In Delaware we have the Fire Chiefs law that basically states whomever is in the right hand seat is in charge of the scene no matter what type it is, Accident, Fire, Major Disaster.

I just read that a LT was arrestted in CT. Whats the rules in your state?

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in NJ,the chief or other superior officer of any municipal paid or part-paid fire dept.or volunteer fire company,or a state fire warden,who is charged with the duty of supervising or directing operations at the scene of any fire shall be the sole authority within fire lines established by said chief orother superior fire officer,or state fire warden. 40A:14-54.1 this is part of NJ statute.highest ranking officer on scene
a question..why would a police officer be in charge of a fire scene?

on our dept,,,first arriving person is oic until they decide to hand over to another person or officer,,,we are all trained in incident command.
myself i would give over command and do the fun stuff
State law usually dictates who is in charge of what type of scene. In WI if it's Fire/EMS/Rescue or Hazmat it is the jurisdictions Fire Chief or designate. If there is no Fire Chief for the area it's the County Emergency Management Director or the County Sheriff.
We do a lot more Unified Command now with the cops getting more on board with NIMS/ICS. On the smaller calls the cops may bluster a lot when we close a lane or something but the ultimately back down once we tell them it's for their safety as well as ours.
Cops cuff CT fire department LT. responding to drug overdose
New Haven Register
http://www.nhregister.com
April 3, 2009

NEW HAVEN -- Fire Department Lt. Filipe Cordero started out
to help a woman
apparently overdosing on drugs, but instead ended up in
handcuffs in the
back seat of a police car.

Details of what happened Wednesday might be in dispute, but
the end result
is not, and Thursday the chiefs from the Police and Fire
departments
launched a joint Internal Affairs investigation into the
matter.

"Sometimes at the scene, things become very tense as each
side has to do
their job," said city spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga, who
confirmed the
firefighter was briefly handcuffed and detained. "We're
going to take a
thorough look at what happened ... and if something needs to
be corrected,
we'll find that out through the investigation."

Cordero ultimately was released and finished his shift. He
was not charged.

But what occurred and how it escalated to a point that a
police officer
cuffed a ranking fire officer is muddied by different
accounts circulating
through the departments.

The incident occurred on Dover Street in Fair Haven
Wednesday evening.
Firefighters from the Lombard Fire Station responded to a
reported drug
overdose just before 5 p.m. and found a female from North
Haven slumped in a
car. Firefighters convinced her to go to the hospital.

Police, meanwhile, arrived at the scene. Problems apparently
started when
Cordero took issue with how one officer, Newt Anderson, was
treating the
woman, and how officers were searching the vehicle. The
situation then
escalated into a dispute about who was in charge of the
scene.

Anderson allegedly told the woman to "go back to North Haven
to smoke your
crack," or words to that effect, according to a firefighter
familiar with
the situation.

"The lieutenant went over to him (Anderson) and asked him if
he could calm
down and relax because he was creating a situation. They
were trying to get
this woman to calm down and go to the hospital. It was
getting her upset
because this cop was kind of berating her," the firefighter
said, asking not
to be identified. "That's when the officer said, 'Back off,
I'm in charge.'
The next thing you know, he grabbed (Cordero) and pushed his
arm around and
put him in handcuffs."

Police Department officials, however, said Cordero was the
aggressor, and
Anderson handcuffed him only after Cordero "got in his face"
and refused to
back off.

As for Anderson's interaction with the woman, one police
supervisor officer
said he didn't see the comments as unreasonable or offensive
"and I think
the public would agree."

"I've said it to people: 'You come here from Guilford and
you do your drugs.
Why don't you do them in your own neighborhood?" the
supervisor said.

Sgt. Louis G. Cavaliere, the police union president, said it
would be
routine for police to search a car involved in drug
activity.

"We would never tell them how to put a fire out. I'm sure if
we told them
how to hook up a hose, they would be quick to tell us to
mind your own
business and get back on your traffic post," he said.

He stressed he doesn't have firsthand knowledge of what
transpired, but
added, "Something had to happen to get to the point that
handcuffs were
taken out. We don't routinely handcuff firefighters just
because we don't
like what they're saying to us."

Firefighter Patrick Egan, the fire union president, said the
account he
heard was "certainly disturbing to say the least."

"This conduct certainly falls outside of any lines of being
professional,
whether it be dealing with a citizen or dealing with
personnel from another
public safety agency," Egan said. "The behavior that I heard
about is
certainly not indicative of the upstanding conduct and
professionalism of
the police officers in this city."

Cavaliere said Wednesday's incident was probably more
attributable to two
people having a bad day, and both union presidents said the
departments
historically work well together.

Fire Chief Michael Grant said he couldn't remember anything
like this
happening in his 37 years in the department.

"This is highly irregular. For the number of years, I've
been in the
department, the relations between the Police Department and
Fire Department
have always been very professional. We get along very well."

