Technology today has its eyes on everyone and everything, and it can be sent around the world in an instant, and there is nearly no stopping it.
I tell my guys that as soon as the bay doors open someone’s watching. Not only are they watching, but our words and actions are being recorded. From the traffic camera on the corner, to the stores’ close circuit video cameras, to the on scene spectators with their phones, we are on film.
There are other sources of filming that we experience once we arrive on scene, such as the police dash cams and professional news crews that capture our every move.
It is human nature to want to see what is happening around them, and now they have the availability of filming it and then instantly sharing their vision with their social media friends around the world.
What Does This Mean For You and Me?
It means that we should perform our duties and tasks like we usually do; with the utmost professionalism. Let’s remembers that our job is to mitigate the emergency. We are there to make things better for the people affected by the incident and protect life and property.
We need to be the constant professionals in what we do and say while on scene. Our job is not an exact science. Curveballs and changing conditions are constantly coming our way and we need to handle these in a timely and professional manner. To quote the US Marines, “We must improvise, adapt, and overcome,” these changing conditions by keeping our composure and doing our job safely.
Our society is always looking for the next video that can go viral.
We as firefighters strive to the best job that we possibly can while operating at an incident. No one wants to look bad in the eyes of the public, let alone while being captured on video.
If something on the incident scene goes wrong, take a deep breathe and react to it like you knew that it was going to happen. A camera is just waiting to capture the moment that we loose our cool and flip out. There is a time and place for those emotions, and on scene is no the place to exhibit them.
Remain cool, calm, and collected to handle the situation.
Upon returning to the station make it a teaching point on how the situation could have possibly been prevented to all the members that were involved. If it’s a personnel issue follow your protocol for teaching the individual or members that did not know how to accomplish the task properly.
If it’s a problem with a member that is unwilling to properly do the job, handle that issue according to your department’s protocol for education and discipline.
We all are part of the team of professional firefighters. We are each “our brother’s keeper.” Look out for one anther and look out for the video cam that looking at you.
What experiences have you had with your crew being filmed while operating at an incident?
Cover and Feature Photos Courtesy: www.northjerseyfireimages.com