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  1. #1
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    Public perception: Police vs. Fire

    I have an interesting experience. And maybe I am just reading into the situation a little too much. Here it is: I'm at the first day of class and the professor wants everybody to say why they're taking the class and what job/profession they are working towards. My turn comes and I say I want to go into law enforcement. Professor: No comment.
    The next student say he wants to be a firefighter.
    Professor: Oh! good. We need all of those we can get.
    What! I am not discounting firefighters, but maybe just a little acknowledgment for the Police. This probably was not an intentional exclusion by the professor; I happen to know he is a Army special ops vet. That is why I think that people in general have a subcontious disregard for law inforcement.

    Do you guys have any thoughts on this? If not that's okay.

  2. #2
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    No, more like people have a subconscious disregard for law enforcement because when you're a kid and the cops keep coming to your house to arrest daddy after he beats up mommy it leaves a lasting impression. Firefighters only show up to help you, and they don't/can't arrest anybody.
    If it wasn't for STUPID PEOPLE I'd be unemployed.

  3. #3
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    Everybody loves the damn fireman!

    I don't think that we will ever be able to gain as much love from the public as the firemen do. Think about it... A fireman only has contact with someone to help them, ie... put out the fire that is destroying their home, give first aid, etc.

    Police on the other hand, well we arrest Dad after he whoops on Mom, we give tickets, we make death notifications etc... the list goes on and on. People don't share the high points in the life with us, only the lowest.

    And another thing... who is always first in a parade? Thats right, the big red $250K fire trucks. What does the police get to do during the parade? Hold up traffic which makes little billy late for soccer practice.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHoek
    I don't think that we will ever be able to gain as much love from the public as the firemen do. Think about it... A fireman only has contact with someone to help them, ie... put out the fire that is destroying their home, give first aid, etc.

    Police on the other hand, well we arrest Dad after he whoops on Mom, we give tickets, we make death notifications etc... the list goes on and on. People don't share the high points in the life with us, only the lowest.

    And another thing... who is always first in a parade? Thats right, the big red $250K fire trucks. What does the police get to do during the parade? Hold up traffic which makes little billy late for soccer practice.
    Which is one of the reasons I was cross-certified as a firefighter up in NJ. I got to ride "the big red $250K trucks" in the parade rather than directing traffic. Besides, there's no rush like being inside a burning building with just your partner and a hose line.
    If it wasn't for STUPID PEOPLE I'd be unemployed.

  5. #5
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    What do Cops and Firefighters have in common? A:They both want to be firefighters

    That is a joke that you hear in Phx.

    Fire/EMS is always more popular because when is the last time you saw a firefighter arrest someone (I am not counting arson investagators who are sworn, because who can protest an arson arrest?)?

    Like was already mentioned, no one likes PD until the **** hits the fan and they need help. In Phx, there is a good realtionship between the two, and several firefighters are married to cops, and that never hurts...

  6. #6
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    I would really love to be a fireman so that I could drive the big red truck. But then I get to thinking...

    That fire seems pretty hot
    or
    that old lady with a GI bleed is pretty nasty.

    No thanks.

    If I didn't have to go to fires or medicals, sign me up!!

  7. #7
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    Get into volunteer firefighting. I have been a cop since 99 and a vol. firefighter since 97. The best of both worlds.

  8. #8
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    PD is a better gig then Fire

    Okay, I am sure that several of you have had the sheer joy of getting turned out and throwing your pack to fight an offensive fire in the summer, but that pretty much sucks.. I thought long and hard about the career choice, and I want LE because it is a better gig. Here in Phx, 80% of calls are EMS calls, so you rarely get fires. That statistic is pretty common for big cities.

    Also, you don't use your noodle too much unless you have your patch and you get to play with the ALS toys. Another aspect is that it takes years off your life going from a dead sleep to being woken up like that. I am a big fan of uninterrupted sleep, so I am way out.

    Both are great careers, just depends on what you like. Oh yah, fire also rarely has to worry about what side of town they are on. Everyone loves fire.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, I have a high regard for firemen and the danger they face when fighting an ACTUAL FIRE, not a car accident or minor thing that we law enforcement personnel handle BUT when was the last time someone dimed out a fireman after a house fire or checked his 'boots' on the way out of the fire $$$. SOrry I had to say that.
    If ya want to be popular be a fireman if ya wanna do good and really help people and take the scuzzbags off the street, be a cop...
    Still the Greatest job in the world...
    I got nothing for now

  10. #10
    The Man
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    Why don't firemen look out of the window in the morning?




