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Thread: Cop pulls over volunteer firefighter running lights and siren - FF suing cop

  1. #1
    KaiGywer's Avatar
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    Cop pulls over volunteer firefighter running lights and siren - FF suing cop

    Two adjacent public-safety departments in Dane County are at odds after a firefighter says he was subjected to excessive force by a police officer from a nearby village while trying to respond to a fire call.

    Brooklyn volunteer firefighter Dan Dean, 37, alleges Oregon police officer Ted Gilbertson overreacted when Gilbertson drew his gun and held it near Dean's head during a June traffic stop in the Brooklyn Fire Station parking lot.

    Dean had just sped to the station in his private vehicle after being paged. Gilbertson had begun pursuing him several miles out, apparently in response to an earlier call elsewhere in the county of a motorist possibly impersonating a police officer. Both Dean and Gilbertson were using lights and sirens.


    Departments at odds after cop pulls gun on firefighter during traffic stop



    Thoughts?

    I think if the FF had pulled over, explained who he was and what he was doing, this would have ended a lot better. The cop did nothing wrong in my opinion.
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    Didn't see what either of them saw. But all I'll say is this won't be good for anyone involved.
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    I cannot understand how in this day and age the police and FD's (in some locales anyway) can NOT get a long.

    Not being there for it I obviously can't say with any degree of certainty but it sounds like the firefighter made more of (or most of...or all of) the poor decisions, and has a serious case of butt hurt because someone called him on it.
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    Around here a few years ago, we had a volly firefighter on his way to a rollover. He smoked past a County car at around 100. The county car tried to light him up. The Volly only had a single flashing red gumball up front that apparently the county car did not see. Zero emergency lighting to the rear. He began trying to catch him, but the truck wouldn't stop. The truck screeched to a halt outside the accident scene, and the firefighter juped out and took off running. unfortunately for him, the three county cars "pursuing" were right behind him, tackled him, and he got roughed up in the process. They thought he was trying to foot bail.

    It was a big stink, and the Volly FF claimed he figured the cop must have been going to the accident too, so that's why he was behind him. I dunno about anyone else, but that sounds kinda shaky to me. Around here, most vollies will pull over and let the fully marked cars go first. I wonder if this case was something similar.

    Either way, I'm NOT a fan of every volly FF being allowed to kit out their car with lights. It ain't worth it. I've been called in on emergencies in progress plenty, both on a tac team and on an incident management team, and no matter how vital I am, no matter what skill set I possess or specialized equipment I might have to help make a situation safe, I'm the same as everyone else until I get into a marked car. FF's should be no different, UNLESS they actually shell out the dough to make their emergency lighting as SAFE as possible...that includes wig wags, 360 degree lighting, corner strobes...the works. None of this single flashing light Kojack bullshit.

    That being said, it sounds like both parties got a little hot headed here. If the FF wasn't supposed to go lights and siren, then so be it. I understand tunnel vision, the adrenalin of a pursuit, but if he was told the plate was EMS/FF, and he pulled into a fire station, and the truck had lights on it, and there are other FF's getting on rigs, the cop might need some training in dealing with stress in situations like this. If this was a "high risk" stop, why did he walk up on it? Who knows...could be some tactical training issues at hand too.

    I feel for em both, and hope this cop doesn't get hung out to dry. I'm can't judge him...I wasn't there.
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    If the bit about a Cop Impersonator being in the area is true, then it sounds like the Cop was being sensible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiGywer View Post


    Departments at odds after cop pulls gun on firefighter during traffic stop



    Thoughts?

    I think if the FF had pulled over, explained who he was and what he was doing, this would have ended a lot better. The cop did nothing wrong in my opinion.
    Dunno, wasn't there. Holding a gun near someone's head is a tactical fail regardless of the situation, if true.
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    Playing for both teams, I don't have a problem with vollies running lights or even sirens in their own vehicles...BUT...it needs to be done correctly.

    In MN vol. ff's are allowed only a single 3" in diameter solid burning red lens. Nothing flashing, strobing, etc..no light bars, no sirens.


    I think if vollies want to run red lights/siren they need to take a state approved course on applicable laws, with a an emergency driving test at the end. Their vehicle needs to have (as it was mentioned earlier) 360 degree emergency lighting, that meets whatever NHTSA or NFPA lighting standard. And finally, their siren MUST be in use when the lights are in use.

