shooting what the firefighters don’t want him to see?
My suggestion to all reading this is that you figure this issue out before a confrontation with the public. Are you clear on the legal issues? Do you know your department’s policy? Do you understand the rights of the citizens with the camera and what they can and can’t do? Do you let your personal view of what’s proper and not proper impact your decision making?
You will only be running into more and more instances where people are shooting video of you in action. Make sure you are standing on firm ground when and if you interfere with someone taking pictures. Otherwise, it can get very ugly.
A year ago this past Monday 10 Southern Maryland firefighters were injured during a house fire in Calvert County. Four received significant burns. The fire was in a large home at 3380 Soper Road in Huntingtown. Calvert County firefighters were joined by firefighters from Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel County and Charles County.
On Thursday, Chief Jonathan Riffe of the Huntingtown VFD released the report looking into the events of that fire.
Two firefighters from Calvert County, Maryland are being treated at the Medstar Burn Unit of the Washington Hospital Center after a three alarm fire that began late last night. Seven other firefighters were hurt. The fire reportedly started in the chimney of the 10,000 square-foot home. Video on this page from FDVideo2008 on YouTube.
Chief 6C arrived to find smoke showing from the second floor eves of a 10,000 square foot mega-mansion. Engine 62 arrived, laying a supply line, advancing the 400′ pre-connect and began pulling the ceiling, at which time; they found fire in the attic spreading rapidly. Within seconds, conditions deteriorated significantly resulting in zero visibility and intense heat. Command immediately ordered evacuation tones. Due to high winds off the river, water supply issues, distance from the fire house, and the size of the structure (10,000 square feet), fire spread rapidly. Immediately thereafter, the second floor flashed over resulting in nine firefighters being injured, five from Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department and four from Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department. As a result of the unbearable heat, several firefighters took extreme measures such as jumping out of windows and running through walls to evacuate the structure. Chief 6A immediately ordered a Full Second Alarm with two Tankers. Later in the incident, additional units were Special Alarmed to the scene. On scene were several ambulances and medics providing care to the injured firefighters. Although units from Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s, Anne Arundel, and Prince Georges were utilized, fire spread in such a rapid manner that the home is considered a total loss.
Two of the Huntingtown firefighters were seriously injured and transported by aviation to Washington Hospital Center. The other seven firefighters were transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital for evaluation and treatment. Subsequently, six of those initially transported to Calvert Memorial, two from Huntingtown and four from Prince Frederick, were transported to Baltimore Shock Trauma and Washington MedStar for follow-up evaluation and treatment for smoke inhalation. All seven firefighters have since been released.
With regards to the two firefighters air lifted to Washington Hospital Center, one of the firefighters is in stable condition with second degree burns to hands, neck, and face. He is expected to be released in two to three days. The second firefighter, the more seriously injured of the two, suffered respiratory burns, in addition to second degree burns to his hands, neck, and face regions. He is conscious and fully alert, but remains in serious condition. It is unknown at this time when he is expected to be released from Washington Hospital Center.
Eight Firefighters from Huntingtown & Prince Frederick VFD’s (Calvert County, Maryland) were forced to bail out of a 10,000 square foot single family dwelling “mega McMansion” around midnight last night. When Firefighters arrived, they had light smoke coming from the second floor but then conditions quickly turned ugly. Reports are that members were operating inside, searching for fire, of what started as a chimney fire when the conditions rapidly changed. At one point, the chimney of the house collapsed into the roof, creating a rapid rush of air into the fire area. Conditions then rapidly changed with flashover-like conditions. Additional companies from Calvert County responded following the emergency.
This fire is on the heals of a MAYDAY fire yesterday in Prince Frederick’s 1st due where there were reported FF’s missing. The FF was found and several other FF’s suffered burn injuries as well. We wish them all a rapid reocovery.
On Saturday, March 19, 2011, at approximately 11:56 pm, the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad had a report of a chimney fire on Soper Road. The first alarm was sounded on the original dispatch and shortly after the Chief Officer arrived on the scene, a second alarm was dispatched.
Every company in Calvert County (Huntingtown, Prince Frederick, Dunkirk, St. Leonard, North Beach and Solomons) was on the call now. Also, companies from Harwood, Hollywood and Benedict were on the second alarm. There were tankers not only from Calvert County, but from other multi aid counties to supply water.
At approximately 12:20 am, the evaluation alarm was sounded as the fire had reached unsafe conditions and there was the need to get firefighters out of the house.
What started as a chimney fire turned into a 3-alarm fire that destroyed a Huntingtown, MD, home.
Huntingtown Fire officials say that shortly after midnight they responded to a call for a chimney fire at a 2-million dollar home on the 3300 block of Soper Road along the Patuxent River.
Fire officials say that soon after their arrival the chimney collapsed through the second floor threatening the structure and making the situation extremely dangerous for firefighters.
Firefighters were battling not only the flames but 20 mile winds along the riverfront and the fact that there were no hydrants at that location.
Assistant Chief Michael Montgomery of the Calvert County Fire Department said that all five occupants of the house were able to escape the fire unharmed but eight volunteer firefighters were injured. Two of the firefighters were transported to Washington Hospital Center, one of them in serious condition.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Three crew members died when a medical helicopter crashed northwest of Reno in California’s Lassen County around 2 a.m. today.
The Mountain Lifeflight helicopter 3 had dropped off a patient in Reno and was returning to Susanville at the time of the crash, the Federal Aviation Administration reported.
Google map of crash site.
The crash was on the west side of U.S. 395 between Hallelujah Junction and the north loop of the Red Rock Road intersection with U.S. 395.
The helicopter is an Aerospatiale AS350 and it was destroyed by the crash impact and the fire, the FAA reported. The pilot was not communicating with air traffic controllers at the time of the accident, the FAA said. FAA and NTSB investigators were headed to the scene.
Mountain Lifeflight issued a brief statement confirming three crew members were lost and said more information would be released when it was made available.
It was a Mountain Lifeflight 3 helicopter that crashed in March 2002 after dropping off a patient in Reno, killing the pilot.
The helicopter with three on board had just passed over Honey Lake with pilot Raymond Watson at the controls.
Nurse Gary Zahniser recalled in a 2002 interview that he sat chatting with flight paramedic Chuck Jerpeon and then the next thing he remember, Zahniser was underwater, struggling to get his seat belt off so he could swim to the surface.
“It happened so fast,” Zahniser, said then. . “It’s like you’re in a dream, and it’s surreal.”
“We were flying over Honey Lake and both just kind of chitchatting, and then the next thing I knew I was underwater,” Zahniser said.