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Improper use of City equipment

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  • #16
    So, if I'm sitting in a restaraunt eating my dinner and a fire truck pulls up, raises it's ladder, do I think the building is on fire or do I simply ignore it because a guy is proposing?

    We wonder why people don't follow FF's wishes to evacuate buildings?

    Mikey has it right.....GEEK!
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?


    • #17
      my 2 cents

      Just my opinion but lighten up guys, I really don't see this as the cardinal sin some of you make it out to be. I'll bet this guy had to get approval from his chain of command, and I'm pretty sure LA has the resources to cover for 1 ladder truck for a little while. GEEK? Well, that may be your opinion...just sounds to me like he really loves her and wanted to do something really special. (and I bet some of the public really got a kick out of this). Oh by the way, whoever said "this guy only has 2 yrs in"..WTF does that have to do with anything? Just my 2 cents Bros'...have at it.


      • #18
        Look at as a training op...set up the ladder, position correctly to the balcony/window, and have a marriage proposal....properly spun this could be a great PR for the Dept....then again it could backfire but I for one believe in taking care of my own on the job and off....Have A Safe Weekend!

        How come we can take 50 App out of service for a funeral? Why not celebrate ones happiest moment as well as the passing of a loved one!


        • #19

          Ya, I am pretty much of the opinion that he's a "geek". I am romantic type myself, but I have some limits to the things I will do. Maybe bringing the truck around, and standing on the hose deck to make the proposal, ya I might do that, but raise the stick... hhhhhmmmmm not so sure on that one, for the obvious reasons stated. However it has also been stated that the truck would have been in the same "state" had they been training with it when (if) the tones dropped. Sssooooo....???

          That he had "official" permission to do this, I am pretty sure he did... but that wasn't specifically stated in the inital report - Anyone from the LA area got any more on this?

          Still I agree, not an overly bright action to take, even though I do admire the romantic concept of it. Best of luck to the futures of the Lady and her Firefighter though.
          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!

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          IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.


          • #20
            You guys need to give it a rest......

            If this guy had permission....then two-thumbs up!

            I met my wife while she was going through her recruit academy. When we were planning our wedding, we thought it would be unique to get married in the headquarter's apparatus bay. The Chief not only allowed us , but went out of his way to make sure the day went just right. He even contacted two local papers (one from a large nearby city) and they both provided photographers and writers. At the end of the ceremony, at the Chief's request....we were taken to our reception in one of our engines.

            The next morning (after a long night ) I went to the hotel lobby to get a paper....and to my surprise, the front page had a picture and story of the wedding.

            Now call me a geek if you want, but my wife and I will always have some great memories of a unique day....and I will owe my department for life.

            P.S. The department did not receive a single complaint, and the Chief used it as a leadership tool to let the gang know that the department is here for us as well.

            IACOJ.... "Carpe Elkhartem"
            (Seize the Nozzle)

            "Victorious warriors win first,
            and then go to war,
            while defeated warriors go to war first,
            and then seek to win."

            SUN TZU


            • #21
              I have not heard of disiplinary action from this being handed down to the firefighter or his crew

              If this in impropoer I think that fire department apparatus should not be used in parades or other non emergency functons

              I think this was a rather unique way of proposing my best wishes go out to him and his fiance and I'm sorry all of you must disagree
              Last edited by Engine101; 06-20-2003, 10:32 PM.
              Engine 101
              The Pride of Old Town




              • #22
                I never disagreed. I too think it is a unique and romantic way of proposing. It's a memory that the two of them will have forever. They will be able to tell the story to their children.
                Heather Helm
                NREMT-I Candidate
                IACOJ Bureau of EMS Division
                Fraternal Order of Paramedics
                Board of Directors

                "It's all good"


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Bones42
                  if I'm sitting in a restaraunt eating my dinner and a fire truck pulls up, raises it's ladder, do I think the building is on fire or do I simply ignore it because a guy is proposing?
                  Chances are I would probably hear the truck coming (even if they had the siren off) and notice it was a fire apparatus and would be outside to meet them. That is, if Mrs. 26 didn't beat me downstairs to have a look
                  "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."