    Once their vehicle is properly lit, AND they've received some legitimate training, I don't see a problem with it. And if they ever step on their dick and screw up, their permit and lights get yanked.
    121Traffic likes this.
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  8. #8
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    Most of our fire companies don't allow blue lights for safety reasons.

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  9. #9
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    I read an article that says the officer's department is behind him 100%. That's a good thing.

    Probably not the best thing to walk up on a high risk stop, but I wasn't there.

    I don't know the laws in that state regarding voly FF's. I know that in PA where I grew up, Virginia, and here in Colorado, volunteers going to the station cannot violate any traffic laws. Only authorized emergency vehicles (police, ambulance, and fire trucks) can, so the volunteer would be in the wrong. And to be honest, if a voly pulled what that guy pulled, someone who should know the laws regarding driving to the station, then I'd be cautious with the stop as well.
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  10. #10
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    No A&W for either.

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    I have had a volunteer fireman do exactly this. They were doing 100 mph and wouldn't let me pass... and they had only a single red light in front. This is in violation of their own policy and state law. I addressed it later with admin and their FD. We have had a lot of incidents like this with Volly's thinking they can do what they want. Many of the local volly FD's no longer allow their members to have red lights. Since then, it has gotten a lot better and we rarely have an incident. Also this fixed the problem of all the Vollys showing up with personal vehicles to crash scenes and congesting the crap out of the already cluster fucked roadway.

  12. #12
    Jks9199 is online now The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Here's the big problem I have with it (apart from the guys with non-standard & incomplete equipment driving like loons...): Ain't most of a firefighter's necessary gear kept at, oh -- THE FIRESTATION? And ain't most of the gear they need on THE FIRETRUCK? Why the hell drive like a crazy person to get to the scene, HOPING the one guy assigned to get to the station does his job?
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    My gear sometimes comes home with me, so that I can respond from home in the event of a structure fire.

    Otherwise, yes, my gear is at the station.
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  14. #14
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    There's a lot of variables in that Jks.

    My department has a bus. Yes, a bus. All of our gear is in lockers on the bus. The bus brings all of the gear to the scene so not everyone has to go to the station. It's necessary and convenient due to our geography. We have lots of north/south roads, but not many east west roads in our first due. As the crow flies, it may take 5 minutes to get to the station for some guys. But due to the roads and geography, it could take 15 mins or more.

    Also, it may not be necessary if it's just a medical. Lots of guys carry bags in their vehicles for medicals.

    The guy going straight to the scene may be an officer who needs to get a size up or additional equipment or personnel called asap. Or he may not be responsible for getting trucks because he's an officer.

    The guy may be a dedicated pump operator and doesn't need gear because he won't be leaving the truck once it gets on scene. This is probably unlikely because the engineer is typically responsible for the WHOLE truck..not just the pump. That includes getting it from point A to point B.

    The dept. may have a vehicle solely for getting equipment to the scene like my dept. does and it isn't necessary to go to the station.

    The guy may be carrying his gear with him like Mac mentioned.

    And finally, the guy going straight to the scene may just be a whack job volunteer firefighter who is screaming there in his own vehicle because he wants some glory before anyone else gets a crack at it.

    Those are just a couple ideas that come to my mind, but I'm sure there are more reasonable explanations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    Here's the big problem I have with it (apart from the guys with non-standard & incomplete equipment driving like loons...): Ain't most of a firefighter's necessary gear kept at, oh -- THE FIRESTATION? And ain't most of the gear they need on THE FIRETRUCK? Why the hell drive like a crazy person to get to the scene, HOPING the one guy assigned to get to the station does his job?
    Its funny, we had a small forest fire last week and several fire fighters showed up in personal vehicles. After about 10 minutes of watching it, and only one fire truck showing up, the rest had to get back in their vehicles to get the rest of the fire trucks cause they were out of water. I got to listen to the whole thing on the radio. Another officer on scene told a couple of the firefighters running to the fire on foot after parking their vehicles they should probably get a fire truck. He said it was even funnier when they came running back to their vehicle to go back to the station to get the fire trucks a few minutes later.

 

 

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