Police rushing into the fire...glory hounds, ultimate freelancers, or what?

We all know what cops and firefighters have in common....both want to be firefighters. But at what point is it too much?

First of all, this is not to bash cops or the jobs they do, and many cops have had some great saves prior to the FD arriving. In my city, the cops somehow get dispatched to calls prior to us getting the calls, there is some stupid delay in dispatch, but that aside yes, PD do go into buildings and since they are out and about can get on scene sooner. About a month ago there was a fire where two PD officer did make some good saves and did risk their life and had a positive outcome.....Problem is I believe the coverage on these officers has turned others into glory hounds.

Here is what happened yesterday. Fire tones go off for a structure fire and a report of people still inside. This was a house in our downtown area and very close run for 2 stations. As I was pulling out of the station a cop car goes flying past the intersection...well above 60 mph in a 35 zone (discussion for another day). We made our response and maybe a few minutes from toned out to on scene. The first in pump and battalion chief arrived seconds before we did. The first in pump went in, encountered high heat in the hallway, we set up positive pressure attack. Fire was extinguished quickly and as visibilty increased the crew found a person in the bed...obvious DOA. From a fire standpoint goes, it was a room and contents, confined to the room of orgin...great stop and this was the shortest on scene time we ever had for a fatal fire.

Problem is, 2 police officers went rushing in and had to get treated for smoke inhalation. While I can see their efforts if they are on scene for awhile but we literally were pulling up on the scene when they went in. They rushed in maybe 30 seconds before we were on scene...meanwhile our 5" LDH was run over because the street wasn't closed down. (charged LDH BTW)

See the thing is, we don't rush into a domestic disturbance, altercations, weapons calls, stabbings, shootings etc until the scene was secured. In this case the cops rush in and no gun, taser, vest, cuffs or baton is going to protect you from smoke, heat and flames, this scene was not safe for them to go in, but 2 officers rushed in literally seconds before FD arrived on scene. Problem is one day we will be pulling a cop out of a fire because they just rushed in.

So at what point do you say enough is enough? We have brought this issue up before and was addressed, but since a few good saves, there seems to be more undue risk from the PD. So I know many have similar types of experiences, would you address this stuff or just let it go?Is it worth it?

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The Fd was coming in right behind the PD, I was driving our rescue squad and could see the cops going in, block or so away is not like a NYC block and are close together here. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that the lights and sirens one can see as they look to their right was coming from the fire dept rigs. Had I thought of it I could have hit the dash cam and had a picture of the cops rushing in, and I was behind the first due pump at that point. When you can visibly view the officers rushing in, there is no reason for them to do so, especially when they raced past the FD rigs to get on scene. Was the officer hurt, I would classify smoke inhalation as hurt, wouldn't you?
As for the title of the thread, yeah I admit it is a bit of pot stirring, but also the reason I posted the situation and asked the questions at the end. A block or so away is still literally seconds from being on scene, seconds, there was no reason to go in. Then given the fact the PD had been informed of such actions in the past and issues like blocking access to the scene with their squad cars, going in etc, but since a couple officers received recognition for their actions during a rescue, we have seen more needless chances like this occurring. The issue was brought up and the chief and asst chief were already aware and agreed with the FD that the actions were senseless and the issue was going to be addressed to the cops...again. (BTW our chief was also a former police chief so he does have LE experience as well, so for him to agree with the FD here speaks volumes about the acts of the officers) My opinion.
but put yourself in that situation

The issue isn't about what I would do in that situation, because given the same situation, I am not going in. It isn't because I'm a firefighter and I have knowledge of such issues, but if given this same situation, I would have seen the FD rigs seconds away from arriving on scene. I'm not going to risk myself when the folks equipped for the job are coming on scene, there is no reason for me to go in, as there was no reason for the officers to go in.

