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Fri Jul 6, 2012, 02:38 PM

firefighter in trouble 4 giving woman his breathing mask, he also gave her $500 of his overtime pay

Philadelphia firefighter reportedly catches heat for rescue efforts

A Philadelphia firefighter who rescued a woman during a warehouse fire will reportedly be investigated for giving her his breathing mask as they fled the blaze.

Fran Cheney said he was criticized for his actions by a top fire department official for the rescue of Mary Jackson from a warehouse in the city’s Kensington section on Wednesday. After locating Jackson in a nearby second-floor bedroom, where she was gasping for breath in a smoke-choked room, Cheney gave the woman his mask.

"I take a quick breath, rip my helmet off, give her the mask – it's on positive pressure, which means it just blows smoke away from her – and I just say, 'Let's go,'" Cheney told the website.

Cheney carried the woman to safety, risking his own life in the process.

"If I was worried about that, I wouldn't be here, and neither would any of these guys that I work with," Cheney said. "That's what we do. That's who we are."

Later, during a bedside visit at an area hospital, a top fire department official told Cheney his actions were not “very smart,” he said.

Cheney, who also gave Jackson $500 in his overtime pay to get her back on her feet, said he’d do the same thing again.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/06/philadelphia-firefighter-reportedly-catches-heat-for-rescue-efforts/?cmpid=GoogleNewsEditorsPicks&google_editors_picks=true#ixzz1zruAYxIU

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Reply firefighter in trouble 4 giving woman his breathing mask, he also gave her $500 of his overtime pay (Original post)
Liberal_in_LA Jul 2012 OP
HiPointDem Jul 2012 #1
CBGLuthier Jul 2012 #2
marmar Jul 2012 #4
permatex Jul 2012 #18
demwing Jul 2012 #13
LanternWaste Jul 2012 #15
Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2012 #19
phleshdef Jul 2012 #26
ljm2002 Jul 2012 #37
Worried senior Jul 2012 #3
cthulu2016 Jul 2012 #5
siligut Jul 2012 #6
cthulu2016 Jul 2012 #9
Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2012 #20
RC Jul 2012 #25
cthulu2016 Jul 2012 #39
CaliforniaPeggy Jul 2012 #7
rufus dog Jul 2012 #14
littlewolf Jul 2012 #16
permatex Jul 2012 #21
Rex Jul 2012 #30
mythology Jul 2012 #41
DrewFlorida Jul 2012 #8
permatex Jul 2012 #22
DrewFlorida Jul 2012 #31
permatex Jul 2012 #32
JoeyT Jul 2012 #10
barbtries Jul 2012 #11
Occulus Jul 2012 #24
DrewFlorida Jul 2012 #33
permatex Jul 2012 #38
barbtries Jul 2012 #35
cthulu2016 Jul 2012 #40
Occulus Jul 2012 #42
RebelOne Jul 2012 #12
Agony Jul 2012 #17
Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2012 #23
hedgehog Jul 2012 #27
permatex Jul 2012 #34
Smilo Jul 2012 #28
unblock Jul 2012 #29
midnight Jul 2012 #36
Kennah Jul 2012 #43

Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 02:39 PM

1. kr

 

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 02:46 PM

2. Trained professionals follow procedures for a reason.

Hey, sure he sounds like a swell guy and all but procedure is procedure.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 02:48 PM

4. Sometimes procedures need to yield to pragmatism.

nt

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Response to marmar (Reply #4)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 04:57 PM

18. Very true

 

I was a member of a large western fire dept. for my whole career and we were taught to never give up our SCBA on the theory that we would succumb to smoke during a rescue, that being said, twice I used my mask on a smoke inhalation victim during rescues and just held my breath until I got out of the house.

You do what you gotta do to help the victim.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 03:47 PM

13. Come one, is procedure more important than lives?

He's a trained professional, so trust his judgment--especially when you can see he puts the public's interests before his own.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 04:16 PM

15. Trained professional also know that not every circumstance is covered by procedure, policy or protoc

Trained professional also know that not every circumstance is covered by procedure, policy or protocol, hence the wholly postive term, "personal initiative".

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:01 PM

19. Correct: Procedure states he should have kept his breather on and gotten her out of there

Because if he blacked out he would have been useless and both could have died.

This is why parents are told to put on their own mask before doing their kids in an airline emergency.

When boating. It's not uncommon when someone falls overboard for someone else to dive in to save them and then both end up drowning. Procedure says a rescuer is supposed to operate from a position of safety. In the case of someone overboard you toss a life preserver on a rope and pull them in. You don't dive in yourself and expose yourself to the same same threatening environment.