Alderman Alex Rhodeen, chairman of the aldermanic Public
Safety Committee,
said he appreciates officers' frustrations. If
out-of-towners would stop
coming to the city to do illegal things, it would make their
lives easier,
he said, but perhaps the situation Wednesday "was not the
time to confront
someone."
__________________________________________________________

City: Officer Cuffed Fire Lt. While On Call
No Action Taken Against Either Person Involved
17:27 EDT April 3, 2009
Hartford WFSB-3-CBS
[
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- An argument between a police officer and
fire lieutenant
at the scene of a drug overdose earlier in the week ended
with the
firefighter in handcuffs.

"The first concern is you had a New Haven fire lieutenant
put in handcuffs
by a New Haven police officer," said Patrick Egan, of New
Haven Firefighters
Local 825.

"In my decade of work, I've never seen anything like that."

City officials said the officer and lieutenant were called
to the drug
overdose on Dover Street and began arguing about how to
handle the
situation.

They said the officer reportedly told the overdose victim to
go back to
North Haven and do drugs and that the fire lieutenant said
something to the
officer.

"The lieutenant was trying to de-escalate what was going on
so proper care
could be continued," Egan said.

After the fire lieutenant was put in handcuffs, officials
said, he was
briefly put in the back of the police car, but wasn't
arrested.

They said he was let go and sent back to work.

"It was something that I haven't seen before and don't
expect to see again,"
Egan said.

The police and fire departments said they're looking into
what happened.

"Both departments have a great relationship," Egan said. "We
respect our
brothers and sisters as we know they do for us."

City officials said no action has been taken against either
the officer or
the lieutenant.
______________________________________________________________


Cops Cuff Firefighter A dispute over who was in charge of a
crime scene
ended with a firefighter in cuffs
14:00 EDT Friday, April 3, 2009
West Hartford WVIT-30-NBC


Firefighters and police officers arrived at the scene of a
woman who had
apparently overdosed on drugs, and then it got strange and
the cop cuffed
the firefighter.

There's a rift growing between New Haven's Police and Fire
departments after
an incident ended with a firefighter in handcuffs Wednesday
afternoon.

Firefighters and police officers arrived at the scene of a
woman who had
apparently overdosed on drugs, and then it got strange.

Fire Lt. Felipe Cordero was helping the victim at the
intersection of Ferry
and Dover streets, when he became upset with the way officer
Newton Anderson
handled the situation and it escalated to an argument over
who was in
charge of the scene, the New Haven Register reports.

Anderson told her to "go to North Haven to do your drugs", a
witness told
the New Haven Independent, and Anderson became harsh and
berated the victim.

That's when, the witness said, Cordero began to argue with
Officer Anderson,
the Independent reports.

That altercation led to Cordero being handcuffed and placed
in the back of a
police cruiser, according to both newspapers.

He was released a short time later and no charges were
filed.

New Haven Police Chief James Lewis and Fire Chief Michael
Grant have
launched a joint internal investigation into the incident.
I'm from small town in northern lower michigan. Here we (firemen) are in charge at any scene. Again, we do have to work with these guy's on accident scene's and so on so you try and get along and do what is right. Sometimes you have to remind them but 99% of the time everything goes smoothly.
It is a rare situation for our local law enforcement to respond to a fire call. Unless it is a MVA then they are usually 1st on scene. We generally take over command then and let them deal with traffic.
On our dept. its the person sitting in the front right jump seat unless an officer is there then he takes the ic. As far as the Lt getting arrested thats a bunch of crap.
Rescue or Fire Call I believe the Chief has the ball....Out of control person, drunk, threat to person then the Boys in Blue get the handoff and run with the ball....it isn't a case of My sandbox...you stay out...rather we try very hard at working together...usually works quite well......Paul
In California, it all depends upon where the incident is located... If it's on the highway, then the California Highway Patrol is the scene commander. It it's off highway, then it's the fire department that calls the shots in some places and Deputy Sheriff's who are the designated IC, It's all about geography and jurisdictions.

Regardless of the "who's in charge" vernacular, most incidents end up using unified command to both share the load for resolving the incident as well as reduce liability issues for just one agency.
Here in Michigan fire has all power as long as we're called. Trust me we've had run ins before but law is starting to figure this whole IC thing out finally.
My department and our PD has no problems with each other in any issue. We work together and have each others backs on all of our scenes. Fire runs Fire and Rescue scenes and our PD runs all of their related scenes.
Knock on wood i've never had any run ins of these sorts. Although it's quick and easy to place the blame, none of us on here to my knowledge were at the scene that night and knows what transpired. I'm sure the investigation will come up with the answers and if need be lessons can be learned and we can continue with our lives.
As far as who has control, no one should have control, we each have a job to do and as long as someone is not on a ego trip that should not be that hard. If either EMS, The fire service, or pd needs to do something such as close down a road for safety so be it, we didn't cause the issue, we're only there to help make it better IMHO.

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