Firefighters will do whatever it takes to fight a fire

Hosed carHosed carThe other day, I ran a photo from Mt. Ida Road in Dorchester showing what can happen when you park in front of a hydrant. Turns out it was for a fire on the second floor of a three decker at 36 Mt. Ida that was declared out about a half hour after firefighters arrived around 1:36 a.m.

Steve MacDonald, spokesman for the Boston Fire Department, explains why firefighters might have run the hose right through the car. He emphasized he was not at the scene and had yet to talk to any firefighters who were, so he had no firsthand knowledge of the specific incident:

When we have a call for a fire, the minimum response will be two ladders, a rescue unit, a chief and three engines. It is the responsibility for each engine to get their own water source/hydrant. This will make sure that we get a supply quickly once the water in the engine tanks run out. They carry 500 or 750 gallons. It is preferable to use the short front suction hose pre-attached to the engine to hook up to the hydrant. This requires the engine to nose in to a hydrant. If no access is available that way, the following happens.

Each engine has an officer and three firefighters. On arrival the officer and one firefighter grab the hose with a nozzle attached (we call it a pipe) and head in. The driver, what we call the pump operator, will break the hose connection once the officer and pipe man are inside and call for water. He will hook it up to the side of the engine to one of several connections, open the valve and give them water. The third firefighter meanwhile has been taking the large 4" feeder hose with a very large valve on it to the hydrant and has been connecting that. In theory, he will get the engine the hydrant water before the firefighters inside go thru the tank. He will then join the other two inside.

When you have fire showing from an occupied home, you do what you have to-to save lives. I know is sounds cliché but keep in mind, the firefighters in those first couple of minutes do not know how many people are inside or what exactly the scale of the inside fire is. A three-decker at 1:30 am tells you people are most likely sleeping and in danger. I cannot speak to what happened on Mt. Ida Rd. as to the thought process involved with the placement of the feeder hose. Ultimately, it was the size up the firefighters made in a split second based on what they saw, what they were told and experience.



    Free tagging: 


    Is There Even a Controversy?

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    The reason not to park in front of a hydrant isn't "because I'll get a ticket" or "because I might get towed." The reason not to park in front of a hydrant is BECAUSE IT PROVIDES WATER TO PUT OUT A FIRE. They could have parked the fire engine right on top of this car and I'd still be ok with it.

    The hose goes from hydrant to truck

    There are limited options for getting that hose onto the truck (which could not get to the hydrant more directly) and maintain a minimum of kinking.
    I doubt they "wasted time breaking windows" unless they needed to. Anybody who has ever worked with or around hydraulics knows the limits of hoses and connections.

    I look at that photo and I

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    I look at that photo and I see a far more direct option than to go loopdeeloop, up, down, and a 90 degree turn.

    When they were looking to

    When they were looking to make the connection, they wouldn't have known until they made it that it was going to do that. It looks like they brought too much house through the car, causing it to loop instead of going straight up and through the window. And once they got it going, they're not going to stop, nor can they reverse the damage anyways.

    At any rate; law should require all windows be smashed + a fine.

    plus a tow.

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    Thanks for the armchair firefighting pierce! When moms basement is burning down around you, I bet you'd change your tune of wanting them to stop and debate the best possible way to hook up a hose.

    explain that to the insurance company

    I'm going to send this to my niece's fiancee, who is an insurance adjuster, and see if this is what he would consider to be a covered event.

    "Um ... you parked by a fire hydrant overnight ... and there was a fire ... and the firefighters busted your windows to run a hose ... oh, and there's water damage, too? Are you covered? Hold on ..."

    oh, a living in your mom's

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    oh, a living in your mom's basement joke... good one!