    Because they need something to do in the afternoon.
    Guns don't kill people. Chuck Norris kills People.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Washingtonian
    Why don't firemen look out of the window in the morning?




    Because they need something to do in the afternoon.
    NICE :-)
    I got nothing for now

  12. #12
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    The reasons I think are this
    1. Police can lock up family, friends, wrong doers.
    2. Fireman save people from fires.

    The general perception of the public see Police Officers as people who can lock up and hurt people. They see fireman as life saves. How often do you see in the paper a fireman locking up someone (obviously the person he is locking up has a family) and/or he has injuries. How often do you see fireman in the paper portrayed as heroes vs the Police Officer. Fireman can do no wrong, where as the Police do seldom right.
    live everyday as if it your last...because one day it will be

  13. #13
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    Oh well. At least I don't want to go into law enforcement to be popular. I've always felt anyway, and this is kind of odd, that you can tell when you're doing something right based on the level of opposition to it.

  14. #14
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    They're both jobs worthy of a lot of respect. But I think a police officer job is much more difficult, and has a LOT more burnout. We just deal with exponentially more BS, and everybody loves the firefighters. Not that their job is all glory either, the majority of their calls are aid calls to help somebody that is too "large" to lift themselves off of the toilet, or something like that... There are a few towns out there that have public safety officers cross-trained in police/fire/ems. I think that would be a lot of fun.
    Guns don't kill people. Chuck Norris kills People.

  15. #15
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    This may sound like an odd notion but think it through... people hold firefighters in higher regard than law enforcement because of the media and Hollywood.

    When was the last time you saw local media slamming the smoke-eaters? Nope, they're always coming to the rescue, saving foundations and washing away evidence with high pressure hoses. You see, it's good and sensational to have heroic firefighters. Hollywood agrees... Have you ever seen a firefighter on the big screen playing the villian? Not likely!!

    Cops, however, are often portrayed by the media in a negative light. How many movies have you seen where the cop ended up being dirty or violent or ????

    Now, why is this? Well, media have a love/hate relationship with police because we don't always give them ready access to everything we know. We know the reasons why (and so do they) but that doesn't help.

    Smoke-eaters, however, will always cooperate with media and give them whatever they want. There are no issues of privacy or integrity of investigations for firefighters.

    Why does Hollywood hate cops? Take a look at Hollywood and how messed up they are... should we be surprised they don't like law enforcement?

    -Mac

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac
    Have you ever seen a firefighter on the big screen playing the villian? Not likely!! -Mac
    You obviously haven't seen "Backdraft."
    If it wasn't for STUPID PEOPLE I'd be unemployed.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Washingtonian
    They're both jobs worthy of a lot of respect. But I think a police officer job is much more difficult, and has a LOT more burnout. We just deal with exponentially more BS, and everybody loves the firefighters. Not that their job is all glory either, the majority of their calls are aid calls to help somebody that is too "large" to lift themselves off of the toilet, or something like that... There are a few towns out there that have public safety officers cross-trained in police/fire/ems. I think that would be a lot of fun.
    In some states (like New Jersey) the firefighters are just that - FIREFIGHTERS. There may be a few cross-trained as E.M.T.s, but the job of the fire departments in NJ is to fight fires, NOT go to medical calls. They have "Rescue Squads" for that in NJ. In NJ, if you need a cop - call the police. If you have a fire - call the fire department. If you get hurt - call the rescue squad. I kinda like their method.
    If it wasn't for STUPID PEOPLE I'd be unemployed.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWATcop
    You obviously haven't seen "Backdraft."

    That would never happen in real life though, firemen care!

    TGY
    Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The views expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer [This sig stolen from Brickcop who stole it from Frank Booth].

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by That Guy
    That would never happen in real life though, firemen care!

    TGY
    Not true. An arson investigator was responsible for setting quite a few fires several years ago. I can't think of the guy's name off the top of my head, but there are bad apples in every profession.
    If it wasn't for STUPID PEOPLE I'd be unemployed.

  20. #20
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    I think TG was being sarcastic. But you're absolutely right, SWAT. There are a LOT of instances where volunteer (usually) firefighters will set fires so that they can go play fireman and put them out. Plus, if you were a pyro, what profession would be most attractive to you?
    Guns don't kill people. Chuck Norris kills People.

