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  • #16
    OK.........

    At first, I did not get it that you were in broadcasting. My remarks were more appropriate to print, and the "smaller" papers at that. If you ever get a chance to talk to anyone at WJZ TV in Baltimore, pick their brains real good. Those folks are real good to work with, professional but human, and that says it all. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

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    • #17
      First off welcome.

      Now the thing that annoys me the most. GET THE INFO STRAIGHT.
      Our locals couldn't keep tht facts straight if the tried.

      Secondly, do not call the station at 430-5am to "See if anything happened." at that time in the morning you will get the response I have told many of our reporters, "I wouldn't tell you if the whole @#$%^* city burned down." Have the repect for the crews who are asleep. We are given the official press release from the PIO/Chief after all incidents and we would be more than happy to fax everything to you. and know that we are not allowed to comment on anything, even off the record.

      If you need any help or anything let me know.
      AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

      IAFF Local 3900

      IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

      ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

      F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

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      • #18
        Thanks all! You are a friendly group, and helpful to boot - much appreciated.

        ff7134 - I don't know if this is true everywhere, but we do "beat calls" at my station - so the overnighter calls the firehouse at about 5 am. He or she calls the fire dispatcher, though - not someone who's sleeping. This is a problem where you are?

        Comment


        • #19
          Welcome

          It's nice to have someone from the media introduce themselves without "fishing for dirt". I can only reiterate what others have said, mainly get the facts straight and don't be afraid to ask questions. Our local paper regularly makes mistakes that a fifth grader wouldn't make, leaves out pertinent facts and misses news stories entirely (2 nicknames for this paper are "The Daily Disappointment" and "The Daily Wipe") Here are a couple examples: You would think a structure fire that left 2 families homeless would find it's way into the paper, wouldn't you? Apparently the "fluff" pieces found in the paper over the next few days were more important. Another more general and more frequent occurrence is leaving out FD's in reports about MVA's. "State Police reported a 2 car motor vehicle blah blah blah blah was transported by (commercial ambulance company) ambulance to XYZ Hospital. No mention of the firefighters who extricated the patient or made the scene safe for the ambulance personnel.
          Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

          Anything found in my posts is soley my opinion and not representative of any other individual or entity.

          You know that thing inside your helmet? Use it wisely and you'll be just fine.

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          • #20
            The best thing you can do to learn the "lingo" and why we do what we do is to approach your local fire academy to see if they sponsor a "Media Day".

            This would be your chance to suit up and actually go into a burn building, see what it's like to depend you your training and instincts to find your way throught the smoke and heat while gaining 60 extra pounds of gear.

            You will also get to learn the proper terms for equipment, gear and apparatus. Hopefully you will also gain a new insight and respect for the fire service.

            If the fire academy doesn't offer one, make the suggestion.

            Good luck.
            Steve Dragon
            FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
            Volunteers are never "off duty".
            http://www.bufd7.org

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            • #21
              WOW....what a can o worms....

              well I have had the occasion to talk to the news, and I can echo alot of sentiment here when you feel like the news has "deceived " or "fleeced" you. Please dont take things out of context, nothing like giving a 10 second answer and then only showing 3 seconds of footage, with a little blurb that may or not make sense. Scenes, as also stated watch where you park at all times and listen when we tell you where to go or not go especially if we havent not gotten a perimeter set up yet. And for eveyone out there .........how about when you are an Officer talking to the news and they call you the spokesperson, without even mentioning your name.? Where I work fulltime as an EMS dispatcher, the print news people are horrible in scanner land, we will dispatch a call for a person shot or some other high profile call and they call here when crews are still enroute. DAMN annoying, and somedays we tell them that as they call on an unrecorded line. I wish the news would show the full interivew, or at least make it longer than 1 sentence, be factual about what got reported, and not treat anyone or thing like it is a scop,be respectful of our jobs and please dont act all chicken-hawkinsh, we will get to you when we can. In closing, I can relate with Gonzo about the silly questions about how did the fire start, or what caused the accident when in reality it is WAY to early to tell. How to make it better, our hometown local paper is great and we do fine with them but the big city people need to be around more and again not act so aloof when they are on a scene. Newsreporter, do you see a trend here ?> and I hope that you are not one of these type of people.
              IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
              Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
              ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
              RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
              LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
              I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
              "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
              http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

              Comment


              • #22
                Weruj1 - I think the "chicken-hawk" thing comes from news folks feeling "special" that they're allowed on scene. It is a privilege, but I think one some reporters let get to their heads. As far as asking the "silly questions" - I'm sorry, I do ask those - it's my job. I can imagine the one time I *don't* ask how the fire started, and the FD knows - that's the time I get canned. And, unfortunately, sometimes, we have to call for a location while crews are still en route. I haven't done that in a LOOOOONG time (you get better with scanners as time goes by), but, if you're in a "beginner market" - a small city - I'm sure that is a thorn in your side. We're fallible (as you're aware) - but know that a lot of us do our best. And, a lot of us are very thankful and respectful of your selflessness and dedication.

                tripperff - I hate the "fluff" too.

                dragonfyre - Thanks, I'll look into your ideas.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Welcome

                  Originally posted by tripperff
                  You would think a structure fire that left 2 families homeless would find it's way into the paper, wouldn't you? Apparently the "fluff" pieces found in the paper over the next few days were more important.
                  I can top that. My city had it's first fire fatality *ever* and the local weekly paper didn't cover it. They said that it was old news a week later. The metro daily paper covered. All of the major metro TV stations covered it. But the *local* paper? Nope.