                  • #24
                    lighten up

                    if I'm sitting in a restaraunt eating my dinner and a fire truck pulls up, raises it's ladder, do I think the building is on fire or do I simply ignore it because a guy is proposing?
                    no, you will probably run outside to see what is happening, see all the firefighters standing around the truck staring at the bucket, and some guy in his dress uniform proposing to his fiancee. and you'll probably say "awwwwwwwwww, how sweet!!!"

                    is it improper use of city equipment? yeah, by the strictest letter of the law, it probably is. but who was he hurting? they didn't miss any alarms. no one was injured. the only monetary cost was the 1/18 of a gallon of disel fuel, and the truck probably burns that just driving to and from dinner. you can probably even justify it as ladder training for the operator.

                    and who benefits? the truck company, since it's a positive sign of comradery. the guy, who was able to propose in a way his g/f will never forget. his girl, who had her FF b/f propose to her from a ladder tower in in front of her parents. the department could use it as a great PR thing.

                    if i was on the truck company who did that, and i got reprimanded for doing this, i would frame the reprimand and display it with pride.

                    Congrads to the newly engaged LAFD firefighter!!!!
                    Last edited by drparasite; 06-21-2003, 02:06 AM.
                    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!



                    • #25

                      I got an exclusive photo of the truck in position at the restaurant!

                      Attached Files


                      • #26

                        Hey lutan....that looks like my car!!!!! Ouch...that is going to leave a mark!

                        Seriously...I don't have a problem with it and if I was the Chief of the Department I would not either. As long as it did not jeopardize response and they were not "John Wayning" it. In other words did they at least have the foresight to check with the company officer? The only thing I would hope is that I got a heads up on it before I opened the morning paper or got a phone call from council members.

                        It is all public perception. As one respondant has said, he was involved in a similar situation on his wedding day and nothing was said. In other parts of the world the citizens who pay for the apparatus, stations and firefighters, would raise 10 tons worth of crap over it. Guess you got to really understand the political nature and atmosphere of the area you live in.
                        09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
                        IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
                        "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
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                        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.


                        • #27
                          I never thought this thread would receive this amount of attention.

                          I guess this all boils down to public perception. If some citizen has a problem with the "romantic display" involving city owned equipment....and telephones the local politicians with a complaint....then you have a problem to deal with. And you all know....some people have nothing better to do than create controversy, even if there is none.

                          As I recall...I've been to weddings here in my home state, in which entire departments showed up to watch one of their own get hitched.
                          That included aerials, fully extended to form an arch to honor the bride and groom....and water flowing upward and outward to the delight of the onlookers.

                          Times have changed. All it takes is one passerby...with a bug up their butt. And y'all know....they're out there!
                          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


                          • #28
                            Here's a shot of the guys returning to the station.

                            Maybe they should do more training, not public marriage proposals...
                            Attached Files


                            • #29
                              One of the regulars in this forum made me aware of this thread, and I too was surprised in the length this has been discussed. Some of the questions raised were:

                              >>"...Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said Wednesday was
                              Castillo's day off, but his fellow firefighters from Station 88 were on duty and considered to be on routine patrol when they stopped briefly at the restaurant..."<<

                              I did provide such information, but that is not a quote. I had a long and pleasant conversation with the reporter, and *she* chose the terms which did not necessarily reflect our Fire Service operations or culture. I explained to her that the crew was in their district to perform routine and necessary fire prevention, training and other matters, and would pause only briefly and at all times remain available for both emergency -and- non-emergency response while assisting and witnessing the proposal. When the reporter asked about what those Firefighters "other" functions were or could have been at the moment, the conversation covered how when we are not at the station or handling one of nearly 1800 responses our agency will address in a given day, our crews routinely drive the neighborhood at least once a day looking for hazards and identifying tactical and strategic challenges, testing hydrants, inspecting businesses, and striving to meet the various and sundry needs of those we are sworn to serve, etc. More familiar with Law Enforcement than the Fire Service, she chose "patrol" when summing up my statements. While it was a less than ideal term, I trust that it will not cause us or any other Fire Department long-term harm.