  21. #21
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    When was the last time you saw local media slamming the smoke-eaters?
    Ok, my view on this topic. First I'll address the above quote. Try a couple of years ago in Chicago when all those people died at the county federal building fire downtown. The CFD got ripped apart for that one! I'll tell you first hand. I enjoy being a fire-medic as far as running calls. That's about it! I don't enjoy 24 hours of bulls***. Cops get to work 8-12 hours & go home. Have a bad day? Go home in a short time. Have a bad day at the FD, your stuck until tomorrow (sometimes more if you're on a 48!). A lot of times, you're a glorified janitor. When was the last time a cop had to scrub a toilet & mop a floor (with the exception of his/her own house)? You also have a ton of egos in the fire service. These "heroes" always want to save the world & be in charge. They have an answer for everything. Yes the public likes firemen in general but the local drunk don't care. Put him in the ambulance & the fire-medics are A**holes just like the police. Lately, I wish I had become a full time cop when I was younger instead of a full time fireman. Yeah, the public views police differently but you know that when you accept the job. I get a taste of "police" when I work my Security gig at the hospital. To be honest, I like it better there but I get paid too well at the FD. I'm lucky I get to do what I do at my jobs. My point to all this? The fire service isn't any better/worse than LE. The grass ain't always greener on the other side.
    That's right, bring me my royal coffee!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWATcop
    In some states (like New Jersey) the firefighters are just that - FIREFIGHTERS. There may be a few cross-trained as E.M.T.s, but the job of the fire departments in NJ is to fight fires, NOT go to medical calls.
    The problem for fire departments is that all their fire prevention programs from the 60's-80's worked like a charm. For the most part, there are hardly anymore big fires. Drunks that pass out with food on the stove is a big deal to them now, and even that hardly ever spreads to something big, thanks to smoke detectors.

    The FD in my city goes to every single call where there is a hint of something medical going on, because they literally have nothing else to do. And, once they're dispatched, there is nothing on heaven or earth that will stop them. Even if a call like an MVA is totally unfounded, the FD traveling circus will still charge through rush hour, full speed. I've lost count of how many crashes they've either caused or been involved in, while racing to a call where they're not needed.
    Talk sense to a fool, and he will call you foolish - Euripides

  23. #23
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    I've lost count of how many crashes they've either caused or been involved in, while racing to a call where they're not needed.
    I took in a county deputy last year when he rolled his squad car going to a call for an unfounded MVC. When we got there, he was the MVC. Police drive crazy to calls just like firemen. I believe it's individual cases of someone's bad driving to calls, not weather someone is a police officer or firefighter.
    That's right, bring me my royal coffee!

  24. #24
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    My FTO was from Long Beach, California home of Jesse James.

    He was telling me about the police and firefighters were in collective bargaining against each other. The firefighters put up a billboard that said "We fight fires not people". There was a picture of a firefighter saving a child.

    My second ride along was with Denver PD. He didn't like firefighters because he was in a violent fight for his life and the firefighters on scene were extremely slow in helping him.

    I judge firefighters and everyone else on an individual basis.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Java King
    I took in a county deputy last year when he rolled his squad car going to a call for an unfounded MVC. When we got there, he was the MVC. Police drive crazy to calls just like firemen. I believe it's individual cases of someone's bad driving to calls, not weather someone is a police officer or firefighter.
    That may be the case where you are, but the FD's around here seem to think that lights & siren are akin to Moses parting the Red Sea at intersections. I chalk a lot of this up to inexperience....a cop will run lights & siren more in one night than a fire crew will in a month.

    Not to mention, a 100,000+lb fire truck causes a LOT more damage than a 4000lb Crown Vic when it plows into a civilian vehicle. The last FD vs. civilian accident I had, a Mercury Mountaineer (who had the green light according to a dozen or so witnesses) actually went airborne after getting creamed by a fire engine, and went through the plate-glass window of a Firestone dealership, missing the crowded waiting room by about 25 feet. I still don't know how everyone survived....had there been a passenger in the Mercury, we would have needed a spatula to pick up the pieces.
    Last edited by Delta784; 04-24-2005 at 12:48 AM.
    Talk sense to a fool, and he will call you foolish - Euripides

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