This is absolutely stunning to me! I believe that the firefighters behind this should be dismissed or on unpaid leave at the very least. Does your department have a policy on this? Has anything like this ever happened to you or someone you know? Here is the link for the news cast the link is in the tags box.
We just have a verbal policy right now but it will be in writing very soon.Kinda funny this came up.We just talked to an attorney not too long ago about this subject.No pics of any patients or lisence plates or any thing that identifies a vehicle.No pictures of a fire other than from the street.No pics from private property without a WRITTEN permission of the property owner.Basically no pictures unless it is from a public right of way.I think a suspension is the least that should be done in this case.(Just my own opinion)
He explained it to us very clearly.In todays society,a lawyer somewhere is just licking their chops to take a case like that.Big problems for all involved.Common sense seems to be getting harder to find these days.
We don't have a policy, but we don't have a problem with it. One reason is that we are to busy to take pics it's just not somthing we do. The other reason and probably the biggest one is that here in the city the news media shows up pretty quik and has it all on vid any way. You can watch the whole run on the news. You wouldn't believe how many tv news vans and in some cases helicopters show up on a scene. With a good fire or a Tac call you get almost as many tv vans as you do fire apperatus. lol.
We don't have a formal policy on it, however our staff and volunteers realize that it's not curtious to take pictures of dead people at all. We do try and take all the pictures we can. The pictures we take are kept for dept use only, although after screening they can be posted to the fire dept website.
We also do our best to make sure the media doesn't take any inappropriate pictures though they take a while to get out here and they do work with us so everyone is safe and we'll do what we can to get them some good video.
We don't have a writtin just verbal policy on photos. No paitents, victims or faces of anyone other than firefighters working. We don't even take photos of vehicles someone died in.
I guess nothing you would not see on the front page of a newspaper. (no we don't furnish photos for the newspaper) Just a guideline to say all photos must be G rated.
I went to a class put on by are state DHS. They had photos of a pressure vessel that ruptured and the victims. It was used for the teaching that body remains are a haz-mat scene. I felt bad for the familys there family members being shown like this.
I do believe if something happen to me and someone could learn something from it. I would not mind if my photo was used to help someone. But as far as taking photos of victims it is not something that should ever be done. If they are need for investigation fine but destroyed as soon as they are not needed any longer. They seem to find a way into the public eye some way in time.
We don't have a formal policy. I do have permission from the chief to take pictures of scenes. If he doesn't see me taking pictures he usually asks if I have my camera. I try not to get facial pics if they are being treated. Usually I wait untill we are finished working to take pics. Having top mount pumps helps get some good fireground shots.
I took some at a fatal MVA that were eventually used in court. Troopers took no pics of the condition of the victims(I didn't either), and with no autopsy, the DA was not happy. I have permission from him in case DPS doesn't.
We do have a policy in MD regarding this issue. However, I avoid having to deal with it altogether. I just do not take pictures of any call at all; Fire, EMS, Rescue ect. I let the PIO do his job. They are specifically trained in when and when not to take pictures and talking to the media.
i may be way off base with this but i feel that scene photography provides a necessary service to the department for offcial purposes. the only reason i could see for photographing a victim is for post incident analysis by EMS personnel. distribution NO, education and training yes. i only responded to this because i have been shooting all sorts of scenes since i was a kid and this year was the first time i was ever threatened with arrest for it. i know society has changed in its opinion and we have become more sue happy. recently i was at a greater alarm fire and was stopped again by a LEO and asked why was i taking pictures of a fire. i asked him if he has a dash cam and if he did, what did law enforcement use the video for. he nodded and we chatted more, he told me that some people see a person taking pictures of something and believe it results in some kind of sinister use. when i asked for an example, i would have cited this incident as an example of what NOT to do. i saw a post where someone said that "there is no need to take pictures at scenes anyway"...you gonna keep your subscription to firehouse or.... fire rescue WITHOUT any pictures? i see this incident as a fundametal shift in the opinion people will have about public safety photography and photographers should know that as long as you are not tresspassing into a designated fire zone (IE standing on a public sidewalk) or when the incident is in the view of the general public, anyone that does not like it is out of luck. as for somebodies house burning and taking pictures i try to explain that what i do helps train firefighters. sometimes they accept it and sometimes they dont. the biggest complaint i get is "what if somebody sees their house burning in an article and gets traumatized?". if your house catches fire, avoid the papers for a few days and dont go home. i know that sounds crass but we also live in a video capture society too. i dont sell my pictures, its been a hobby since i was 12 and if i'm so wrong, stay away from Utube. as usual i welcome responses pro and con with the usual cautions about staying on topic and point. if anyone want s to challenge or debate me about public safety photography, i would love to have the chance to educate
I agree with you that pictures are necessary for training purposes on fire scenes and sometimes rescues. However, EMS pt's should not be photographed because of privacy issues involved. Like my previous post says, I believe that people should let the PIO do his job. He is the scene's offical photographer and media liason. Plus, he is likely to have a turnout coat on indentifying that he is a part of the fire dept.
It should be an assigned task with specific parameters.
Anyone else caught doing with personal equipment should be removed from the scene and if department confidentiality was violated, then they should be removed from the department.
Or would you rather have the parents see a video of their loved one splashed all over the Internet?
And then, comes the lawsuit.