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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Good point and as mentioned our chief and AC are aware of the issue and hand and plan to address the issue. Also mentioned this morning was they planned on doing some training with the PD. I doubt it will be too intense and focus moreso on what to do on a fire scene, but the AC I know for sure is very knowledgable in FF and tactis and will probably address what effect the PD could have on a fire scene....just like the PD tells us on crime and accident scenes.
Most cops don't have the same fire knowledge we do, so they don't realize how bad it really is until they're inside with it, which is a factor.

The biggest factor is the mentality difference...they're loners, and we're a mob. (paraphrased from Al Brunacini)
We have the same thing happing to us. But its not only on structure fires for us, its on car wreaks, wildland fires, and ems calls, we have had cops yell at us to get our med gloves on even before we get out of our trucks or povs. and yet they can cut me off in a firetruck with lights and sirnes on and i get a ticket for not moving out of there way!!!! when are cops going to learn that leave the fires and ems calles to the people who know how to handle them. (and 150 psi can knock them on there butts)
We have had the same type of behavior in our town. One award for heroism and they all go gung ho. Last time we had to rescue two officers from a second story balcony when they could not make it back out of the fire. I hope they learned a lesson.
We like to call it the hero syndrome. We don't rush in on fights, domestics, robberies, etc. because we aren't trained. I think that the PD needs to ask themselves the questions are we trained to fight fires. In most cases, the answer is no. I hate to say it but until someone looses their life in our area, I am afraid this will continue to go on.
Some cops do not understand the rule of thumb!
My department has taken a similar stance on responding when PD trys to cancel us. Even if it sounds like PD is correct to cancel us, we always continue for a report. Anytime there is smoke in a home or a building, you would hope PD would want to release responiblity onto the FD. Something goes for medicals and MVAs, if the PT invloved called 911, or someone else on scene than there is a problem that needs to be checked. My thought is we are usually already on the road when they try to cancel, so we continue.
I completely agree with you Mike. Working with PD and developing a good long-term relationship is the best way to provide the citizens with the best service. We may not need them on a fire scene, but on a medical they could be a very important partner! They do provide us with scene safety in many cases.
Here we are arguing about cops entering burning buildings... and teenagers with no clue posting opinions here... and people busting stones and damaging city property by putting LDH through a cruiser window and laughing about it.... hardee har har.... ( insert rolling eyes icon here)

Meanwhile, we sit back and wonder why the Police get the majority of public safety funding... (insert a lot of rolling eyes icons here).
In Los Angeles, Law enforcement officials may NOT cancel Fire/EMS units. Only Fire can cancel fire/ems. This helps cause several time a cop will say something is out when we get there and then it turns out its not.
Thats our law.
Possibly not from making a rescue attempt in a structure fire, but there have been PD LODD's due to rescue attampts they shouldn't have attempted. One in NJ I can think of, a police officer went down in a trench to rescue a downed construction worker. He was overcome by the same fumes as the worker, and both died.

I would be completely in favor of a block of instruction in police adacemies stressing the danger of IDLH/potentially IDLH atmospheres...
Cops vs FF. "Cops are on an ego trip, glory hounds...." Are the FF`s jelous? Did that LEO steal the FF`s glory moment? Chance to be the hero?? Give me a damned break. If we are all here to be "the hero" to "catch all the glory

Yeah Ralph, you would think this would be the premise of this thread, but it isn't. This isn't about cops "stealing the FF's glory" this isn't about FF's being jealous, this does come down to SAFETY....yes SAFETY...that dirty little word in the fire service.

If you go back and read my posts you will find that I'm not bashing cops and I have recommended that PD do a quick assessment, but try to do some good before the FD rolls on scene. The issue at hand here was when the FD can watch the police officers, stop their vehicles, get out and rush into the house as the FD is rolling on the scene. If that isn't glory hounding what in the hell is it then? Then the same cops that rushed in became patients....and thus our resources to mitigate the fire was hindered because of a senseless act of glory seeking.


I don't have a problem with a LEO trying to do some good prior to the FD arrival, I do have a problem when their actions are not necessary due to FD arrival and I do have a problem when firefighters now have to do patient care for LEO's who rushed in without a thinking. You see in the fire service world the first few minutes on a fire scene are the most crucial and tend to determine how the rest of the incident will go. Taking people who could be utilized in suppression efforts to provide EMS for LEO's who rushed in as the FD was arriving on scene, is putting my other brother and sister firefighters at an undue risk as well. My fellow firefighters now have to wait several more minutes for another rig to get on scene...minutes which could mean life or injury to another FF...and why? Because a LEO decided to rush in without PPE as the FD was rolling on scene.

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