                  Our problem is that fluff seems to be the only thing the newspaper is interested. Last year, we had a Jeep Cherokee that ran through a wall and parked inside some woman's living room. We called the paper up and told them that we had a helluva photo for them. Did they show? Nope. But they love to come by and get "feel good" pictures of firefighters testing hose or cleaning trucks.
                  sigpic

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                  • #24
                    Welcome on board...

                    As I eluded to in another thread...It is very important to "ask" questions and then print the correct response as given, not massaged to make it sound juicy. Quite often I see comments made by Fire Officers of PIOs taken out of text because they were changed to make them sound better. Changing a word here and there in what was actually said can make a difference in good press or a lynching!

                    Also...when you go digging....be ready to recieve an answer that may not necessarily be what you are looking to hear. Then...either print it as said (again) or forget it and leave the story untold before you change it to make it "sell."
                    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
                    ------------------------------
                    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
                    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
                    BMI Investigator
                    ------------------------------
                    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      NJ retreats to the edit room and screens the 15 minutes of SOT, finds a :14 SB...adds some file footage from the library, makes sure they mention the oxygen tanks that FF's wear....confuses the engine with a truck and finds some good nats of sirens...finds people saying "it's gonna blow"..... But alas...the spot is killed for a story about mosquito larvae.

                      One comment. Remember...you need one another. The fire service needs the media's cooperation for good PR..and the media needs the fire service's cooperation to get the whole story. A little mutual respect goes a long way.
                      Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                      Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                      *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                      On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Do you know if any of the departments in you area have a "Media Education" program? This normally consists of a one day course on the terminology and operation of fire and EMS. It gives the reporter some insight into the way the emergency services operate and helps the reporter understand what is going on. Our State Wildland Fire staff also runs one on wildland operations. Media staff who have passed this course show up with the proper protective equipment for this type of incident and often are allowed into areas on the fire that the untrained media are not allowed.

                        Do any of the media outlets in your area offer a training seminar for the PIOs of the emergency services? I have been to several and it has helped me to provide the type of info you need.

                        Will your station provide a copy of the incident video, including raw footage, to the fire department if they request it? Only one of the four TV stations here will do so. We provide the blank tape. We use the video to critique our procedures during the incident. At times the video will also help in the investigation.

                        If we seem vauge about specific causes, it is because we do not want to release wrong information. In most cases we do not know the cause immediately. We may not want to release the cause to the general public until the investigation is complete especially if there is a possibility of criminal charges. I don't want to tell you that a fire was caused by one thing and have the investigation find a different cause. My statements could wind up in court in where I have to explain why I said the fire was caused by "this" and the actual cause was "that'.

                        Stay Safe
                        IACOJ

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Ray,
                          Great post............I am thinking about maye trying to set up a media education class. What a great idea, also I have never heard of the news people doing one either. Also we cannot get copies of footage as well, which I dont really understand but so be it. Do you have more on the media education class ?
                          IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
                          Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
                          ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
                          RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
                          LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
                          I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
                          "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
                          http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Weruj1,

                            I do not have a "canned" media class. We use parts of the FF-1 and other pertinent training programs. I can check with our State Wildland Fire to see if they have a canned program for their presentation.

                            You might try the San Francisco FD. I see they just did a one day program for the City Council members including some time on the drill ground at their academy.

                            We basically explain the terminology, fire behavior, personal protective equipment, tactics, safety and try to do a smoke house using the fog machine. The media gets to try it with full turnout gear. If possible we try to have them drag a charged line and rescue the "dummy".

                            Our training by the media consists of a rep from the TV, radio and print media. You will learn where their priorities lie, and have a better understanding of how they operate. For example most broadcast media (Unless it's a major market such as NY, LA etc.) have only one or two people at the station after a certain hour. Some radio stations are fully automated with no one there at certain hours. The person(s) at the station may not have the authority or technical knowledge to make emergency broadcasts to alert the public of an need to leave an area. They will also give you tips on the interviews.

                            Stay Safe
                            IACOJ

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Learn when the firefighters can talk to you and when you will be referred to the Chief or PIO. In most areas the firefighters can comment on operations which resulted in a positive outcome. Rescues made by members can often be talked about at the lower levels.

                              Incidents involving deaths, arson, crimes, labor disputes, regulations and similar department business and the like are not to be discussed with the press. These should always be given by designated spokes-people.

                              You can get the story quickly and from many sources if you know the right questions to ask.

                              As posted below "LINGO" is your friend. Proper use will endear you to the people who give out the interviews. If you relate their meaning correctly, you will always be given more time and attention.

                              "firepics" post is right on the money. If I never read or hear "Cherrypicker" or "Oxygen Tanks" again, it'll be too soon.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Phoenix has a "Certified Fire Journalist" program that seems pretty intensive. Looks like they give their media folks a good working knowledge of the fire service. And, if I'm not mistaken, folks who have completed the program have much greater privledges on the fire scene and increased access in other ways, too.

                                http://phoenix.gov/FIRE/cfj.html
                                sigpic

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