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  1. #1
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    Fire Chief suspended for e-mailing topless photos of crash scene victim (who later died) to other firefighters

    UMATILLA, Fla. -- A suspended Central Florida fire chief could lose his job over e-mailed photos from a crash scene that included at least one image of the female victim's exposed breasts.
    Umatilla Fire Chief Richard took photos of a 26-year-old woman being treated by emergency workers after she crashed her sport utility vehicle into a tree.

    Shirk snapped photos of the woman and then e-mailed them to surrounding fire departments, Local 6's Charnel Wright said.

    Umatilla city Manager Glenn Irby said the woman, who later died, had her privacy rights violated.

    "In passing that information along to others that had nothing to do with the emergency rescue, that becomes to me a moral issue," Irby said. "Distasteful, if you will."

    Shirk wrote a letter to the city manager, admitting that he snapped the photos but said he never meant for them to be derogatory.

    In the letter, Shirk said he takes photos at every major fire and accident scene. He called the photos "invaluable investigative tools" and said they were e-mailed for educational purposes.

    "If it were for training purposes, keeping them in-house would have probably been OK," Irby said.

    Irby also said that Shirk was told his services were not needed when he arrived on the scene and he should have left.

    The chief said he did not realize there was nudity in the e-mailed photos.

    Local 6 News reported that Shirk remains suspended and could lose his job.

    Shirk was not available for comment.

  2. #2
    gwebb1981 is offline Officer First Class
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    I'd have to side with the Fire Chief on this one. Lots of photos are taken of autopsies, accidents, suicides, and fires for learning purposes. Some of them contain naked bodies. They aren't censored because as a fire/police officer the world isn't censored. It's the reality of these jobs. To blank out the nudity, the blood, the guts in learning videos/pictures... it's telling the fire/police officer "You can't handle this". It's blanking out the truth of what they are going to end up seeing out on the field.
    Unless the e-mail was in very bad taste (it makes no mention), I'd be one pissed off Fire Chief.
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  3. #3
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    uh....I would betcha there's more to this than what's mentioned in the article.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    uh....I would betcha there's more to this than what's mentioned in the article.
    no takers on that bet!
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  5. #5
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    k2.rocky is offline Officer First Class
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    If the article has all the facts, I gotta go with the Chief. But......I agree there's probably still more to the story than what was reported.
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  6. #6
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    It sounds a lot like the chief is backpedaling to justify himself...

    That makes me suspect that the pictures don't speak for themselves as being taken for training/documentation. It's still hard to say without being able to look at the pictures, or know who he distributed them to.
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    In all seriousness, I'd probably have to see the pictures myself to make a decision on this one. If the pictures are obviously directed at the woman's breasts or something then it wouldn't look good. However, if the pictures are of the entire scene, body, etc., then I'm sure he meant no harm. Tough call, but as stated earlier, it sounds like there are more details to this story then written...
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    To me, it sounds like the Fire Chief is a pervert and got busted.

  9. #9
    gwebb1981 is offline Officer First Class
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    Click here for photos in question

    http://www.local6.com/slideshow/news...10/detail.html

    http://www.cfnews13.com/News/Local/2...loses_job.html
    You have to click the slideshow to view the photo. Also gives an update to the story.
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  10. #10
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    Granted they were obscured for obvious reasons I didn't see anything special in what they were doing in patient care to warrant those shots specifically. The crash itself, yes.

    That said, it doesn't appear that he's tried to specifically photograph the woman's breasts.
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  11. #11
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    From what I saw, there was no sexual content in those pics - victim was mangled about as badly as her vehicle.
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  12. #12
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Those pictures seem to be what the firechief said they were; simply photos of the scene.

    Somehow, I suspect that the telling line is this one:
    One EMT who saw the pictures was so disgusted, it led to an investigation by police
    Something tells me that WHO that "disgusted EMT" happens to be probably figures strongly in the response. I think you'd almost have to be trying to see the bare breasts in those pictures... and looking for a reason to complain.
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  13. #13
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    He took a lot of pictures of the entire scene the "offending" photo was one of many and were not Specifically of the breasts. I gotta buy into the explanation. However his statement he didn't know the breasts showed is suspicious unless he routinely sends pics without review.


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  14. #14
    RetdOfficer is offline Rookie
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    Hi, new here. The way I see it is that if he passed around the whole set of photos then thats probably not out of line. If only the questionable one was passed then it doesn't point favorably to the ex-Chief. In that case, at a minimum he is guilty of very poor judgment.

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  15. #15
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    looks like somebody is out to get the chief. wonder who toes he stepped on.


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  16. #16
    RetdOfficer is offline Rookie
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    Apparently he stepped on the toes of the family of the deceased.

    Umatilla, FL is a town of 2000+ population. I don't imagine you can keep things under wraps without everyone hearing about it....even moreso if you email them around.

    An official in a town that size should know that more than anybody and he should have realized that this would get back to the family before he hit the send button.

 

 

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