GRIFFIN, Ga. - A Georgia county is looking into whether any rules were violated after a firefighter took graphic cell phone video of a fatal crash that was shared with other firefighters, patrons at a bar and was later received by the father of the woman who died.
Jeff Kempson tells Atlanta station WAGA-TV he doesn't understand why a firefighter would have taken the video of his daughter, 23-year-old Dayna Kempson-Schacht. She died July 17 when her car crashed into trees.
The Spalding County Sheriff's office says a firefighter took the video on his personal cell phone and shared it with other firefighters. An unknown firefighter later took the video to a bar and texted it to other patrons. From there, the video spread.
Just wrong very wrong, I have seen this, and almost expect it from the news media. For they just dont see any wrong in what they do, they just dont think. I feel us as firefighters, should have a moral obbligation, a sence of respect, for the feelings of the family. I have seen many fatal accidents, and even seen my own girlfriend and her friend die in front of me. I have never nor will I ever video tape an accident, I just dont see the point. To me the investigaters and media do enough. Why should I add to the hardship of some one loosing a loved one, then seeing it on the news and God forbid before they even hear about it. Just sick and wrong heck cant even talk, makes me think back to a call, where the news brodcasted live a burning car, even after being told not to so they snuck in anyway. They soon found out after the brodcast that there was still a body in the vehicle, that had to be cut out, and the family just watched it. I know was the one helping do the extrication, thank God they died instantly. For a firefighter who sees the hurt and devistation accidents couse, and to have no feelings or respect, is just wrong and needs to be addressed.
Two months ago our department enacted a new SOP which specifies all cell phones are to be turned off and the only photos taken will be by the official dept. photographer. No faces, names or license plates can be visable and any photos which will be used for training can not be taken from the fire hall. Any violation of the policy results in immediate expulsion. We are always in need of volunteers but are all in agreement that anyone who violates this SOP is not a person that we need.
I'm a nurse -- if I did this, I'd be fired. This guy isn't mature enough for the job he has. People put extra trust in firefighters and nurses; we're held to a higher standard. He did the wrong thing, and he shouldn't be protected. He may not have broken any laws, but he has blemished all firefighters by doing this.
At the very least, he needs to be sanctioned and get counseling. Unlike CAFR214's opinion, he was NOT a bystander. He is there to help victims and their families. He couldn't do anything for her, but he has definitely harmed her family.
I'm sorry but how can anyone defend this moron. Volunteer or career, it does not matter. Why oh why would you first take a video like that with your phone? Secondly why would you share it with anyone especially in a bar? and then share it with your friends?
I wonder how this idiot would feel if someone he cared about was killed in an accident then someone else shares all the video with people he knew.Then bam here it is on your phone ,given to you from someone else at a bar?
This to me is a major moral issue. We had a pretty bad wreck that we responded to last year where we were not only using the apparatus to block the scene but we had tarps up EVERYWHERE. We had reporters trying to sneak through the ditch to get gruesome photos. I think this is completely and utterly morally wrong. Something is wrong with people that feel like sharing pictures and videos of dead people at a scene.
For the reporters it is the more shocking the better the ratings. We had two DOA MVA's this year and it sickens me that even though the roads are shut down the number of bystanders not just reporters who are doing everything that can including driving in the ditches just to get a look at the scene. These morons don't care that you are doing traffic control, they don't care that if they drive through the scene they can contaminate it. All they care about it getting the look so that they can race home or grab their cell phones and tell someone "hey jonny guess what I saw" .
It may be a matter of semantics as to if we have a duty to protect a PT from being photographed but if instances allow, we should make every effort to protect a person’s dignity and identity. I’ve told (conscious) PTs that there would be public outside and if they’d like some privacy I would get an extra sheet so that they could cover themselves as they were being wheeled to the ambulance. Or on more times than I care to remember, we’ve erected tarps with 12 foot pike poles as we extricated bodies, shielding them from the public’s eyes or worse, the helicopters hovering above trying to get something for the 6 o' clock news.
I do not know the motive behind these guys as to why they video graphed and showed it to people but I do know this profession kind of numbs you to visual sights on these types of calls. We all need to be careful and just leave the cameras (still and video) at the station. I have seen numerous postings from friends on other social sites of MVCs that did not show anything graphic but still... the injured (or worse) victim of the MVC would probably not appreciate that photos were out there showing the scene where their loved ones were hurt, taken by the very people sent there to help. This story centers around an extreme but even an innocent photograph of a scene can be negatively perceived, and blow up in our face.