A decision this week by Newport, New Hampshire police to use a fire truck and pose as firefighters to make an arrest of a suspected violent suspect is getting quite a lot of buzz around the country.

"Police officers dressed as firefighters and using a fire truck entered the building and activated the fire alarm to evacuate residents in a safe manner so as not to bring attention to the pending arrest of Miller," Newport Police Chief David Hoyt said in a news release included in the Union Leader story.

On Thursday, the union representing local firefighters responded with grave concern about the incident, saying firefighters and paramedics depend on the public trusting that when they show up, it's to save lives.

"The use of the firefighter and paramedic image in this way is inappropriate, should not be condoned and is not negotiable," David Lang, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire said during a press conference, according to the Union Leader.

A press release from the union posted on stated "Allowing police officers to impersonate fire fighters potentially makes the difficult job of fire fighters even more dangerous because it casts doubt in the publlic's mind of who's responding to a fire or medical emergency."

Long is asking the Commission of Safety and the state's Attorney General to demand that such actions never take place again.

The Union Leader reported that police officers saw the suspect in his apartment window with a small child in his arms as other building residents evacuated in the fake fire alarm. The suspect opened the door for the 'firefighters' (police) who then took him into custody without further incident. Numerous weapons and related materials were found in a subsequent search of the apartment.


Post your thoughts on this incident.

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Some firefighter I know think they are police anyway, so why not. But now there will be fear that a fireifghter could be a cop any make them a target without anyway to defend them selfs.
Your going to find you are in a VERY SMALL group,( in fact it will be so small it probably cannot even be considered a group) of people that agree with you. Sorry, but your wrong. TOTALLY.
Lock em' up for pulling a false alarm.......I have witnessed the local police department using a Trash Truck to serve a warrant so i guess those bad guys better watch out for who is picking up there trash.

Keep your head low and stay out there.
This is the most ridiculous thing. Coming from a cop I am not surprised...if you can't take the heat become a cop. So they got their man, are they elitists? This was not only a condescending act but also a flagrant disregards for firefighters safety. Now the next box alarm answered in this district, residents are going to be suspect of any firefighter. I hope this was escalated to the local Internal Affairs as highly in appropriate and unprofessional behavior.
I certainly can see both sides of this issue. I think the biggest problem with this is the media blitz and the fact that it has become a nationwide story. If it was done quietly, no one outside of Newport, New Hampshire would ever have heard about this and firefighters elsewhere would have no case for saying it was endangering their lives!

I have had a police officer put on an EMS uniform to accompany me on a medical call to make sure I was safe. This was a call for a suicidal man who had access to weapons. In this case, the idea was put forth by our ambulance crew. Does it make it OK if it is our idea and to protect us? I would gladly debate with anyone who feels my crew made a bad choice on that call. The ambulance crew, the police officer and the patient all came away from the house without incident.

For all those second guessing the Newport incident - remember - you were not there. You can have 20-20 vision in retrospect, but you were not facing the same pressures on your decision making that the police and fire personnel had at the time of the actual incident!

Yes I agree that we want the public to trust us. I just don't think that this incident will unhinge the public to the point that we need to fear for our lives. Again, without big press conferences and an effort to draw attention to it, most of us would never have even known the event took place....
This is nuts!!!! The police departments around the country need to take notice of this STUPID move and not participate in such actions. I apologize ahead of time to the responsible police departments that would never consider this!!! This move mostlikely has sign the death certificate for at least one of america's bravest!!!!
What happens the next time when a firefighter responds to a call and gets his or her head blown off by some criminal that thinks the response it a police haux?? Well I am sure it will go down as just an tragic LODD.
With the amount of training, equipment and survallance that the police have they need to stoop to the level of using america's bravest as cover for an arrest.
Not that this is directly related, but cops are the same people that run into burning buildings unequipped and try to effect rescues instead of letting the pro's do it. Firefighters don't wear that heavy gear and the yellow bottle on their back as a fasion statement. Also you don't see engine companies responding to robberies in progress.
Leave the red trucks and turnout gear to the bravest!
Before everyone else jumps down your throat on your comments let me say it very clearly. You are wrong to think that it is the same thing to pretend to be an EMT to protect an EMT and making an arrest desguised as firefighters. This action can and will lead to death and injury of firefighters if the practice is not publicly stopped by the police chief in charge and his boss the mayor.
I wonder do they make fire proof bulletproof vests??
The Police Chief and the officers involved should all be charged with impersonating a Firefighter under Federal Law. Check Homeland Security regulations. This is a direct violation. This is an outrage and should not go unpunished. If one of us dressed as a Police Officer the &**^ would hit the fan and you could bet your butts we would be sitting in a cell right now.....
If you read my post, I think you will find that I did not say that it was the same thing. I also think you will find that I said I can see both sides of the issue. You also will not find anywhere that I said I support the practice.

My major point was that if we (firefighters) were not drawing attention to this incident most people would never have heard about it. If they did not hear about it we would not have a case for saying that the public is going to start shooting at us in the mistaken belief we are police officers.

I will not second guess the people who made the decision without all the facts, and I never consider that I am getting all the facts from the press.
Thanks for the target on my back!!!!!!!!!
This sickens me. Reminds me of Birmingham, AL in the 60's. We are not law enforcement, we should never be perceived as law enforcement, and we should never allow what good standing we have with our communities to be used by law enforcement for their benefit.

We are the fire service. We don't care about race, creed, religion, politics, criminal history or wealth. We only care for people and the reason the called us. Never let anyone do anything to change that image in our communities eyes.

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