Arrogant cop and pushy firefighter

Ben Longden

Well-known member
Do many of you guys suffer the same fools we do?

Earlier this evening I went to a car v power pole road incident. Normally I would'nt bother, except that it was a 66,000 volt feeder, and the metre wide, 30 metre high concrete pole was ON TOP of the car... and the lines were still live. So it was a story of survival.

I arrived, and was walking up to the scene to look for the police officer in charge, and next thing Im being abused and pushed around by a crusty old firefighter (farmer in overalls) and a young, gung ho cop who is a tad abusive anytime media is present.

Any suggestions apart from having a word with the cops' superior?
A scotch?
Forget it?



Well-known member
Local small town firemen are the worst. They think they know the law and control the scene. It's always seems exclusive to the small town, volunteer departments though. The bigger departments never seem to pose problems.
Fire handles the direct property. The rest of the scene (namely roadblocks and scene contaiment) are usually handled by the police. I usually just ask for the officer in charge of the scene and not even deal with the firemen. I've had firemen yell at me to leave the scene of car accidents after I've been cleared and let through the roadblock by the police. I just tell them to take it up with the officer in charge.
If the officer is abusive however, there's not much you can do except report it to their superiors. That really doesn't help you at that moment though.
There are times though where they're talking from their expert experience and if they have a concern for my personal safety, I'll listen to them. You have to feel out the scene for yourself.


Active member
Avoid 'em like the plague.

I do everything possible to try avoiding the officials when I first arrive on scene. If you have no choice but to approach them, always be polite and friendly. I always address the person by their rank: "How are ya', chief?".

Other than notifiying their supervisor, I can't think of any other solutions.

I'm lucky, the firefighters throughout my market are laid-back and awesome to do business with along with the Sherriff's Office.

Cambot Mk. II

Well-known member
Roll on it and let your ND chew on their bosses.

If these departments don't want the public to see what a good job they're doing saving a civilian, remind them that news coverage of stuff like this keeps them in the public's mind come raise referendum / VFD donation time.

Otherwise, I wouldn't get too upset. It's just not worth fighting 'em.
Fall back, reset the shot out of sight if possible and repeat as necessary.

I always kept my tally light OFF. Any and all spot news I would keep camera rolling as I showed up. Get a cop or firefighter on tape refusing to allow you to do your job and show it to a fire chief or city mayor and explain that they are violating your first amendment rights and you'll have a very quick apology and change in policy.
I got a cop fired for threatening to arrest me & beat me if I shot video another cop being arrested during a car vs cop car where officer on duty was under the influence! I showed the tape to the DA and was assured that I would never see that cop in our market again. I didnt. Your camera is your weapon USE IT! if its not rolling its worthless.

zac love

Well-known member
Local small town firemen are the worst. They think they know the law and control the scene. It's always seems exclusive to the small town, volunteer departments though. The bigger departments never seem to pose problems.
Funny, there have been many times I have run into the exact opposite. I think it all comes down to a department to department policy / mindset.

Rolling on a confrontation will always prove who is right and who is wrong to a judge. But there are many times that it could just not be worth it and rolling on it will piss off a cop and get you in jail on a BS charge. You'll probably get off, but you'll have to deal with the headache.

If you roll and they get pissed because of it, you can try to tell them that if nothing happens it isn't a story and the footage won't air, if you get arrested, it becomes a story and everyone will hear about it. If I thought I there was a medium chance I was going to get cuffed, I would be rolling on everything. If they delete the footage while you're in a cell, then they've destroyed evidence and you're in much better shape.

Honestly the best way to deal with it is always stay calm. Don't act like you're smarter than they are, try to have a conversation and find a resolution that works for everyone.

Remember they have a job to do too, but if they're really being a @&$^%! report it to your ND and then their boss, just be ready to deal with the aftermath.

Ben Longden

Well-known member

The situation had the following.

It was 1am. Country road. 30km to nearest town. 5km to nearest house. No street lighting. Roads closed, so no traffic. Fire truck fitted only with worklights to light the pump control panel. Unmarked Police car with flashing lights OFF. Police officer wearing dark blue, not a reflective vest. Impossible to identify police, patients or lookers on, Scene lit only by power company truck headlight. No moon above horizon.

I inadvertently walk into the Lions Den, looking for the cop in charge, (as they usually have the flashing lights on, and wear a reflective safety vest) and switch on camera light to see where I am going. Then the $*!t hits the fan.

If this was daytime, then different story.. Totally different story.


Ben Longden

Well-known member
Funny thing was his truck was the only thing with headlights on and pointing AT the power lines.

He even grabbed hold of the power line to prove it was off...



Wow... crazy stuff. Glad the guy is OK - he's lucky he was on soft grass instead of hard pavement, or else the story would not have ended so happily...

Gotta give the shooter props for sticking with the action as the unthinkable happened - not everyone would do that, especially an untrained amateur.