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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Our laws are different than most...

In New Hampshire, the Fire Chief or his designee (senior fire official on scene) has total control of any Fire, Rescue or Hazmat incident. This is covered by state law and is an RSA. Now bomb threats, suspicious packages, hostage situations, etc. is the Police Department's responsibility.

Now RSA; 154.7 dictates that any emergency incidents / responses ON a highway or roadway, (motor vehicle accident for example) the Senior Fire Official and the Senior Law Enforcement Official (on scene) shall operate under the Unified Command System during the incident.

This was written to avoid the conflict on a roadway. This is what we usually see on Youtube with PD arresting the FD. What I have found, once the law was changed, was the fire department decided to actually talk to the PD before the next incident. I found we had completely different mindsets. The patrol officer usually focuses on traffic flow, avoiding back-up and keeping the traffic moving. The Fire Department, well everyone knows is opposite, all about safety. Now when I did a short 20 presentation, I had a mix of patrol and investigation officers in the room. So I used an example of a serious accident, asked a patrol officer to size-up the scene on his arrival, then asked him if this was taught at the police academy. Mostly about traffic backup, flow and detours. Then I asked an investigator to size-up the same scene when he arrived... his mindset was all about making sure the road was closed, safety of his team and securing the EVIDENCE. When I left, it was pretty clear that internally they had two completely different mindsets. The patrol officer traditionally works in the traffic, stops cars, writes tickets, directs traffic etc. (an instilled mindset)

The sad part was all along, what needed to happen was someone needed to communicate what we the FD needed, (a very short window) to successfully operate / extricate / package the victims while being assured our safety was on the forefront....

The many youtube videos of LEO's being struck and killed at post secondary scenes might have helped a little..

The IC Officer is in charge of all agencies at the sence
In our district, and the ones around us, Police don't respond to fires unless called because of something suspicious. At MVA's, we all work together. They know we need to be doing certain things and we know they need to be doing certain things. We are fortunate enough to have a mutual respect for each other. For example, I, myself, had to "nicely ask" police to move out of the way so I could get the jaws in there. Another time was we were about to take off a door when the police came with camera in hand and asked if they could take a pic. first. At an emergency scene, there is no room for "big heads",..other peoples lives are at stake.
Take care all.

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