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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I can't believe they would do this now our job as firefighters is a hazardous job more so then before
No police department will ever use my apparatus or turnouts to do something such as that. I must protect the firefighters that respond and we could respond to a place that has activites such as that and endanger them unknowingly. I cannot depend on the PD to be at every call first to protect my firefighters.
Wow this is ridiculous... I'm all for us helping the cops out, but man this is a bit too much. As if our job isn't dangerous enough now we've gotta worry about being hated like most cops are? I'm a law enforcement major as well, but i would never use my turnouts as a costume to arrest someone. This very easily could have turned out different. There is already FD's in cali who have to carry guns on their trucks and engines now we're gonna have to start taking them with us, wow thats real safe...lets see our options here take a loaded gun into a possible fire because some cops couldnt do their jobs themselves or be worried about bein shot at cuz they think we r the police... man thanks a lot guys...kinda a lose lose situation for us isnt it?
And if you would like to join the fire dept feel free to do so...but please leave ur handcuffs at the door so u dont get the rest of us killed thanks.
Here we go again cops wanting to be know why there are cops......they couldn't pass fire school!!!!!!! Ha ha ha!!!!!!! No really this is a bad idea. We want the public to trust us and this kind of thing really tarnishes our relationship with our customers.
Hasn't anyone ever heard of SWAT teams?????? Thats what they do. Do we staff EMS units with people not trained in EMS? NO! Then why put PO's in the same position with not properly training & equipping them for potential hostage or barricade situations. If it's a small PD which I suspect, my guess is the County/Region or State Police have a tactical unit.
I know they put FD medics on SWAT teams but have you ever looked at them. They are in the same uniform as the COPS and in most case are trained and certified to be armed for self and patient protection.
Bad bad move for the PD. Sounds like a training in tactical entry and negotiations are in order for these guys.
Now there may be very critical situations where you just need to do what is right at the time because of time and imminent threat. Columbine comes to mind where they used some engines to shield the escaping students. This was done on the spur of the moment and they did not have time as on option. It sounded like they had no time or imminent threat here where they needed to be this "creative".
Sounds like the Police & Fire Chiefs there watch too many spy movies.
I don't have to remember back that far. During the Rodney King riots (too bad his name is forever on that) Our local Police Chief came to the fire house with gallons of cooking oil and industrial size boxes of chili pepper to dump in our water tank to use as a big pepper spray gun. I don't even think this would work. But it shows the mind set we sometimes need to deal with. Even educated people can make very poor not well thought out decisions. We cover a very affluent and at the time primarily white suburb. Because it is close to an "inner city" area he felt the area was a spillover target if rioting began.

Thankfully our Chief told him thanks for the kitchen supplies.
Ya know i was thinking about it while laying in bed last night. And i have a few questions... if this suspect was sooo dangerous that this is the best and "safest" way they could think of to arrest him... how did they manage to disarm him and take him into custody w/o guns or handcuffs? Cuz as far as i know those 2 things dont come standard with our bunker gear... Also reading another post about this it was only 2 cops and one of the cops had already tried to arrest the guy earlier that day but in his police uniform and the guy shot at him...If the same 2 cops couldnt do it with their guns and handcuffs how did they do it without?....what if the suspect would've recognized him? once again things could've easily turn out badly. Im glad they didnt and hopefully this will just blow over, but i wish they would've thought this out a bit more first.
i think the fire chief should be removed from office.
You might add the police chief as well. Sounds like neither looks much past their desk. But I imagine this got approval from a Deputy Chief or a Police Captain without either top Chief knowing about it. I can't fathom having a department commander that short sighted. But then, I'm an optimist.
good job. nuff said!
We, as EMT's and Fire Fighters, get enough violence directed at us as is. We look like cops- shields, collar brass, color of uniforms, the vehicles we drive, and so on.
Now police dress up as fire fighters to make an arrest. That is just asking for trouble. There were bystanders- friends, family, and allies- who saw this. The next alarm can go three ways: the way this did, there could be a shooting or other violence, or somebody will stay inside in a real fire.
I say this was and is a real bad idae.

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