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CHP vs. Firefighter

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Metalbasspro, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. Metalbasspro


    Feb 9, 2009
  2. Can't believe the police officers were stupid enough to try and prioritise flow of traffic over people in a serious car crash.

    Actually, I can believe it. Some people need to feel the power.
  3. biobass


    Sep 16, 2007
    Princeton NJ area
    I am a volunteer EMT in New Jersey. While not commenting about the OP's specific case, because I don't know the details, I have always been taught that Police first priority is public safety, i.e. traffic flow, and not patient treatment. That is why they call us and the Fire Department. That said, most of the police officers in my town are trained as first responders and many are EMTs. They often pitch in after the scene is safe.
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

  5. Virus attacked my phone before I finished the article.

    Sounds like Fire and Chp need to get agreement on standard procedure. I reckon you would want at least one clear lane between accident and traffic.
  6. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    San Diego/LA
    I'll chalk this up to "had to be there" as it certainly sounds way off kilter. Usually no tension between the two that I've ever seen (several friends on both sides). Too easy to be an armchair finger pointer on this one.
  7. Fire and highway patrol have competing viewpoints here. That's part of the issue. Fire's #1 goal is to secure the scene so nothing bad happens right here, right now. Then they tend to the patients.

    Having sat through a 4-hour lecture on cop/fire/ems relations led by a veteran CHP officer, I got an insight into his perspective. He didn't talk much about preventing traffic jams though we all know CHP is basically AAA with guns. The points that stuck with me were that when we start shutting down busy interstates we will cause more accidents. Most will be minor, some of those with non-life threatening injuries. Some will be nasty. That's not really something firefighters are trained to think about. I remember being told that if you feel you really need to shut the highway down for scene safety to suggest to the cop that this might become a fatality accident and need a full-blown investigation. That's good for scene safety but a CHP officer's perspective is that this will cause further accidents and injuries. The statistics back him up.

    In this specific case though, the CHP does seem out of line. And they typically do in these situations. 99.99% of these disputes are resolved by common sense and communication. What happened is pretty freaking rare.
  8. Metalbasspro


    Feb 9, 2009
    I know that some police departments have the same policy, to pull into the lane so that the car protects them as they interact with the person they just pulled over. In WA state it's a new law that when they do this you are required to slow down and swing wide around them.

    The Firemen in this case did it for the same reasons and it's departmental policy. Cops are not the only ones who can be or should be afforded this extra precaution.

    I saw the video of the case in point. It was at night and traffic was light enough that the fire truck was not adding to any more traffic congestion then would be encountered in any traffic accident.

    You know in the old days the CHP would show up. Put put cones and have an officer making sure traffic kept moving and as safely as possible. Maybe bust out the flashlights with the red cones on them. If they are not there to assist they should get back on the road and mind their own business. I mean have we (collectively speaking) forgotten how to work a traffic accident scene?
  9. As a firefighter who has been working at the scene of a vehicle accident, with his fire truck in what is called the "fend off" position to protect the scene where EMS and Firefighters are working to free someone trapped in there car and the fire truck has been hit by an out of control car whilst protecting the scene, I would have taken the stance of the arrested fire fighter. Our job has enough hazards without creating more risk. Traffiic is delayed by the accident as it is, the extra delays created by putting a fire truck in a fend off position are minimal.
  10. Another firefighter here. I have witnessed the Ohio State Highway Patrol do the same thing. Yelling at our chief over blocking lanes of the highway, impeding traffic, even for closing the highway so the life flight helicopter could land. Absolutely incredible what the cops will do because, God forbid, they have to direct traffic for a few hours after the scene clears. Usually nothing happens to the cops, so that's why they continue to pull this crap. They try to bully us and sometimes it works, and there's no repercussions.

    My chief would always fight for our safety. Seems the cops would rather occupy our chief with an argument over Ohio Revised Code instead of letting him direct his FD on a rescue operation. Then again there isn't an ethics test to become a trooper...

    EDIT: I should clarify that this was not a regular occurence, a lot of times OSP helped us. Our city cops were amazing too- a lot of them were part time FFs, they were all trained in CPR, first aid, and AED use. It helped that the police chief at the time was a part time FF and medic. The police responded to all our 911 runs and were usually there first.
  11. Metalbasspro


    Feb 9, 2009
    In those cases where the police were hassling you about it, would it have been any different if say it was a Highway patrol man who was hurt and needed life flight?
  12. Fretless1!


    Feb 19, 2007
    Ya think?
  13. Metalbasspro


    Feb 9, 2009
    I am thinking I have un covered the crux of the whole problem, is what I am thinking.

    Am I really smart, people really that stupid or is it totally obvious?

    With all the posturing by the department heads, media and those involved I have to wonder.