As mentioned before, I have no problem with an officer attempting to save a life, or do what they may think is right (despite the fact or not) if they are on the scene minutes before the FD. I DO take an issue when I can view the officers going in from my position driving the third in rig and the FD is literally seconds from coming on scene. These officers were injured needlessly and also sapped FD resources to treat them when the first few minutes of a fire scene are the most critical and most crucial. Yes, I do have a problem with such actions and would NOT do the same thing given the situation.

If I'm walking by and notice the situation and don't hear sirens or the FD is a ways off, yeah, I'll do a quick risk assessment and may or may not go in, but if I can see the FD rolling on scene, I'm not rushing in, despite the training. Oh and if I ever were to go in without PPE on, I'm going to stay low so I'm not rushing into smoke....something kids learn but adults forget.
Knowledge certainly can help, but even those not schooled in fire science stuff can do a quick risk assessment and determine to go or not. I don't have issues with officers making an attempt to save a life if they are first on scene and the FD is minutes away, it is a different situation when the FD is seconds away. As far as knowledge, I don't know about the crime scene process, I don't know how to nab a suspect or submission holds and so forth, I do know that I'm am not going to rush into a scene that PD need to make safe first. I do know that I'm not going to rush into a shooting or weapons scene because a victim is down and pull them to safety, I don't need a police officer telling me the importance of having the scene safe before I'm requested to go in. Knowledge does help and sometimes that knowledge comes from mistakes made by others.
John this is a very good discussion you brought up. I to have been in this same position your talking about. And I tell you the way I went about it, is like some have posted I went straight to the top the Chief of Police and explained to him the aspects of what is going on when you do this or do that and what happens when you do this or do that and thats when you die, just straight forward-plain and simple. And explained the same thing to his officers. Its great to have people that want to help, but if this fire you were talking about had been a backdraft, you and I know what could have happen as soon as a door is opened or a window was broken unless you have the proper training and the proper tools...Like the old saying go's use the right tool for the right job, and thats you my brother, you and your guys...Sometimes people have a oneway mind and the only thing they are thanking about is what is at hand and dont take there own safety in consideration or there buddy...I was taught a long time ago you take care of yourself first then your buddy and everything else comes last and thats how I teach my fire schools...Common sense go's a long ways... Furthermore with the situation at hand that you have this does need to be addressed but it needs to be your Fire Chief with the Police chief....Good luck and be safe out there brother...
I am a little confused... is the FD around the corner a few blocks or seconds away or rolling on scene. You have referenced all three and all three are very, very different. If you hear sirens, it does not mean the FD is right around the corner, if you hear someone screaming in a burning home (not necessarily so here, I am just saying), you are going to act. Risk a lot to save a lot is the motto we live by. It does not mean we are foolish or disregard safety, quite the contrary, we must measure the risk, but also measure the reward. In this case, the reward would have been saving a life. Clearly when they realized they were not going to make a rescue, they came back out.
Saying what someone else should do or how they should react by your own standards is not only egocentric, but part of the major problem between services. "Glory hounds" "Ultimate freelancer", I prefer to consider them my brothers/sisters, who also put their lives on the line daily to do their jobs. I'm sure there are many things that the FD does that police do not appreciate or perhaps think are foolish.

I have said, I agree, going into the house was not likely in their best interest and I don't know if I would have taken time to set up the PPV before making entry when it appeared the fire was contained to one room.. I'm sure if it was contained, it would have looked somewhat contained, what if the victim made it to the front door or the front hallway and all the PD had to do was pull her out? They would have made the right move then.