HOWEVER.

Since he had just travelled the route into the room where he found her it could very well be that he knew of a quick exit. What's to be determined is if it was THAT quick she could have survived a few seconds more of exposure so a compassion call to relieve immediate suffering needs to be factored in. He needs to convince them that his judgement was sound in determining that he could traverse the hazard without risk to himself. That's really tough to do because the degree of the hazard of the environment in question no longer exists and is generally assumed to be 100% toxic in these hearings.

A fire investigator will make a determination on that.

Sad that heroes aren't supposed to risk life and limb especially when being a hero is your daily job but there it is.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:21 PM

26. Fuck procedure.

He went with his instincts. All this fap fap fapping about procedure is a moot point. He saved her life. End of fucking story.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 06:22 PM

37. Procedures are guidelines...

...and yes, they exist for a reason. On the other hand, human beings are capable of judgment, and they should be allowed to exercise it. In this case, we have an experienced firefighter who determined to the best of his judgment that he would be able to get out of the fire okay without his mask, while the person he was rescuing might not.

It's similar to the lifeguard who was fired for saving someone outside his zone of authority. Yes, sure, there are rules and yes, sure, he wasn't being paid to monitor that area and yes, sure, someone else within his zone might have suddenly needed help. But with all that said, should he really be expected to ignore someone who was already drowning? I know I would rather be guarded by someone who considers it his duty to rescue a drowning person, even outside his zone, than someone who would sit there and watch because "those are the rules".

I think we lose sight these days that we are each of us autonomous beings, with the ability to make practical and moral decisions on our own. We are not robots, programmed to behave only in one certain way -- nor should we aspire to be that.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 02:46 PM

3. Romney would

fire him, he likes firing people.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 02:50 PM

5. It sounds bad, but there's a reason for this

The top priority is that the rescuer remain conscious because if he passes out then two people die.

This is why they stress on airplanes that parents put on their own oxygen mask before putting their child's mask on. If the parent passes out while trying to put the child's mask on then both die.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 02:54 PM

6. Sounds like he took a big breath and then gave her one, he shared.

He didn't just hand it over.

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Response to siligut (Reply #6)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 03:04 PM

9. I'm not really saying anything against him

It would be foolish for anyone to analyze this particular circumstance without knowing ever detail of the situation.

I am merely noting that such a rule is not intended to protect fire-fighters to the detriment of fire victims.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:04 PM

20. That's funny, I used the same comparison.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:17 PM

25. Sure, let the victim panic because she can't breath -

 

Yeah, that'll hurry things along.

Or just let her die for lack of oxygen. Kinda defeats the purpose of the rescue.

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Response to RC (Reply #25)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 06:48 PM

39. Despite your keen observations, it is possible

that professional fire-fighters in large American cities like Philadelphia might have, at some point in their careers, given some thought to the topic of fire-fighting.

It might even be possible that there are professional standards developed through long years of experience with actual fire-fighters fighting actual fires involving actual victims, actual smoke and actual rescue.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 02:55 PM

7. It WAS a calculated risk.

But he calculated it correctly, and they both won.

Bravo to him!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 03:55 PM

14. +1000

He assessed the situation, got her oxygen and got her out. Maybe he thought it would be much more difficult to carry her out if she was gasping for air, thus putting both of them at greater risk.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 04:26 PM

16. THIS time it was calculated correctly ...

however as a FF/EMT I would warn about setting precedent
First rule ... everyone on the truck goes home safe ...
I am very happy that it worked out this time ....
Don't want to read how a rookie tried to emulate him
and died with the person he was helping ....

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Response to littlewolf (Reply #16)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:06 PM

21. I agree

 

my two times I did this I knew I could make it out without much danger to myself.
FF/EMT-P
Phoenix Fire Dept.-Ret.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:28 PM

30. This ^^^^^^^^^^

Peggy has it spot on! The man is a hero.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 09:31 PM

41. You're being results oriented

You can't conclude with any certainty that the right choice was made based on the outcome of an event. This is an anecdote, not data and you can't rerun the scenario with the firefighter not giving the woman his oxygen mask.

Given that the general advice in this situation or when securing oxygen masks on an airplane is to first secure yourself and then the victim, the statistically correct move is probably to not give up your oxygen mask.

