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  1. #1
    Cidp24's Avatar
    Cidp24 is offline Tempus Fugit
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    Firefighters hot over police ploy

    Firefighters hot over police ploy
    By TOM FAHEY
    State House Bureau Chief
    Saturday, Mar. 7, 2009



    CONCORD Firefighter groups said yesterday they don't want a repeat of a Newport incident where police disguised themselves as firefighters to make an arrest.
    Portsmouth Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire said it's important that firefighters always be seen as rescuers, not as threats or adversaries.
    "Not to Monday-morning quarterback," he said, "but when the line gets blurred, it creates a very dangerous situation for us." Police used a fire truck and firemen's outfits Tuesday night to trick Matthew Miller, 34, into leaving his apartment on Sunapee Street so they could arrest him.
    The incident began when Miller allegedly pointed a shotgun at the chest of a lone police officer who responded to a noise complaint. The officer left, and planning to arrest Miller began.
    Police say Miller is a convicted felon and has a history of violent behavior. He was in the apartment with a 1-year-old and a woman, and police said they recovered several weapons at the scene.
    Police use firefighter fake-out to arrest man (57)
    "Police officers dressed as firefighters and using a fire truck entered the building and activated the fire alarm to evacuate residents in a safe manner so as not to bring attention to the pending arrest of Miller," Newport Police Chief David Hoyt said in a news release issued Wednesday.
    Hoyt and Fire Chief Wayne Conroy said they agreed on use of fire gear, but members of three firefighting groups criticized the action.
    They said use of their gear to make arrests puts all firefighters in jeopardy when they respond to fires and rescue situations. They have asked Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and Commissioner of Safety John Barthelmes to convene a meeting to set clear guidelines for the future.
    Portsmouth Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire speaks at yesterday's news conference against the use of police disguised as firefighters to defuse a standoff. (AP)
    David Lang, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, was most critical.
    "The use of the firefighter and paramedic image in this way is inappropriate, should not be condoned and is not negotiable," he said.
    Hoyt defended his decision. Given circumstances, he said, he faced the possibility of a police officer or innocent bystanders being shot or killed. He said Miller was still in jail in lieu of bail yesterday.
    LeClaire, who is president of the Seacoast Chief Fire Officers Association, said he understands the spot Hoyt was in. But he said there is a rising number of incidents nationwide in which firefighters have been shot when responding to emergencies.
    The group also criticized police for pulling a fire alarm to clear the apartment building, but it's not clear an alarm was actually pulled.
    Conroy said no alarm was pulled that night, contradicting a statement in the police news release.
    Chris Christopoulos, president of the New Hampshire Association of Fire Chiefs, said false alarms can "create an attitude among the public that fire alarms are false alarms, and not evacuate a building."
    Conroy said he and Hoyt spent an hour discussing how to handle the situation. He said he, a fire captain and four officers arrived in a fire department car and truck. They went directly to the apartment in question, on the pretext of investigating the smell of gas fumes. He estimated it took 90 seconds from their arrival to the arrest.
    "I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion," Conroy said. "I wish people would make sure they know the whole situation before making a mountain out something small."
    Ayotte said she plans to bring the parties together soon.
    "It's important that we get a common understanding as to what is appropriate," she said. "We should remember that police and firefighters are all focused on protecting people and saving lives."
    Maj. Robert Stafford, assistant director of the Police Standards and Training council, said his agency provides basic training to police, and it is up to individual departments to provide training on responses to situations like the Newport incident.
    Barthelmes said he thinks it's important for all sides to meet and to clear the air.
    "Certainly there are ruses that are used and are valuable," he said. "In this case, it certainly worked with a positive outcome. The discussion has to be about whether that's something that should be embraced in future."
    Guy Newberry, a battalion chief with the Concord Fire Department, said firefighters across the state are smarting about the Newport incident. Firefighters, he said, are in and out of houses, and there has to be an atmosphere of trust between the homeowner and rescue workers.
    "We're not armed; we're no threat to them," he said.
    He said firefighters report any evidence of child abuse they see, but "we'll sometimes turn a blind eye" toward evidence of drug crimes
    I thought it was a pretty inventive tactic.
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  2. #2
    Xiphos's Avatar
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    Firefighters are worried about their job being dangerous?

    As long as this isn't a common tactic they'll be fine. Police have used UPS and pizza delivery drivers as ruses and they aren't being slaughtered because people think they're cops.
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

    That which does not kill me, better start fucking running.

    If I lived every day like it was my last, the body count would be staggering.

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  3. #3
    ex401mp's Avatar
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    THEY ARE MAD ABOUT THAT?

