CHP officer arrested a firefighter for doing his job...

Discussion in 'General' started by herbal essence, Feb 9, 2014.

  2. What. The. Fuck.
  3. Hope his house never catches fire!
  4. Honestly, not all that surprising. Pathetic as that is.
    Laws vary state to state on who is incident commander on a wreck scene, in my state it's the highest fire official on scene, in other states, highway patrol has highest authority. I couldn't tell you about CA. Even if he (CHP officer) was command, this is still hardly an appropriate way to handle any nonviolent disagreement between providers on an active wreck scene. Especially since the fireman was following proper procedures anyway, fire trucks are typically parked across lanes behind a large wreck scene, so if any rubber-neckers go off course, they can ram it, instead of the people at the scene. I'm betting there were either prior issues between the two of them, or that officer was on a serious power trip.
    Then again, police in the county I work EMS in have pulled over our trucks (ambulances and a supervisor truck), while running emergency. PD and other public safety agencies can usually be civil and play nice to each other, because it makes things easier for both of us that way. But sometimes, people get personal, people get lazy, and people get hot-tempered. And people with badges, sometimes get pretty arrogant. Conflict happens, same as between police and the general public. I'm a little more trusting of police when I have a uniform on, but it's pretty limited. I always watch my back.
    And from my experience, highway patrol's number one priority on wreck scenes is getting traffic flowing again. Which is reasonable, but nobody wants to be working with inattentive drivers zooming by a foot from your ass, know what I'm saying? Most are pretty understanding, which makes sense, as many cops get hit by cars on the side of the road. Others, well, not so much. I don't know if some kind of state vs local thing plays a part, either.
    For some cops, it doesn't matter who you are. They're not going to let you forget that they are the one with the badge and the gun.
  5. I think in CA the highway patrol has command over incidents on the freeway, however in this case the engine crew arrived first and therefore command was taken by the fire captain on scene. I don't believe it was ever transferred over to the CHP when that arrest was made. Thanks for the informative response, sounds like you have experience with this sort of thing. Do most firefighters and paramedics you've worked with like cops or do you guys just have to pretend to get along with them because of your job?

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  6. #9 Cereal Killer, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2014
    Ah, playing "who's in charge?" can make things murky, and often leads to some kind of problem, as seen. The fact that he arrested that man, instead of the fire supervisor on scene who had authority over him, and ultimate decision on whether or not the engine was to be moved, is wrong in and of itself. And says something about the officer's demeanor, if you ask me. Personally, I think no matter who had incident command, as long as the fireman did not threaten or assault the officer (which as far as we know, he didn't), it was inappropriate for the officer to cuff and detain him. But maybe I'm biased. However, I don't think simple disagreements between professionals should have to end with somebody in handcuffs.
    This might have been a pissing contest that got way out of hand.
    It varies greatly from place to place, and ultimately person to person. In a rural area, you're going to get familiar with local PD and sheriff's deputies pretty quickly. And because of the familiarity, most of the time we get along relatively well. Kind of a 'you watch my back, I'll watch yours' thing. Aggressive attitudes between us are just going to make things harder when they don't need to be, and most are smart enough to see that. Of course, I think of a couple that definitely aren't. I act as civil as I have to and try to deal with them as little as possible.
    In an urban area, it can be a little different. You lose a lot of the familiarity, so you can end up working with strangers, so some trust is of course lost along with it. Police are pressed even harder to re-open the roads after a wreck to get traffic flowing again. Public relations with both police and fire/EMS are often more stressed. For example, police in Nashville have used ambulances and fire engines from NFD in drug busts. And then we wonder why we get threatened and have bricks and rocks thrown at our trucks when responding to medical calls in the projects. Most are decent, to work with anyway, but the relationship between the two is usually tested more in an urban environment.
    And working for a private IFT service, you won't have to deal with PD on a regular basis, thankfully. If you do, you are a taxi driver, and will be treated like one. Kind of ironic, the service like this I worked at, literally everybody there carried a firearm. Even the secretary. I could ramble about that, but that's a rant for another day :p This place definitely had the most distrust for police of any EMS or fire service I've worked for.
    From my experience, fire has a little bit better relation with police than EMS. I've met a handful of people in EMS who were civilian or military police, and I've met a few who were pretty much outright "Cop Block". I think it's more personal than anything, most people who've had a bad experience with police either on or off the job, generally aren't too quick to forget it.
    Edit: Sorry to write a damn book. It happens sometimes :laughing:
  7. #10 herbal essence, Feb 11, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2014
    No worries man, always interesting hearing from the perspective of someone who works in the industry.  Why do police in Nashville use ambulances and engines for drug busts? To be more discreet? Seems like that would just generate a big mistrust among the general public in that area with fire services like you said.  Also, whats the reasoning behind everyone in IFT carrying a firearm, more protection since you don't usually have PD with you?
  8. #11 Enigma, Feb 11, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2014
    Typically EMS has control of the scene, and law enforcement just runs traffic control. The only reason this happened is because they were county fire and CHP is state.
  9. Happened in my own town. Must've missed it on the news.
  10. Firefighters and EMS should just merge. EMS are the only ones most people will ever use, anyway. Firefighters are often cocks.
  11. #14 sky dog, Feb 12, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2014
    Not sure Officer Frank Poncherello would have pulled rank like that
  12. But I don't think Roy DeSoto would have allowed it either
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  13. power tripping nutless heathens.. 
  14. Yep, though they've put a stop to that now, thankfully. As a citizen, especially one who sometimes partakes in an illegal substance, the thought of that is a little unnerving. As a medic, I fucking hate that they did that. I'm not a cop, I don't want people to think I'm a cop, and I do my best to be sure that people won't mistake me as one. Same reason I hate the idea of wearing a badge, or having black or navy blue button up uniforms. I remember being on standby in a shady area, and a kid about thirteen or so with a pistol you could see stuffed in his waistband walked up to our truck, and asked, "you police?!" We said no, and he took back off, and I kept thinking, 'what kid? You can't tell the difference between a cop car and an ambulance?' Upon learning about their past use in drug busts, that incident made a lot more sense.
    Yeah, I think most of them carried daily anyway. Granted, our station at that service was smack-dab in the middle of the ghetto since the lease was cheap, so that may have played a role. Personally, I didn't and didn't feel the need to, you don't get in many rough situations working IFT anyway. Though I did carry a pistol for awhile working 911, our service has kind of an unofficial "don't ask, don't tell" policy on weapons. I don't anymore though, way too many risks involved, both legal and physical. I'm about as pro gun rights as it gets, but a firearm in the back of an ambulance, no thanks.

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