I don't know... guess you had to be there, but being disparaging instead of simply stating that it was an error, just seems wrong. And like I said, adrenalin and lack of training, they are going to rely on what they have learned, not what you have learned. I'm just saying...
Oh,damnthing haha that's some funny shit there!Maybe they could even pay more attention to spelling.With all the talk of standards for age in these Jr./explorer or whatever the hell you want to call them ,it comes to mind we may need some sort of educational standards.Just a thought.Hearing over and over again that these kids know how everything works and know everything about fire and firefighting is cause for another question..Do we really need these groups?It seems to me if they know everything, they have nothing to learn...Maybe it's us firefighters that aren't needed,after all, they can do everything we can do, only better.
Actually, it wasn't grammar.I had copied and pasted previous versions of my reply.Failed to delete the word, groups.It has been corrected.
And I see you've now deleted it? Why? There's nothing wrong with having an opinion!
I agree with the posts that have said this is an issue that needs to be discussed on the Chief level. The problem with that in my little town is the two of them hate each other and nothing can ever be accomplished between the two. Thankfully, the PD officers and FD guys all get along great. Several (which is a lot in our little town) PD guys were ffs in our FD at one time and a couple are currently still volunteers, which means they know how long it will take us to get there and they understand fire behavior and the associated risks.

We've had them use the fire extinguishers out of their cars to put out fires, when they knew we were delayed (by another call or the train) or had not been called yet. Since all our ffs have to be emts, they have also been a real asset to us at ems calls. For example, some times we only have two or three ffs covering the whole town (24,000 people) and we really need a few more hands on a scence, especially like the full arrest we had a few months ago with only two ffs on duty, while enroute we asked dispatch to send any available PD to the scene for extra hands, the first PD there had no medical training, but was still able to take notes and gather information from the family for us. More ffs showed up in about 10-15 minutes which was really good because it took over 35 minutes for the ambulance (ALS) to arrive.

We really must work at having a positive relationship with our surrounding emergency agencies, whether they are fire, police, or any other group we might be working with at some incident.
is the FD around the corner a few blocks or seconds away or rolling on scene.

I never stated the FD was around the corner, I did say a block or so away and did say rolling on scene. The house was two blocks from the main st the FD rigs were using, they turned left onto the street with the fire. I was third in as the first due engine was ahead of me, followed by the battalion chief. As I turned the corner I could see the cops rushing into the house, I was about 2 blocks away, with the first due pump ahead of me. So if I could see the officers rushing in, there is no way to say they did not know the FD was rolling on scene....literally seconds to on scene. Maybe that clears things up.

As mentioned the station I was responding from got on scene about the same time as the first due pump. The first due went into rescue mode and went straight in. I went past the scene and staged on the corner with the rescue squad and proceeded to dress out. I made my way to the scene and married up with our truck company and put the PPV fan in place. The first due pump crew were already inside, the truck company already had ladders to the second floor window, so it isn't like we were taking a lot of time to set up PPV. We are a career dept and do arrive on scene with enough personnel to mitigate several jobs.

As for dispariging remarks, it is up to one's perspective. I am not chastising PD from doing such jobs, I am talking about the officers in this case. Again, this is not like the PD was on their own for some time, the FD was literally seconds from pulling on scene, with a crew in proper PPE going into rescue mode. This was an undue risk the officers made because it is quite impossible to not see the FD almost on scene, yet they still went in. The reason I am not going to buy the simply erred side is because there seems to be more to things here, especially the fact other officers were recognized for actions in a different fire, and still went in despite having similar issues addressed in the past. Hence, also the reason I asked what others would do in similar cases and for the most part the addressing of the issue, chief to chief type of thing has been the route being taken here. The fire chief (former police chief) also stated he felt this was an unnecessary risk and they are handeling the issue.
I think you've made your point and now more of the background is coming out here. The animosity is clear, and that's something you will have to deal with.
We had paramedics nominated for an award after an off duty firefighter and another bystander pulled an unconscious victim out of a burning vehicle and put her on the backboard that the Medics were holding. THEY were nominated. Alas, we all realize, they did not nominate themselves, they were put forward by their ever ready and capable Public Relations representative. Hard feelings cannot go to the Paramedics for being on scene, its just the way the cookie crumbles when we're all fighting for municipal cash!

It really makes no difference to me if you could see cops running in from two blocks away or not, that does not serve the purpose of clearing things up, its all very clear to me. It does make a difference that you fail to recognize that I agreed that their actions were likely inappropriate. What ifs, politics and innuendo aside they did what they thought was right based on what they saw, they are not trained firefighters.

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