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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What ifs, politics and innuendo aside they did what they thought was right based on what they saw, they are not trained firefighters.

Very true. I'll admit that these guys did what they thought was right. Despite the recognition stuff of other officers I can't say that they were doing this for glory or recogntion, it is just a piece of the puzzle. I do not agree with their actions, nor the needless risk they took, but it still comes down to what they believed was correct. Such issues were addressed in the past, but this is another example to readdress the issues at hand again...which are already happening, if not already happened.

As for animosity, not for the fact they went in, but for the fact that they needlessly went in and as a result took personnel from mitigating the fire to doing patient care. I was around on a scene when we lost one firefighter, I don't want to be on another scene where we lose another because an initial task couldn't be completed, or we lose an officer for taking undue risks. I could personally care less about recognitions.
Now this is a conversation! :) Animosity will always exist. It is hard to get away from, and usually because the actions or the politics comes from above where they have no idea... then it filters down to day to day activity. I've had cops get in the way, cause more harm than good and have to be told time and time again at particularly bad mvc's to "stay calm", but it all comes with where we come from, right?

I wish we could do more cross training. If your city is anything like ours, the money isn't there, so Management pretends it's not an issue. If only they could ride out with us and see the need.

Sometimes people have to be reminded at times its; Me, We, Them. It's not selfish, it's smart.

Take care brother!
yep, and I also admitted that was part of the reason to stir the pot a bit too. Time also mends things and when I started this I was still miffed about the situation and looking for thoughts as for addressing, but that issue was taken up quickly by mgmt, something which took a lot longer with our previous administration.
From what you say John it does seem like there is a problem of sorts in your area. I personally have never even seen any sort of problem on scene or on the way between Police, Fire or Ambulance (all separate here and State wide organisations thankfully).

Back to my question though about how close the FD vehicles were. You say that your blocks are small, that you were literally seconds away. How far away were you? In metres (or yards if you like)? I ask because of public perception of actions – if the public see someone official arrive and then just stand waiting for a truck down the street to arrive, when those members of the public know that someone is trapped inside, what will they think and say? We have had police do snatch rescues, as well as members of the public. In every case I know of (none have occurred in the areas I’ve been involved) I say thank you very much! The victim was out and safe.

Are there some police going for the ‘glory’? Perhaps so, but if you complain too loudly, will not some think that you’re unhappy because you have missed out on that ‘glory’? (Don’t include me as one of those) Perhaps I can be brutal and say that maybe it needs a copper to be seriously injured running in where FF’s fear to tread before the message will get across? I think there is no place for ‘glory’ in our job, I don’t even want to be on the fire ground with anyone who thinks he or she is a ‘hero’.
Thats what we call "copological indicators"


Couldn't help myself. What does this officer think he's going to do with that extinguisher?
Tony,
I was able to go back to the scene to get a better perspective, but I was about 70 yards (200plus ft) from the scene and the first due pump was about in front of me. I can understand the public perception issue, just don't see it being an issue in this case. I also understand the complaining about the glory thing but I answered that in the response to Spanner.
Dunno, but maybe there's a car or other exposure we can't see and he's the only one close with an extinguisher.
Snapshot photos of this type are notorious for not telling the whole story.
I agree but the question is this.... While the cop is standing there with his 5 lb ABC extinguisher, is he thinking, "I'm gonna be a hero today, glory hounding or ultimately freelancing?

Pretty sure the guy got out of his car, pulled the extinguisher because he thought he could or should help someone or something that was presented in front of him.

Thats "all" of our business.
To build on what you said mate, not knowing which is the earlier photo - perhaps he was the first on-scene and "thought he could or should...". Don't really know, do we?
I only included the pics because they fit the topic. Here is a link to the newspaper article. http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-local_crash_0904sep05,0,6992789.s...
I've highlighted the main topics for your quick read if you don't want to read the whole article.

NEWPORT NEWS — The driver of a diesel truck was in a critical condition Friday evening after being engulfed in a fiery wreck on an exit ramp off Interstate 664 in Newport News.

The accident triggered a huge explosion as leaking fuel caught fire. Fuel from the truck spilled onto the CSX railroad tracks below.

"One of our concerns is that the fuel is heading into the storm drains. We have crews damming and diking to try to keep the product out of the storm drains because gasoline in the storm drains can be very dangerous."

Cotten said state police had not established the cause of the crash Friday night, because it was unsafe to investigate the scene.

"There are still 500 gallons of fuel on the truck," she said.

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