    The firefighter walking the hose end over to the hydrant would basically have the same view as that photo. Now he has a choice. He could walk to the other side of the car, knock out the window, feed the hose into it, feed extra slack in, walk around to the other side, break that window, fish the hose out, tug out the slack, make the connection, then head into the house to help his colleagues put out the fire. OR he could walk straight to the hydrant and hook it up and be in the house fighting to save me and my video games (or comic books? blow up doll? you tell me, you're the comedian here)

    I'm not defending this car's parking spot-- I've been known to make and post homemade "TICKET ME" placards for cars parked in front of hydrants or crosswalks on my street. Make it a $500 fine or mandatory loss of license for all I care. Let firefighters carry a boot to stick on it before they leave.

    And I'm not say I'm a firefighting expert, but this photo raises question of priority for many who look at it. And the one firefighting expert who has weighed in on this photo has completely dodged the question of whether this was appropriate or not.


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    You can't hook up that size hose at a right angle. as soon as you turn on the water, it's going to kink and you'll have no water pressure.

    If you look at the picture, even going through the car is causing a slight kink that's going to limit water pressure, even with the better angle.

    There's a reason they did what they did dickpickle.



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    And you know this because .... you design hoses and couplings for a living?

    And even assuming your are the High Priest of Hose, I don't see how having the hose turn 90 degrees up to go into the window is any different than turning 90 degrees to the right to snake around the front of the car (as Mr. JerkinGherkin has so ably photoshopped the fantasy of). Looking at that photo the path of least kinkiness would probably be going under the car - which I'm sure would be a big pain in the ass (why couldn't this idiot just park properly?).

    And all of this is sort of why I think none of us can really say what the reality was or the specifics of how this all works if 1/ we weren't there and 2/ we're not firefighters. Unless of course you are a firefighter and/or an expert on their hoses.

    Another pickle to pick...

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    One other bit, given the difficulty of getting the hose hooked up in such tight quarters, I would guess that in addition to the windows, the side of that car is not looking so hot (which seems pretty reasonable).

    hydraulics 101...

    OK, I see no problem with running the hose the way they did. In the old days hydrants could run 40-50 psi. Since the MWRA fixed many of the leaks, the pressure is way up. I've seen hydrants that were as high as 90 lbs. (You can tell by the inlet pressure gauge on the pump panel.) Still, any bend with a small diameter will kink the hose and cause the pump to starve for water, especially if the tank has been emptied and you are running on hydrant only.

    The real problem with parking on a hydrant is the kink that will form in the feeder. So, nice big loop-de-loop.

    Sounds pretty reasonable to

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    Sounds pretty reasonable to me--if there was any doubt that there were people inside the building, why would you ever second-guess a firefighter who knocks out the windows of the asshole with no regard for traffic regulations or the personal safety of dozens of people?

    Who exactly is outraged about this? Do you also advocate passing school buses that have their red lights flashing, and accelerating toward crosswalks? This dude is blatantly parked directly in front of the hydrant; if parking enforcement in the city were anything like what it's supposed to be, he should have been towed hours earlier, and been written a $100 ticket for his troubles.

    Can we change the law?

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    If anyone finds you parked in front of a hydrant, then they should be allowed to bust out your front know, just in case a fire breaks out. That way the firefighters aren't slowed down by the necessity of breaking the glass themselves.

    I do find it funny

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    Because the people most PO'd about this are probably the same ones that think it's totally find to space save, and "Mess yo shit up" if you remove their space saver.

    It's always about their own entitlement.

    My vote is in

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    You got my vote for that. I used to do like a junnior firefighting program, and trying to get a 2" hose around corners in staircases is hard enough, let alone trying to get a 4" house around a car.

    I agree! While the rest of us

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    I agree! While the rest of us obey the laws these creeps get away with this kind of stuff! I think the saddest part is that whichever poor insurance company that actually insures this donkey is going to have to cover this loss! The city should in NO WAY pay/reimburse this scumbag!!! This is the kind of stupidity that can cost lives!

    not surprised at all

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    My ex-gf lives on East Street in Dorchester, which is a narrow-ish (one driving lane, one parking lane) street from Adams & Meetinghouse Hill down to Dot Ave. The fire trucks semi-regularly clip even legally parked vehicles as they barrel down the hill. Eventually the city pays up, maybe a year later.

