WINNIPEG, Canada — The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service is investigating the circumstances surrounding a pair of firefighters' decision to pose and take a cell phone photo in front of a Redwood Avenue blaze.
On Thursday evening, Free Press photographer Boris Minkevich took a photo of a defensive fire with two Winnipeg firefighters in the foreground. One posed for a cellphone picture shot by the other while they waited for aerial equipment to be set up.
Unless you're the department photographer, taking pictures of your buddy while a house burns is frivolous and unprofessional and has no place on the fireground. If you think it's okay to do so then you probably aren't the professional you need to be.
Foolish for sure. Yes, Winnipeg is a career department (I'm not sure if they are composite or not). It's pretty hard to arm chair quarterback a photograph with a fully involved structure. What went on before hand? Were they fighting the fire and decided to pull back and use the aerial? Were there any exposures to worry about (aside from the tree)? Are there more firefighters manning those lines around back. Were these two being sent to rehab? What were their instructions?
Sure, he had a cell phone on him and they used poor judgement in taking the photograph and I'm sure if that photo hit the paper in my city there would be serious repercussions. I would think it's safe to assume that won't be happening again. Winnipeg is a well respected and progressive department.
I have shot firefighters at scenes similar to this one but not with a cellphone. As a designated fire department photographer, I am tasked with documenting for (among other things) historical record what we do as a department. If this is going to be a defensive attack on a structure that is a total loss, no danger to secondary exposures, no evidence of hazmat or explosives or other issues that might warrant a more aggressive effort to put down the blaze, maybe we can take a moment to pose for a photo or two as we wait for additional equipment to arrive.
We've had some very serious fires with little to no water supply and all that you CAN do is sit there and make jokes about who brought the marshmellows. It's unfortunate, but many firefighters who work in rural areas know this experience and hope it never happens when lives are at stake.
There's so little information to this post. From the photo it looks like lines have been laid out. I assume of that was the case the 360 has been performed, an IC was established, and they are seriously waiting for additional apparatus to make a defensive attack. In our department it would probably be the aerial with a master stream to put water through the roof and find the seat of the fire. Surround and drown.
They could be waiting for additional pumpers, tenders, portable ponds for water supply, any number of things.
I assume that the only reason anyone thinks they are "rookie" firefighters is because veteran firefighters already have at least a dozen photos of themselves posing in front of fully involved structures, why bother take more of the same photo?
Hey William, I have never had my picture taken nor have I taken another firefighter's picture at a scene. Even when I was just a junior. When there is a job to do, there is no excuse or reason for taking a picture just for the fun of it. I have had my picture in the news paper a few times, but that was by someone whose job it is to do so. Be careful about saying everyone has done something.
I'll have to echo with the others on this one. You need to act professional when ever your on any scene, even while waiting for an assignment. With all the recording devices out there these days this is a prime example! Have to agree with spanner, it probably wont happen again with this department.