    So fucking what, who gives a shit what they are mad about. Tell them to keep making their calendars and whatever and STFU!
    Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American G.I.
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  4. #4
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    Weed beaters are upset!!!
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  5. #5
    Captain America's Avatar
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    Portsmouth Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire said it's important that firefighters always be seen as rescuers, not as threats or adversaries.
    Chief LeClaire , let me offer you my ass to kiss.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
    -General Omar Bradley, United States Army

    Renniger-Richards-Griswold-Owens

  6. #6
    sweetpea's Avatar
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    LOL , Can't we all get along
    http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f.../ukbluejw2.gif


    "When you feel dog tired at night, it may be because you've growled all day long."

  7. #7
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    Is anybody really surprised to read this?
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  8. #8
    pgg's Avatar
    pgg
    pgg is online now Damnit, I'm hungry again.
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    I've never met a Methhead or a Pothead that didn't see a Firefighter or EMS as a threat. During our lightning complex fires last year firefighters were being shot at by the pot growers.
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud

  9. #9
    Morris is offline Chief Wheaties Pisser
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    It's funny when the wildland fire hose draggers have you work security in the remote areas where the grow ops are . . .

  10. #10
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgg View Post
    During our lightning complex fires last year firefighters were being shot at by the pot growers.
    Over watering the plants is bad ummmkay.


    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
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  11. #11
    Captain America's Avatar
    Captain America is offline Reed and Malloy were my FTOs
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetpea View Post
    LOL , Can't we all get along
    No.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Retdetsgt View Post
    Is anybody really surprised to read this?
    and no.
    I've gone into a burning house before and rescued or attempted to rescue people. I've extinguished several fires before a fireman showed his ass on the scene. I have never seen a fireman stop a violent crime in progress or take a murderer or rapist off the streets. I don't take kindly to Chief Leclaire talking like firefighters are lifesavers and cops are the SS. I would be the first to admit a huge amount of respect for most firefighters and all first responders in general as we our all on the same team , but I am a little sick of BULLSHIT statements like that. Too many LEOs have been injured or killled PROTECTING the public to let that slide.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
    -General Omar Bradley, United States Army

    Renniger-Richards-Griswold-Owens

  12. #12
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is online now Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

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  13. #13
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    You just knew that was coming................
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  14. #14
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    They don't get shot at very often anyway - they stage two blocks away until the police say it's safe.

    Besides, whoever walks into a burning building has a lot more to be worried about than someone taking pot shots at them - And if they're seen as possibly being armed, then they may be LESS likely to get shot at.

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  15. #15
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetpea View Post
    LOL , Can't we all get along
    There goes Rodney King again.


    Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.

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  16. #16
    Jks9199 is online now The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    Firefighters are worried about their job being dangerous?

    As long as this isn't a common tactic they'll be fine. Police have used UPS and pizza delivery drivers as ruses and they aren't being slaughtered because people think they're cops.
    C'mon... the foundation savors have a dangerous job, too. They might trip getting out of bed and or the easy chair... and there's the ever-present danger of repetitive stress injuries from waxing the firetruck.

    (Actually, I must say that in my neck of the woods, we get along well with the fire department.)

    They do have a valid point... but I also think it's a pretty good tactic. Got the guy out of the place without anyone getting hurt. Which is the point, right? And the places that are likely to attack the firefighters probably didn't need this as a reason...
    Voting against incumbents until we get a Congress that does its job.

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  17. #17
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    the places that are likely to attack the firefighters probably didn't need this as a reason...
    Exactly!

    Also, as far as reporting evidence of serious criminal acts or contraban that they see, I would hope that all firefighters would do that anyway - If they don't report it to the police, I think they should be fired.

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  18. #18
    AZInterceptor's Avatar
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    I don't agree with the tactic for a a couple of reasons, with that said, FF's always talk about brotherhood between the public servants, "brotherhood this and brotherhood that" - but then we get this...
    "He said firefighters report any evidence of child abuse they see, but "we'll sometimes turn a blind eye" toward evidence of drug crimes"

    Hey, thanks for the help guys! So much for brotherhood.

  19. #19
    TXPO710's Avatar
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    Hey, just remember that those are the big city, paid chiefs talking. But as a volunteer FF myself I can see the point, I wouldn't want BGs thinking I was armed...oh, wait...I am armed...never mind

    Seriously, I have a lock box in the engine in case I have to go in otherwise I carry. I'm a FF and PD, I'm everybodies hero!!

  20. #20
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXPO710 View Post
    Seriously, I have a lock box in the engine in case I have to go in otherwise I carry. I'm a FF and PD, I'm everybodies hero!!
    I never understood why firefighters can't carry concealed if they're licensed and they have a secure locking holster that won't allow the gun to fall out if it's hit - And since you're LEO, then doubly so.

    If the fire gets hot enough to cook off rounds while the gun is under your coat, I think at that point, your goose would probably be cooked anyway.

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