    And on a related point, the neighborhood folks have long wanted to have speed bumps put on East Street or its direction reversed, since everyone and their brother uses it as a shortcut to Dot Ave and its perilous to the kids on the street. But that can't be done - BFD wants the direct, unfettered access to Dot Ave from the station on Meetinghouse Hill.

    Just facts of life.

    I think this saga is similar to if you parked in someone's HP space in front of their house. If your windows were smashed would you be outraged at the excessive punishment? Sure? But surprised? Hell no.

    Sorta guilty as charged

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    I regularly use it as a shortcut to Dot Ave, but I drive 25 (if even) since it's a block long and it's a narrow residential street with a childcare on it.

    There's nothing illegal about using streets to get places, but I definitely feel for people who have cars speeding down their residential street. Maybe the cops should start actually ticketing people for speeding, flying around corners, honking and revving the engine at people in front of them who are using appropriate speeds on residential streets, etc.

    The question is, was this the

    The question is, was this the best way to get from the hydrant to the truck? And the 'response' didn't answer the question.


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    I won't get into whether it was practically needed or not to get the hose to where it needed to go as I'm not up on my hose and firefighting techniques, but if it wasn't really necessary, then I do think it's a bit of a douchebag move on the part of firefighters. Obviously the idiot parking his ass overnight at a hydrant is a far greater douchebag as he puts everyone at risk for his own convenience. I don't feel bad that his windows are smashed in.

    But to take an example from some earlier post here, should school bus drivers be deputized to shoot at cars that pass them when they're picking up/dropping off kids? Those people are also breaking laws that endanger children ferchrissakes. And those assholes running red lights -- I think pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers starting to go on their green should be able to hurl cinderblocks at them.

    Most laws have prescriptive punishments attached to them, usually mediated by a judge of some sort. Cops don't decide (or they shouldn't) to beat the fuck out of some guy who's accused of spousal abuse in retribution for what he's done. It's up to a judge after a jury finds this person guilty or not. Firefighters put their lives on the line and for that they have the respect and admiration of many in society and they get some pretty good contracts (although that has less to do with community respect and more to do with their unions, which, ironically, "jake-loving" members of society tend to detest). I don't think that gives them free reign to enact punishment for what they view as infractions of laws that pertain to them (which this one clearly is). If in the process of having to fight a fire they need to do damage to a car illegally parked in front of a hydrant in order to do their job, so be it, but the attitudes of folks here go way beyond that.

    I'm really tired of this weird culture of firefighter worship that pops up now and again, especially after 9-11. It dovetails a bit with the "support our troops" mania, although that makes more sense to me in cases where you have family members in the service. Some people seem to get all rabid about showing their vehement and violent support of firefighters and armed service personnel as a way of gaining some sort of moral high ground. They're untouchable because they're defending these paragons of selfless virtue, by jingo! (And at the same time let's rant about public servants being the leeches of the world, enabled by satanic unions.) I show my support for these people by supporting Veterans issues, advocating for good contracts for first responders and following the laws that help make their jobs easier and safer. For people who need to get on a soapbox to support them, chances are they're doing it for additional reasons that have little to do with firefighters.

    Bad behavior by a citizen

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    Bad behavior by a citizen does not excuse childish and unprofessional behavior by presumed adult professionals.


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    Agree. With the caveat that if it was necessary to do this in order to do their job, have at it. Lives are potentially at stake.

    Of course. And as

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    Of course. And as professionals an on scene supervisor would have documented, in an official record, what needed to be done and why, especially since property damage resulted. That is what professionals do. It's basic accountability (in case someone doesn't snap a photo) and protects you from criticism and claims.

    I suspect that is not what happened here since the dept spokesman didn't refer to any official account. Whether the lack of documentation was to hide who did what or whether it is because the bfd doesn't document anything, it doesn't speak well to thier professionalism.

    Car deserves broken windows AND a fine

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    It's a LAW to not park in front of a fire hydrant. It's also not easy to bend a wide hose around corners while it's carrying water. I sure hope this car's owner doesn't attempt to get money from the city. If they do, I hope the public gets to attend the hearing and have a say.