                              > I certainly hope the "Detail" was approved by someone in
                              > authority.

                              Yes. It was. The proposing Firefighter was off-duty, using an earned 24-hour vacation day. His fellow crew members remained available in their primary response district (less than a mile from the Station), and their Truck Company (one of 49 aerial ladder trucks we had on-duty at that moment) was in the common status of "available via radio". The entire operation took less than five minutes. There were no incidents in their district at that time. For us, it was not too much different than a public demo, etc. - and was met with enthusiastic support from the local business community and applause from the dozens of patrons in the upscale restaurant. We have also heard from a handful of local businesses and residents who want to offer them some assistance at the wedding. That was a pleasant surprise.

                              > If done properly - this is an excellent PR story...

                              I guess it could be, but we actually supported it in the print media for other reasons. More on that below...

                              > If this is taken the wrong way by the Brass - Uh-Oooooh.

                              The Chief was apprized of the situation during his morning briefing and did not raise any objections.

                              > Please tell me the Crew didn't get in trouble over this!

                              Though highly regimented, the LAFD is an agency largely disciplined by intense peer pressure. A pervasive sense of self-motivation and self-discipline rarely calls forth the need for administrative justice. I am pleased to assure you that no one has gotten in trouble over this, as our admin (at least at the moment) is busy addressing issues of far greater importance.

                              While it's not really an issue (for us at least) at the moment, we of course welcome people to form their own opinions. The challenge of doing so is the many circumstances behind the scenes (relating to the couple and their families) that made local publicity of this event important for them and therefore for our LAFD family. The lack of such "inside" information could easily stymie others in creating an *informed* opinion as to *exactly* WHAT we did, HOW we did it and most importantly - WHY.

                              Sort of like the visiting Firefighter who hurriedly dropped by one of our stations for a photo opp of new apparatus a few years ago. He seemed aggravated by the child who was the absolute center of our undivided attention, and later expressed dismay wondering how we could allow the boy to crawl all over our brand new rig and play with every knob, button and switch before encouraging him to sound the siren and repeatedly blow the airhorn. The Firefighter stood slack-jawed and muttered when some of us at the Station waved goodbye to the boy and his parents as they departed for a tour of the district aboard the gleaming new LAFD rig. We offered our brother Firefighter a cup of coffee, and tried to explain why we couldn't force the family off the rig for the convenience of his photo, but he wasn't really in the listening mode. He remained in a huff when I handed him a fax cover sheet. He was choked up when he finished reading it, and suddenly his problems took on a whole new perspective.

                              The header read:

                              TO: Los Angeles Fire Department
                              FROM: Make-A-Wish Foundation

                              While such extenuating circumstances are rare in most agencies, they can be an almost daily occurrence in Los Angeles, where our department remains the focal point in a media market of nearly 20 million Southern California residents. Along with assisting thousands of worldwide visitors each year, we have many local residents who deserve special handling - and yes, sometimes (albeit rarely) that extends to our very own Fire Service family. Though we will never break the extreme sanctity of any private relationship with terminally ill children and the like, there are times that we can and indeed must publicize a little bit of the work that we do behind the scenes to make the Fire Service magic happen.

                              Such was the case in this article of interest. Oh, and in case anyone should wonder, we do (periodically) use our aerial ladder trucks to rescue cats from trees and hang banners from tall buildings, and even retrieve keys thrown on a roof during a domestic dispute. While such "trivial" use of our time and skill may seem inappropriate, it can once again, take on greater significance or relevance when we come to know (as my friend Paul Harvey says) the _rest_ of the story.

                              While our primary responsibility will *always* remain the protection of those we serve, the LAFD takes seriously its collateral mission of putting a smile on the faces of others. It is one of the key reasons that I rarely find it necessary to apologize for our actions.

                              Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

                              Brian Humphrey
                              Public Information Officer
                              Los Angeles Fire Department
                              Last edited by LAFDPSO; 06-22-2003, 04:42 PM.
                              Please no e-mail. Public replies only. Thank you!


                              • #30
                                Unless I missed my guess, I think Brian just about wrapped up this discussion!


                                Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
                                Dennis Miller


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