Thursday, April 2, 2015

If It Bleeds, It Leads

I understand that the news media have a job to do. And in a fairly low-crime city like mine, a lot passes for news that probably wouldn't get mentioned somewhere else. As a result, reporters are constantly out scrounging for something. But I'm really sick of having accident and crime scenes hijacked by reporters, photographers, and video camera operators.

Where the preservation of evidence is critical, we have to be very vigilant about who wanders into the scene. I've learned the hard way that the media will go anywhere they please unless/until you stop them. They'll  tramp all over everything and stick microphones and cameras in your face, and expect you to drop what you're doing and make nice. My standard response to them is to talk to my Sergeant.

The worst was at the scene of a bicycle-car accident. A kid on a bike had been hit broadside by a car going about 40 mph. He was lying, screaming, in the middle of a busy street with each lower leg forming a sideways letter 'L' midway between the knee and ankle. The bones were sticking out and the kid was bleeding all over the street. While trying to simultaneously render first aid, divert traffic, preserve the scene for reconstruction, and get the kid transported to an ER, a local news anchor just strolls right up to me. He explained he had a deadline in the next little while, and would settle for anything I could tell him. I told him to get the fuck up on the sidewalk, or I'd give new meaning to the word "deadline".


Don said...

I am a Volunteer Fireman, I have been on many accident scenes and appreciate what you are talking about.

My beef is cell phones. People in the accident call their friends, family, post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that they have been in an accident, and of course, everyone has to show up to "help". I remember extricating a woman, luckily she wasn't hurt bad, but 17 family members suddenly descended on the accident scene, and were screaming at us because "what is taking so long". Well, we are about to use very dangerous power tools, right next to your family member. We are trying to make sure we don't hurt her, or ourselves in the process. Want to step back out of the way now?

But, I did see, where a police department got carried away, I felt, charging a TV reporter with trespassing on an accident scene because he flew a drone 150' over the accident scene. In the trial transcript, the police officers at the scene all testified it was 150' in the air, so I believe that is accurate. It seemed unreasonable to me. The police officer that called the reporter's employer the next day to complain to them, causing the reporter to get suspended, actually lost his immunity because the Courts felt that was stepping over the line.

Alan Mcc said...

When I was in the Air Force, responded to the grocery store for someone who possibly had a stroke. The ambulance crew and myself were trying to evaluate the patient and customers kept coming up and trying to get the Bacon that was on sale. I know we all love bacon, but this was really pissing me off, so grabbed the portable freezer and shoved it ripping out the electric cord and told them it went that a way. And like a herd of cows, they meandered off.

Arzt4Empfaenger said...

Some people have no tact or are simply selfish... it's enraging!

Anonymous said...

Just yesterday, right outside the entrance to the power plant where I work, a woman was hit and her car slammed driver's side first into an immovable object (power pole). There were people taking pictures. Taking fecking pictures of a grievously wounded individual (I heard later in the day she did not survive).

I keep waiting for the pics to show up on someone's Facebook page.

Some people are unbelievable assholes.