    Well, then...

    if you're so tired of "this weird culture of firefighter worship" then when your house is on fire, you can call Kim Kardashian or Snooki to come put it out. I've yet to see any similarly penned missives on your exhaustion of their worship.

    When you can be anything you want to be in this little experiment called America, how many of us say "I want to risk my life saving a bunch of fucking strangers from burning buildings" or "I don't get into politics, I just go where I'm sent and hopefully one of my own will have my back when the enemy attacks"? Obviously not as many as there seem to be armchair George Will's.

    I'm the first to admit I've never had the balls or selflessness to be a fireman or a member of the Armed Forces, but I do possess the brains to know enough not to criticize those who do.

    Why not?

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    What about the members of the Armed Forces who rape, torture, or kill civilians of foreign countries in your name and mine? Can you criticize them even though they had the "balls and seflessness" to sign up? I'm guessing you can, so then it's not just the uniform that makes you stand up and salute automatically, right? It's also their behavior...just like anyone else.

    So, then look at the picture again and ask about the behavior of these ballsy, selfless, uncriticizable firemen. That's all I think some people are asking about. If it's entirely possible to access that hydrant in a time-sensitive manner without needing to go through the windows of a car that by all evidence is illegally parked in front of the hydrant...then is their behavior out of line by exacting revenge/retribution/whatever on the car owner just "because they can"? I think that's all anyone's asking...and even those who have asked have always been careful to say that if it was a necessity then by all means they're glad it was done. It doesn't appear that the answer requested was exactly included in the response (partly because the person asked doesn't sound like they have all of the details to draw a proper conclusion on the necessity of putting the hose through the car Backdraft-style).

    To simply look at the picture and go "Of course they did it! They're heroic firemen!" is to excuse those being idolized of all responsibility. "They can do whatever they want, because they're heroes!"? I think not.

    Your'e stretching..

    Where in my post did you see me defending the clearly psychotic behavior of soldiers who commit atrocities? Both wars are ridiculous and insane, but you posit that I am engaged in misguided hero worship based on a uniform. Sorry, not happening.

    I've made my position clear, I don't second guess the actions of firemen when they are fighting a fire, especially from the safety of my computer terminal. Nor do I believe that all of their behavior is excusable. Someone parks there car in front of a hydrant, they're going to get a hose through it, that's the way it is in the big city.

    Your words, not mine

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    I'm the first to admit I've never had the balls or selflessness to be a fireman or a member of the Armed Forces, but I do possess the brains to know enough not to criticize those who do.

    First off, I didn't name a war or wars. But to the point, you would criticize a member of the Armed Forces? I thought you had the brains to know enough not to. That's your sentence, not mine. My point was to show that your absolutist statement about not criticizing firemen or soldiers is absurd and not true. So, now we're just trying to determine where your boundary for criticism of uniformed people exists and how far is it from mine or John-W's.

    I don't second guess the actions of firemen when they are fighting a fire, especially from the safety of my computer terminal.

    Again, another absolutist statement that's ridiculous on its face. If in the process of fighting the fire they steal jewelry from the bedroom, then the next day when it's discovered would you second guess their actions from the safety of your computer terminal? Why is destroying an illegally parked car on the side of your personal boundary for excusable actions when it hasn't been demonstrated to have been a necessity to have done it? Would it have been okay by you for them to bury a fire-axe in the hood of the car too? Shouldn't they have just chopped the doors off since there's still quite a bit of kinking just to get the hose up as high as the windows from the hydrant?

    Some people would like to know if this was necessary or just "because they can" or "because it's just like Backdraft". Their boundary for acceptability wants to be satisified of the necessity of the action. You're far more accepting it seems. Do you worry that you're acceptance and lower boundary threshold for questioning the uniform might lead to abuse of your trust in the system?

    Again, your'e stretching..

