As reported in Firegreezer;


A VELARDE, NEW MEXICO, VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT CHIEF came unglued at a brush fire Tuesday and began telling the fire units on the scene to pack up and leave it to burn.  The Associated Press is reporting that Velarde was screaming and calling in reports that people were trapped and to send more units when the fire wasn't anywhere near any structures.  Then he called for a mass evacuation of the area around the 3-acre fire.


Deputies with the Rio Arriba County Sheriffs Department say they tried to tell Velarde to calm down repeatedly as he challenged them to arrest him.  At that point they did and the ranking deputy took over the fire scene.  The fire was extinguished 15 minutes later



What would you do if the IC suddenly lost it or was giving bad orders?


Me, I would get the other officers together and see if they felt the same way. If they did I would notify the IC that I or the ranking officer would take command then notify Fireboard.


We had a mutual aid situation years ago and there was an arguement over who was in charge. Station 1 got there first but knew it was Station 2's district but then station 7 self dispatched and took over the scene because they said it was thier district. (station numbers are examples to protect the guilty)


The issue was that it was a little corner of their district that was miles away from thier firehouse surrounded by Station 2's district. Station 2 usually handled anything in the area but since it was work they (station 7) wanted to be in charge.


I had a line in the rear when these FF asked if he could see the line. so I gave it to him and he took it back around front. I go to the front and 4 other stations are packing up and leaving. Never seen anything like that before or since.

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Some of our old timers told me a story about a large veh fire on the interstate and the state trooper would not quit yelling at them about moving the engine out of the third lane. The burning veh was on the shoulder. They told me the chief at the time told the state trooper some choice words and that he could put the fire out and they returned to the sation. I thought that was great.

For the matter at hand. I would notify the next in command of what was going on and trust them to handle it. If I was next in command I would releive the IC if need be.
Something just doesnt make sense I assume this was out of character for the chief,as soon as he began acting out senior officers should have tried advising him and if he was as out of control as all seems he was then Iguess police intervention might be neccessary . Hpoefully he went for assessment not to jail.
There's gotta be more to this story, but makes for an interesting discusison...

As for what I'd do- I'd call the other Officers together and collectively stand the person down for that incident. There needs to be witnesses and the backing of othr senior staff becuase it really has the potnetial to bite back at a later date.
I understand there may be many causes. But how would you handle the situation.

You're on a mutual aid response and the IC is making, dangerous, crazy stupid or just plain bad decsions. Callboard is asking him to repeat because they can't beleive what is going on.

What would you do?
I don't want people to think I know the full story. I don't. It just made me think what if. My main focus is what would you do if this happened on scene you were on, Grass fire, Car Fire, House, building or whatever
We would get all of the Officers on scene together(all of whom are more than capable of running a fire) and concur if we all think the Chief is bananas. Then we would advise the Chief that the most senior Officer would be taking Command. It would be said in such a way, "Chief? We think that you might be having a lot of other things going on right now that may be adding to the stress of the situation, Capt. so and so is going to take over for you on this one so you can go home and get some rest. If anything goofy happens, we'll call you and let you know, OK?" We would notify all Co's operating on scene and Dispatch. "Dispatch and all Co's operating on Main Street....Capt. so and so now has Command and Car 1 is in service, returning."
He didn't by any chance move there from SC did he? If so, I bet I know him too.
If you do this long enough you will see this happen. First as others have said ask other officers or firefighters on sence if the agree. Then ask a law enforcement officer (They are always around) to accompany you, then ask the Chief or IC to step down. If he refuses to have the officer escort him/ her to the patrol car and wait until the scence is under control to deal with the Chief or IC.

One person said they knew him and would not go on calls with him. This should and needs to be addressed up front and now! before someone gets hurt or killed.

Why worry about hurting someones feelings when it could come to someones life.

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