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  • And you thought your department was screwed up

    Letter to News Directors and Media Concerning Insensitive Media Coverage of Incident:

    On the morning of Tuesday, August 8, 2006, a fire occurred at 2906 Brightseat Road in Landover, Maryland. A mobility impaired 65 year-old-male sustained fatal injuries as a result of this fire. The first arriving company, Kentland Volunteer Fire Station 33, released to the media a home video of the initial operations. The video, which was recorded using a “helmet-cam,” was released without approval from the Office of the Fire Chief. The application and use of a “helmet-cam” has never been approved by Fire Chief Lawrence H. Sedgwick, Jr. The local and national airing of the video vividly displayed the victim being carried from the apartment. One media outlet went as far as putting on exhibit the grotesque injuries sustained by the victim. The release of this video and the media coverage demonstrated a lack of compassion and sensitivity for the family of the deceased. These actions are extremely unethical and unprofessional.

    During the media coverage of this incident it was erroneously reported that Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. relies solely on donations from private citizens. The Prince George’s County and the State of Maryland allocate to this company, Stations 33 and 46, more than $100,000 in station management and AMOSS, annually.

    Out of respect for the deceased and consideration for his family during this painfully tragic ordeal, I am requesting that the airing of the video cease immediately. This includes any posting on web sites.

    On behalf of the entire Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department, Fire Chief Lawrence H. Sedgwick, Jr. apologizes to the family of the deceased and the citizens and residents of our communities who were affected by the insensitive actions of certain members of this Department.

    Mark E. Brady
    Chief Spokesperson/PIO
    Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
    Last edited by drparasite; 08-10-2006, 11:08 PM.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  • #2
    now that letter was in response to this event (would have posted the article first, but FH.com wouldn't let me, even though i tried it several times from different computers):

    Maryland Firefighter's Helmet Camera Captures Heroic Rescue

    Updated: 08-10-2006 10:39:24 AM

    E-Mail This StoryE-MAIL THIS STORY Print This StoryPRINT THIS STORY

    PHYLLIS ARMSTRONG
    Courtesy of WUSA

    » Video: Phyllis Armstrong Reports

    Local firefighters go into a burning building to save a man trapped inside and the rescue is caught on video.

    The dramatic rescue in Prince George's County was caught on a camera mounted on a firefighter's helmet. The video shows Kentland volunteer firefighters saving a disabled man from certain death.

    A call coming in at 10:30 Tuesday morning gets firefighters from the Kentland Volunteer Station 33 rushing to the rescue.

    As soon as they pull up to 2906 Brightseat Road, they hear someone's life is in danger.

    Three firefighters Joe Brown, Anthony Rhode and Chris Floyd hit a wall of smoke as they begin the search for the disabled resident.

    "You learn to listen and feel for things and try to stay low," says Firefighter Floyd about working his way through a smoke filled building.

    All of it is captured on the bullet camera attached to Brown's helmet.

    The volunteer firefighters say their training made the difference in getting the 63 year old man out alive.

    Firefighter Brown bought his bullet camera on E-Bay for $300. He planned to use it for a fundraising video. But it's also become a learning tool.

    "We go back to review the tape. It can't get any clearer than that. It's helped us learn and it's helped protect us at the same time."

    What they learn with every rescue is the reward that comes with a job well done.

    Editor's Note: The 63-year old man rescued, has died.

    An overloaded electrical outlet started the fire in his bedroom. Firefighters contained the flames before they spread to any other apartments. Kentland Fire Station 33 is 100 percent volunteer and operates on donations from the public.

    Respublished with permission of WUSA.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

    Comment


    • #3
      Hmmmm......seems like they are always getting bad press.

      What does that tell you?

      I will keep my personal opinion to myself.
      Jason Knecht
      Firefighter/EMT
      Township Fire Dept., Inc.
      Eau Claire, WI

      IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
      http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
      EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

      Comment


      • #4
        A sort of humour story is that about 10 or 15 min before I read the original post here, I was talking on the phone with a friend about the general beginning history of the US fire service and how the "boys" would literally fight when two independant fire co's would show up to the same scene. On the phone I was refusing to offer the name of the Dept that came to mind..........

        But ya know, when you click you heels twice together, cross your arms and blink three times while wiggling your nose... just be careful what you were wishing for. Oh and for the record, I was doing none of the above to invoke the name of this dept.
        If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

        "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

        "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

        Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

        impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

        IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

        Comment


        • #5
          Why am I surprised?

          The "kids from Kentland" have always had the "in your face, talk to the hand attitude" when it ciomes to following the rules and regulations.

          The video: a great training tool..., had it been kept in house.

          Giving it to the media: "look at us, we're heroes, we're the best, and rules? We don't need or follow no stinkin' rules..."

          Just my 3 cents worth... Captains have to pay a little more!
          ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
          Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
            Why am I surprised?

            The video: a great training tool..., had it been kept in house.

            Giving it to the media: "look at us, we're heroes, we're the best, and rules? We don't need or follow no stinkin' rules..."

            If it's done in the context of a media relations program it would be fine. But you're right, you can't just have everybody releasing whatever they want.
            I am a highly trained professional and can find my :: expletive deleted:: with either hand in various light conditions.

            Comment


            • #7
              Kentland "strikes" (out) again. I was waiting from something like this to come out. (In watching the interviews I was also wondering D*MN, how old are these guys?)

              Just my 1.75 cents..so I am just a FF I should pay less than a Capt....

              And I just hit 100 posts!!! (WEEE)

              Comment


              • #8
                BUFF,BUFF,BUFF. Buying your own helmet cam? Come on! Wonder whar that does to the protective ability of his helmet but then again it sounds like he may have had a previous knock on his noggin.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Being this was from Kentland, and having read numerous things about them here and on their own web site, it just goes to prove that Kentland is the Wacker Capitol of the World! .
                  My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
                  "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                  George Mason
                  Co-author of the Second Amendment
                  during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
                  Elevator Rescue Information

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sounds like someone's gonna be getting some disciplinary action.........
                    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
                    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
                    IACOJ

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Take a look at this

                      For those of you who didn't know

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEpX7zDBxs0
                      Tom

                      Never Forget 9-11-2001

                      Stay safe out there!

                      IACOJ Member

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        They're a disgraceful name for all of us.
                        Fir Na Tine
                        Fir Na Au Saol

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I dunno.. maybe I'm the only person that does not care what Kentland chooses to do. Everyone claims to work at the "Best Department" and I know my company stays "competitive" with other companies we respond with.. If they choose to make videos showing their department, calls, etc. so be it! They won't be the first department to do that.. and I'm sure they won't be the last! In fact, here is a video from Ritchie FD http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v1N81BzTi4 see, Kentland isn't the only department that wants to be hated on!
                          Do it because you love it, not because you love being seen doing it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well if you have to make a video production to tell everybody you are "the best", you really need to shake the small man syndrome...
                            Last edited by SPFDRum; 08-11-2006, 08:43 PM.
                            My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
                            "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                            George Mason
                            Co-author of the Second Amendment
                            during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
                            Elevator Rescue Information

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You guys are rediculous. Either right or wrong the video aired and it provided the PGFD (as a whole) with the best positive press it has received in a looooooooooooong time. And because Kentland is involved some people feel the need to bring up other things and turn it into a bash session. Makes me think that some people have an inferiority complex. But you play into their hands because you just don't get the joke.

                              The Kentland Chief is in the picture 3rd down on the left:
                              http://www.progressfire.com/around.php
                              Do you get the joke yet?
                              I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

                              One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
                              "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
                              -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

                              Comment

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