    Please cite for me documented instances where fire axes have been buried in car hoods, BFD members have robbed houses or chopped doors off of cars. I'll wait.

    Are all military personnel and first responders above criticism? No.
    In this particular case, do I believe their actions were justified? Yes.
    Do I feel that John W's statement on misguided hero worship regarding the those who serve is also misguided? Yes.

    He totally disregarded the spirit. The spirit of a man or a woman who says "I'm going to choose a career that might kill me". That kind of selflessness and sacrifice should be rewarded and celebrated and never questioned until it has to be- based on the actions of the individual or individuals. Other than that, in this case I call Monday morning quarterbacking with a healthy dose of contempt for people who hold those who serve in high regard.

    Then I had to ask myself: what if it was my car they damaged? My answer to myself is again; you want to park there, you assume the risk. The firefighters did the right thing. And that's and absolutist statement if you want to label me as one.

    I'll leave you to speculate for yourself without having met me what my boundary threshold and my trust in the system is.

    Still not getting it

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    I'm not totally disregarding that "spirit." I'm questioning the people who oh so vehemently defend that spirit to the point of saying that they (first responders) are beyond criticism. I do not criticize people who become first responders or serve in the Armed Services on the basis of their motives for doing so, as I have no clue what their motives are and there are so damned many of them.

    I'm not even questioning the decision to smash out the windows on the car in this case as I was not there, and am not knowledgeable in this at all. I was noting how when people dare to question a fireman's actions a veritable army of folks come out of the woodwork who behave like you've just insulted a family member.

    Given the info we have on the case here it's odd that you say that first responders should not be questioned until they have "to be- based on the actions of the individual or individuals." And yet when people do here, you, with very little info, you say they did the right thing. Presumably you're an expert on these things. Or your respect for the life decisions of these folks is so great, that you really don't care what they do in the process of performing their duties.

    But hey, at least you're not using a 7 year old's expert witness testimony as an argument.

    I can see a future response to a similar situation now

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    Captain to fireman: OK. Don't worry about the raging flames and the fact our truck is already out of water, we must respect this person's car, even though it is ILLEGALLY PARKED and thus blocking access to our hydrant. So let's dilly dally and figure out how we can route this hose to maximize water pressure without direcly running it into the hydrant through the car.

    (several minutes later) Um, what was that sound? Nothing serious, an interior wall just collapsed, seriously injuring three people. But the top brass will be glad we decided not to break the windows on this car.


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    Yup. You got it. That's exactly what we're arguing for here.

    if it was necessary to do this in order to do their job, have at it. Lives are potentially at stake.

    and even those who have asked have always been careful to say that if it was a necessity then by all means they're glad it was done.

    But don't let people's words get in the way of your statements and conclusions about what they want to see happen in the future.

    (Incidentally, last night the fire in East Boston had me driving around in circles to get home as a number of blocks were cordoned off because of hoses running from one street to the next. Those DAMNED firefighters shouldn't be allowed to block off the streets with their damned HOSES! So I snuck over and wiped dog poop under the firetruck door handles.)

    I just asked a 7-year old

    I just showed this picture to a 7 year old and asked what he thought.

    "Getting your car windows broken isn't as worse as a couple people dying. Can be frustrating, though."

    One of the things I wonder looking at the picture is whether the hose is at full pressure. I notice it looks kind of slack by the hydrant.


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    That seems like a lot of effort for this conversation.
    But nice touch-up on that second photo!

    Adobe != CAD

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    Anybody can draw little lines - but those lines have nothing to do with hydraulic design.


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    Now put a minor kink in the top photo and two major kinks in the bottom photo.

    Fire hoses under pressure won't be looking like your photo's.

    That's the question, isn't it

    That's the question: is the hose in the photo under full pressure?

    John W - you are enjoying digging your ditch deeper and deeper. Is the hose in the photo under full pressure?

    It looks to me like it isn't. It looks to me like there's a fold near the hydrant, and that the weight of the water in the hose, once the pressure was dropped, pulled some hose down back out of the car window, making that little loop. It looks to me like if the hose were fully pressurized it could go straight through the car instead, without any kinks.

