you can limit what is seen by people by having Law Enforcement set up a fire line / police line to keep people back and have someone assigned to take the photos that would be needed as it helps with dept image to have photos as well as investigations
We had a truck driver at one of our scenes that learned what happens when you get caught videoing and driving. Idiot rolled into the scene, phone in hand, and ran over a couple of cones. Trooper stopped him, told him, "Those cones were two firefighters that you just ran over!" Took his phone away from him, erased the pictures, and sent him down the road. Problem solved.....
I personally don't think it's a problem, as long as they're not in danger or in the way.
But my department always has PD on scene, and we generally use our apparatus to block off scenes, which also blocks the vision of many.
It's a freedom we have - freedom of the press - so it's not going away.
what that cop did (erasing the photos) was ILLEGAL. That is considered illegal search and siezure. In order for the cop to view and destroy the photots, he needed a search warrant. Lucky the trucker didn't sue him or her.
I don't see any problem. What about the news helicopters flying around? We have helicopters flying around here all day in DC. LA, NYC, and other big cities are the same way. EVERYTHING is caught on camera.
this is a real hot button issue for me because i have been shooting fires ever since i was 12. last year was the first time i was stopped by the cops because the officer "personally objected to me taking them and told me so". i was detained, had to produce ID and even though it was not a fire in my district, i was ordered to stay in one spot and take pictures or i would be arrested for obstruction. i challenged the cop civillians who were right up to the building? she told me stay here or i would be arrested for obstruction. obstruction of what i asked. there was no fire line and i was no where near interfearing with operations. i complained to internal affairs and it was swept under the rug
i thought this was an isolated incident, but i see that it is an epidemic nationwide. the best thing to do is establish a fire line and anyone who violates it goes to jail plain and simple because as long as its in the public eye, i can shoot it and nobody can stop me.
if HIPPA laws are violated-prosecute the shooter that violates it
but violation of the rights of civillians, media or anyone that wants to take a emergency scene picture within the law is just too bad because scene video and photography provides a vital service and a chance to evaluate tactics, learn from mistakes, justify the need for better equipment and tools.
i know laws vary from state to state and there is alot of you-tube video that documents good and bad encounters between the cops and shooters who use intimidation as a weapon. i for one am sour on encounters with the cops and the next time i'm illieaglly stopped by an overzealous cop, i'm taking it all the way to the courthouse and want it tried in the media. i fully support legal video and photodocumentation.
if in this so called "information age" the victims could be "traumatized" by seeing themselves, dont watch the news at 6&11 and youll be allright. as a professional firefighter i have been photographed just after being pulled out of a flashover. i didnt know it was videtaped until the arsonists were at trial and they wanted us in the gallery so that the jury could see our reactions. was i traumatized?...no-i was suprised that somebody got it on video.
i welcome any comments on my post but the bottom line is simple-fire line tape gives you distance and protection and a right to control what goes on inside of it. outside of that, you're SOL. concentrate on the job-not whos taking pictures or video
that's where the fire photographers play a huge role. this way they are there for the dept inside the line and the dept has control. anyone outside the line too bad if your too far away. all some dept's need to do if they don't want media getting close is to put up a fire line or police line at a distance and just have the dept photographer (Paid or Vol.) inside the line as it helps them in the long run. Captures the scene for investigations (in case of arson), helps in lawsuits (if one filed against dept), helps dept image at open house (for public to see photos of the dept members doing the job) and more.
What I really hate is citizens will walk upto a victim and use there phones to photograph or video the person(s)broken and trapped body but not use there phones to actually make sure help is on the way. Also I hate when we are trying to block the views of on lookers, they'll lay down and try to shoot under vehicles just to get the "Facebook" photo..
It's very simple, set up your fire line, have the PD assist while you deal with the incident.
Why expend so much energy into worrying about what the public is up to or taking pictures of. Is the fire something only you guys get to enjoy? So people want to take a picture, what's it to you?
If they're in the way, get the PD and let them deal with it. Sounds more like some people are just being fire line nazis. You have a job to do, let the brass and the PD deal with the public. Unless you're worried they'll have better pictures than you will.
Such incidents typically occur in public and it is a public scene, there is nothing you really are going to do, unless you establish a perimeter. All a perimeter does is keep people out of the immediate scene, but doesn't stop from taking pictures. Which means all the more reason to know and do your job properly.
I agree with Jack/dt on this one about fire lines at wrecks.
Not so easy Jack, you need to have some Free Staters pay a visit to your town and mess with the PD/FD. It will give you a new outlook on the law. Technically you can not restrict the public from shooting pictures or video, unless they are hindering your emergency operation. If so, then it is allowed by law, to ask them to move away and restrict the scene via fire line tape, etc. It is not our responsibility to protect the victim, the patient or the homeowners from being photographed, the incident often is in public. Unless you the FD or EMS give out the name of the victim, you are not breaking any privacy laws by allowing the person to be photographed. If the PD declares it a crime scene or an investigation scene, tapes it off and then it is against the law to walk inside the perimeter. Like you said, get the PD involved, have them deal with the issue. As far as pictures at fire scenes go, do your job correctly and you have no worries.