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videographer rights on a fire scene

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  • videographer rights on a fire scene

    I was wondering if a fire chief or officer in charge can have a civillian videographer removed from a fire scene if they have landowner permission,or removed from property ajoining to a fire scene even with property owner permission?

  • #2
    Originally posted by ff199564 View Post
    I was wondering if a fire chief or officer in charge can have a civillian videographer removed from a fire scene if they have landowner permission,or removed from property ajoining to a fire scene even with property owner permission?
    The incident command has every right to keep everyone off the scene. It has absolutely nothing to do with property lines. Whatever the commander determines is the safe perimeter to keep civilians out, is it. Period, end of story. That includes the property owners, their friends, the media, and anyone else.

    If someone can see the scene from outside that perimeter, then have at it with your camera.
    Last edited by nmfire; 04-17-2011, 11:25 AM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by nmfire View Post
      The incident command has every right to keep everyone off the scene. It has absolutely nothing to do with property lines. Whatever the commander determines is the safe perimeter to keep civilians out, is it. Period, end of story. That includes the property owners, their friends, the media, and anyone else.

      If someone can see the scene from outside that perimeter, then have at it with your camera.
      Agree with this guy 100%

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nmfire View Post
        The incident command has every right to keep everyone off the scene. It has absolutely nothing to do with property lines. Whatever the commander determines is the safe perimeter to keep civilians out, is it. Period, end of story. That includes the property owners, their friends, the media, and anyone else.

        If someone can see the scene from outside that perimeter, then have at it with your camera.
        I agree with this as well, but wanted to add a couple things to consider/

        1. Everything is being recorded, just assume that you are being recorded by someone with a video camera or cell phone on every call.

        2. If you single out someone with a recording device and remove them when you aren't removing others you are asking for trouble. If it isn't safe for them, it isn't safe for anyone not associated with the emergency response. Singling the videographer is a good way top make them you enemy.

        3. Be polite about it;
        "hey guys can we get you to move over here, we want you to get the video you need but we don't want you top ge6t hurt"

        If you have time, you could even ask if they have any questions. You can control them and use them to your advantage. Sure, some are going to be hell bent on painting the FD in a bad light.

        If you can't be polite, use PD to get them to move to a safe distance. That way it is a PD uniform on camera telling them they can't be there.
        "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
        "Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571

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        • #5
          yup...what they said!

          Comment


          • #6
            Ok guys thanks, I am well aware of what a safe distance is, and i guess i was hoping for a different answer but I kinda figured the same thing. I am just dealing with a chief that does not like me or the fact that I am taping his fire scene's, quite honestly there is a lot more to this story along with some safety concern for the guys on his dept, seeing as how his training consists of a 60 hour FF1 class in the early 90's. Wouldnt you think if he's going to have me removed he should remove all other bystanders also?

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            • #7
              well i'm sure not there to make the FD look bad, the chief does a fine job of that himself, i just vowed to the guys on the dept. that if ever there were something to happen to one of them I was gonna be there to make sure someone was held accountable, you gotta understand that this is a dept. that dont discipline there guys for coming to a call straight from the tavern or have guys in air pack that have had no training since 1991 just to name a few things!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ff199564 View Post
                well i'm sure not there to make the FD look bad, the chief does a fine job of that himself, i just vowed to the guys on the dept. that if ever there were something to happen to one of them I was gonna be there to make sure someone was held accountable, you gotta understand that this is a dept. that dont discipline there guys for coming to a call straight from the tavern or have guys in air pack that have had no training since 1991 just to name a few things!
                I think you just answer your own question as to why he is removing you. Whether you like it or not or agree with him that is his decision and you can only comply. I understand where you are coming from but if someone has concerns about the department that is on the department they should bring it up to their chain of command. If that's does no good find a different department if they are that concerned about their safety.

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                • #9
                  So who are you in relation to this department?
                  Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I was on that dept. for 20 years and basically got pushed out when I started to express concerns about the training qualifications of some members, particularly some officers, thats why like i said before I will be there for the rest of the guys should something ever go wrong to make sure the right person is held accountable, I guess i will just have to push my luck on getting kicked off a scene.

                    Thanks again guy's for your input!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Having been a Fire Photographer for over 20 years, allow me to interject my two cents:

                      1. ANYTHING, and I repeat, ANYTHING is "fair game" from ANY public right-of-way, including streets, public sidewalks, etc. As long as you are not within a safety zone/perimeter as established by the Incident Commander, they may NOT stop you from photographing anything, and this includes patients of an auto extrication, their faces, or the faces of any responders. (NOTE: I do not personally condone photographing the faces of patients or responders for the explicit purposes of photgraphing their faces.)

                      2. If you are on an adjoining private property, with the permission of the property owner, ANYTHING is fair game, again as long as you are NOT within the safety zone/perimeter.

                      3. If you are INSIDE the safety zone/perimeter, you MUST adhere to the directions of the Incident Commander or their designates (this includes Law Enforcement, Fire Police, Etc.)

                      Having heated discussions with any officials AT an incident and ESPECIALLY while the incident is in progress is NOT the place to do so. If you are asked to move, do so immediately, the first time, every time. Stop the camera, and move to the area beyond the safety zone. If you don't like it, tough schit. Law Enforcement can and will lock you up, and press legitimate charges- such as "Refusal to Obey a Public Safety Official", "Interfering with a Public Safety Official" "disoderly conduct" and other similar offenses. JUST MOVE. Make them happy, worry about the bullschit later. Back in the early 1990's, I had a fireline card issued by the Fire Commissioner's Office of the City of Philadelphia. Did Philly Cops honor it? Some did, some did not. The ones that did not, I did not argue with. If you argue with a Philly Cop on something like this, you could very well receive a nightstick shampoo and wake up in a holding cage at Central Booking- believe me, not the place you want to be.

                      If the Department you are speaking of has the mindset you claim, you will get nowhere with them by proposing a sit-down to discuss the situation and comprimising on terms.

                      What about local law enforcement officials? In all eventuality, they are going to be the ones pressed with removing you if the Fire Chief wants you gone. Why not have a pre-emptive sit down with them??? Perhaps you could come up with an agreement about who, where and when. Although I suspect if the Fire Chief were to find out about it, he's going to go right to the Police Chief and quash it.

                      Google "The Photographer's Bill of Rights." Read it and understand it.

                      And again, don't argue with a Cop if he tells you to move. Just do it.
                      "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What the others said, and to add, they kicked you off the department (Pushed, kicked, etc) and now you want to chase after them video taping them. You have 4 posts here, about your vendetta.

                        I am really surprised you got the help you did here. I know, its all that nasty old Chief and his terrible ways....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LVFD301 View Post
                          What the others said, and to add, they kicked you off the department (Pushed, kicked, etc) and now you want to chase after them video taping them. You have 4 posts here, about your vendetta.

                          I am really surprised you got the help you did here. I know, its all that nasty old Chief and his terrible ways....
                          That's kinda what I was thinking.
                          Stay Safe
                          Bull


                          “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
                          - Capt. Marc Cox CFD

                          Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
                          -WINSTON CHURCHILL

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                          • #14
                            Because his first post didn't tell the whole story.
                            "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
                            "Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Why don't you move along with your life?

                              Let it go....

                              We had a guy who did what you were doing. I don't even think he had film in his camera, just looking to stir it up and be trouble.

                              It got old and he moved on.
                              I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

                              "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

                              "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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