    But don't let me stop you. You've obviously found your calling in armchair quarterbacking.

    I do agree to some extent - perhaps the firefighters didn't need to bust the windows of this car. Perhaps they could have nudged it out of the way with their bumper instead. But they were there and I wasn't, and they are experts and I'm not. And I'd rather not prove myself morally inferior to a seven year-old.

    How about going underneath the car?

    But then I'm thinking that the hose might get pulled next to one of the tires of the car and it might bend/squeeze off pressure there. (I'm thinking when I try to drag my garden hose around my driveway and becoming mad when the hose can't make the turn around one of my tires).

    Another minor point. In general the driver of the firetruck stays with all the equipment and does not ever go into the house.

    I'm pretty sure

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    that the connectors wouldn't fit under a car. I know nothing about firefighting, except for having washed hoses at a fire station one summer (how do you wash hoses? with a hose, of course), and those connector things are BIG.

    whats going to happen to that

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    whats going to happen to that loopdeeloop under full pressure? It's just going to straighten itself out and have only one minor kink? But somehow when that same "minor kink" changes to horizontal from vertical, it becomes "major" and the a 10 degree turn around the tire is a "major kink" as well?

    you're right though in your last paragraph--neither you nor I are experts. An expert was consulted, and he dodged the question, which leaves you and I open to speculate. I'm not shouting down someone who knows more than me, just bickering with my equal ignorants. Isn't that what the internet is for?

    I'll take an armchair quarterback any day if the alternative is the center snapping to an empty backfield.

    Limp hose

    My cousin's husband, an actual firefighter, thought your renderings of where it should go were amusing. That picture was taken AFTER they disconnected it, when the weight of water pulled it into that loop, not during pressurization. When pressurized, it would go straight through the car.

    There is apparently a limit to the height raise/drop and deviation that main hose will take. He said that second photo is definitely a no go - the bends are too tight. To him, straight through the car (while under pressure) looked like the best bet (with bonus points for karma).


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    If anyone was going to finally step up with expert testimony, it would be Swirly. If her cousin's husband is fine with it, then I guess we can put this tired thread to rest.

    You are welcome to ask people about what they do

    It isn't against the law. Most people are excited to tell you about it.

    I'm sorry if actually asking an actual expert who probably knows what he is looking at violates 27 unwritten "everybody just knows ..." conventions that are peculiar to a particular subregion but assumed to be universal.


    I sent my cousin the picture and her husband commented, so I pointed him here. Firefighters know how to use computers, too ... and they sometimes get bored.

    But, hey, baseless speculation and drawing little lines in photoshop in two-dimensional space when that third dimension might matter are endlessly amusing activities.

    wow you are smarmy..... not

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    wow you are smarmy..... not everyone knows a firefighter. You do, and solved the mystery. Congrats, you win the internet game. What an epitaph that will make.

    "What if it was your sister??"

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    Didn't take long for the "Well the next time your house is on fire..." retort to come out. It's in the same class as "what if it was your sister who was raped, huh??" as far as arguments go.

    I'm not tired of firefighters or the work they do. I'm tired of people who get something (I have no idea what) out of kissing their asses. There are many people who engage in selfless acts of courage and they should be praised and respected. There are as many reasons as to why people go into certain lines of dangerous work as there are people who go into that work -- not all of them are the most noble. Reality is most people who don't have the sack for it will probably bail before long. Those that make a life of it are remarkable. But as Kaz says, not beyond criticism.

    If you really want to see a missive about Kardashian and Snooki worship, I'll just have to disappoint you. I really don't care about them or the people who worship them.

    You're right.

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    You're right. Who do these firefighters think they are!? It's not as if there was an emergency such as a fire! You know, they should have gone door to door to find out who the owner of the car is and then tried to reach him/her on the phone and asked them politely to move their vehicle. These damn government employees have no respect for regular citizens anymore!


    Firefighters are awesome.

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    Hello. Tonight, I'll be playing the role of the token leftist strawman. Every right-wing talking-point about me is true. I think the police are a borderline-criminal syndicate whose only goal is consolidation of power in their own jurisdiction, at the expense of everyone but particularly of the minorities they walk on top of to get where they want to go. I think the worship of the military is sick and deranged, and that people sporting "Support the troops" bumper stickers have no idea what it is they think they're supporting, other than a trillion-dollar industry that funnels wealth back into contractor pockets while also preying on the lower-class men who make up the ranks of the military.

    I say this main to establish my credibility as an anti-authoritarian windbag, so that this next bit will resonate:

    You know what? I think fire fighters are fucking awesome. They charge into burning buildings at extreme risk to their personal safety to protect people and pets. They will rescue things from the tops of tall objects. They constantly downplay the risks associated with their profession. And this is literally the first and only accusation of 'abuse of power' I have ever seen levied against firefighters, anywhere, for any reason. If we actually want to go out and worship at the altar of some public service position, I'd say it should be firefighters.

    logical fallacy

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    Bad Analogy

    should school bus drivers be deputized to shoot at cars that pass them when they're picking up/dropping off kids? Those people are also breaking laws that endanger children ferchrissakes.

    Ok then....

    How so?

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    I'd say the hurling cinderblocks at red light runners scenario is a bad analogy, but school bus drivers, like firefighters are trying to do a job and public safety depends on them. Ok, maybe the gun part is wrong, if we assume that the firefighters had no choice but to smash through the windows in order to respond to the conditions as they knew them at that time.

    But if they could have performed their jobs without risk to themselves or others and left the car intact, then the window smashing was them administering a little street justice to a douchebag who parked in front of a hydrant. Not much different than if a school bus driver chucked a rock out the window of his bus at an illegally passing car.

    Man, this is a tedious argument. I'm boring myself (yeah yeah, you too). How the hell do Brett, Swirly and others keep these things going for hundreds of posts...?

    Chucking a rock could physically hurt a human being

    That's a crucial difference, no? Though I agree that "street justice"- if that's indeed any part of what this was- would not only be wrong but a waste of crucial firefighting time and effort.

    As to another of your points above, I think there are just as many people around here who seem to have an irrational hatred of firefighters (and police, to be sure) as like to go around "kissing their asses", as you say. Don't believe me? Spend some time on either or I really don't see much post-9/11 hero worship attached to firefighters around here, doubtless for a variety of reasons.

    UHub denizens

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    At this risk of sounding like a suck-up, I wouldn't lump UHubbers with the critters on the comment boards of or >shudder< the Herald. Even the people here I disagree with the most tend to at least have halfway decent arguments and a sense of humor. I don't see too many people here having an irrational hatred of folks in uniform (of whatever sort), nor does there seem to be a particularly strong jingo contingent (just don't get into videotaping cops). I don't get the sense that anyone questioning this firehose instance is thinking firemen are as a rule a bunch of bully-boys.

    Dipping down into the ooze of or Herald readers and you'll find more conflicting attitudes like 9-11 hero worship and defense of authority at all costs, while at the same time bemoaning the oppression of BIG GOVT and the corrupting satanism of UNIONS.

    People on UHub tend to be more consistent and in touch with reality.

    And soooo better looking.

    Priority List for Firefighting

    1. Human beings
    2. Pets
    3. Property

    At least that's how I see it. Actually, I'd probably even put saving a tree on the sidewalk before saving a delinquent car-owner's windows.

    If even a second of time is saved or the waterflow assisted by going through the windows rather than around, I agree that it's a no-brainer. Probably firefighters do pretty much the same thing every time, as per their training.

    And certainly the person parked in such a way should also get a ticket. Has anybody ever sued the Fire Department for a car "vandalized" in this way? Just curious as to how such a thing would shake out in court.

    You have completely

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    You have completely misunderstood what people are arguing.

    Y'all are missing the basic

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    Y'all are missing the basic point. If it was necessary to smash someone's windows, whether or not they were in the wrong in were they parked, then the Fire Department should have documented the how and why of what they did so they would be accountable for what they did. If the documentation was sufficient then no problem. If not, then an internal investigation would be triggered.

    Obviously none of that happened.

    Whether it's breaking down a door or smashing someone's car windows, the BFD does what it wants and chalks it up to public safety. No reports, no supervisor responsibility, no accountability. It's the tradition of the BFD.

    If the Police or EMS did something like this, there would be reports documenting what they did and why. And if the rational was insufficient, someone would be up on charges. Not so much for BFD.

    This is a perfect example of why the BFD is twenty years behind the police and EMS on the professional scale. The was obviously a gesture. No firefighter or BFD supervisor will be held accountable for it.

    And you know this how?

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    Did you call BFD or the mayors office?

    Or is anon pontificating and just talking out of his ass.

    When it comes to your property

    You want prior approval from city hall before the fire department smashes down your door and breaks any windows, then. Right?

    Put up a sign to that effect, now. Copy your insurance company on it, while you are at it.

    What is it...

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    ...about this topic and reading comprehension?

    There was nothing said in that post about prior approval. The concept was AFTER an event where an authority has extraordinary powers to do things that would get you or me arrested, there should be some sort of process so that actions can be reviewed, if it seems warranted. No one wants firefighters to be second guessing their actions in the middle of a life threatening situation. Nor do we want cops hesitating when it might mean their lives (or others) or paramedics not touching someone for fear of a lawsuit. But it's perfectly reasonable for a review of events when there is a question on some of the decisions made in the heat of the moment. That anon was implying that this process doesn't exist for BFD (really? I doubt that, but again, I'm no expert).

    None of us were there. As far as had been divulged, none of us are firefighters or experts in fire hose mechanics. We are all mother's cellar-dwelling, authority-hating, anus-talking, Mountain Dew-sucking armchair quarterback-cum-"liberal strawmen" daring to question the moral supremacy of decisions made by those who are so noble we are not worthy to lick away the shit off their shoes and deserve to die in conflagrations of bile-ridden ire.

    You park in front of fire hydrants, you take your chances.
    Was it really necessary to do what they did on that night? None of us know. And we never will, apparently.

    Yes, exactly. Thank you. As

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    Yes, exactly. Thank you.

    As far as BFD practice, maybe a journalist in the house could foia any BFD records associated with the property damage shown in the photo. Or for the rules and procedures governing such circumstances.

    Sorry men, you can't fight the fire until you first fill out

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    these 26 forms, and then take 86 photos from every angle (with circles and arrows on the back explaining what each one is a photo of) because some paranoid overpaid lawyer is unclear on the concept that you need water to put out the fire, that you need to use a hydrant to get said water, and that water flows most efficently in a straight line with no kinks in the hose.

    After all, everybody knows that wasting time and money to maintain "transparency" is more important than spending that time and money actually doing the job we are being paid to do.

    Just like television?

    The television series Rescue Me, about NYC firefighters, showed a scene like that a few years ago. I recall vividly Dennis Leary happily smashing through a car to get to a hydrant. A later scene showed the car full of water from the hose.

    I'm not saying BFD was copying that, but it's a possibility.

    My first thought was that the smash and bend and feed was much less efficient than just going around the car.

    But I wasn't there, and I don't know what the BFD guys thought.

    Missing The Bigger Picture

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    This thread is, I mean. In the full shot, as shown on the previous post concerning this action...


    ... it is as plain as the nose on John-W's face that the fire truck is going the wrong way on a one-way street! I demand action be taken against the reckless driving done by these firemen!


    P.S. Definition of JOKE

    1 a : something said or done to provoke laughter; especially : a brief oral narrative with a climactic humorous twist b (1) : the humorous or ridiculous element in something (2) : an instance of jesting

    my nose...

    By on not's .... fancy.

    But first...

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    ...please fill out these release waivers, document with photos, donate to the fireman's relief fund and smash out the windows of any cars near you.

    and don't bogart.