If that is the case that the statistically correct play is to keep your oxygen, then over time people who don't do that will wind up statistically costing more lives. For a more concrete example, there are some people who die because they were wearing a seat belt during a car accident, but overall seat belts save lives.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 03:01 PM

8. Procedure cannot concieve every possibility.

Procedures are in place to prevent mistakes which have been made in the past, however procedure does not make the optimum decision in every instance. The firefighter made a judgment call and was sucessfull, he saved a life because of it, good job, I tip my hat to that firefighter.
At the same time I understand the department official chastising him as he risked both his own and her life with his actions, given the fact that the firefighter was only chastised and not punished in any way, I think the actions of both firefighter and fire department official are appropriate.

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Response to DrewFlorida (Reply #8)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:07 PM

22. If this went into his personnel jacket

 

it could potentially hold him back from promotion for awhile.

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Response to permatex (Reply #22)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:30 PM

31. If it went into his employee record, I would disagree with that.

Good point!

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Response to DrewFlorida (Reply #31)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:37 PM

32. Hopefully all that happened was that

 

he went before his Battalion Chief or his Capt. and got a tongue lashing without a formal reprimand.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 03:22 PM

10. With a positive pressure mask,

you can alternate breaths between people. Think buddy breathing with smoke instead of water.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 03:24 PM

11. it's like that story of the lifeguards who went out of their zone.

it's wrong to be good? what the fuck.

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Response to barbtries (Reply #11)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:11 PM

24. notice that even on this supposedly progressive board,

some people are agreeing with the Authority in charge.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #24)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:40 PM

33. Not sure where you get the idea!

I'm not sure where you get the idea that "Progressive" and "disagrees with authority in all cases" are the same thing.
Common sense says that the firefighter took an chance by endangering both himself and the woman he was attempting to save, I can understand how his supervisor would have been concerned about that.
Common sense also says that the firefighter being a professional, took a calculated risk, a judgment call that only he could be able to make in that moment, he was right and he saved a woman's life because of it.
Common sense says that both actions are understandable, provided the fire official does not go to the extreme of actually punishing the firefighter.

Not all authorities are bad or wrong.
Common sense = progressive.

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Response to DrewFlorida (Reply #33)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 06:39 PM

38. +100000000

 

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Response to Occulus (Reply #24)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:47 PM

35. i did notice that.

"procedure's procedure."
since when should procedure trump people?! obviously the guy knew what he was doing and they both came out alive. that's a good thing.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #24)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 07:38 PM

40. Notice that on this board not everyone is a fool

Not everyone thinks like a child. Opposition to authority is not a universal virtue.

One does not "fight the power" by, say, ignoring warning labels on products or thinking stop signs only apply to other people.

What is comical is that on this supposedly progressive board so many people think that government is the enemy and credulously gobble up the anti-government spin of some Fox affiliate.

How dare a high ranking official in the fire department of the overwhelmingly Democratic city of Philadelphia, PA, question the wisdom of an individual fire-fighter who chose to go his own bold way?

You seem to think that progressivism is an Ayn Rand fantasy.

It is appalling that so many people on this board are such loons that they think the fire department is the enemy, and adopts irrational procedures for the express purpose of murdering the populace.

This is a constant theme on DU now. There's this bizarre daily-outrage involving stories of the wickedness of government that one would only normally see on Fox news.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #40)

Sat Jul 7, 2012, 12:08 AM

42. I was thinking of this thread, and the lifeguard one *specifically*.

On both topics, a lifesaving act resulted in a reprimand- or, in the lifeguard thread, a mass firing.

On both topics, there is debate- DEBATE!!!- over whether the lifesaving action was 'proper'.

How can any liberal, Democrat, or progressive (or even a Republican, for that matter) argue that a lifesaving act was 'improper', or that a reprimand over such an act is 'justified'?

edit, lest anyone say it isn't happening on this thread: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=909612



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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 03:42 PM

12. Philadelphia firefighters are all heroes.

My grandfather was a captain with the Philadelphia fire department and was killed after going into a burning building and the walls caved in on him. This was in the early 20th century. I never knew him because he was killed before I was born.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 04:48 PM

17. in the fire service freelancing is dangerous - a big FU to Fox for exploiting

the situation to denigrate fire service leadership and protocol

Cal Peggy said it best - he took a calculated risk - and he knew much better than ANY of us what factors were at play.

he was probably freelancing and as a professional he probably knew he would get reprimanded.

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Response to Agony (Reply #17)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:10 PM

23. Good call

This was a "government is stupid" hit piece.

Totally in keeping with the Right Wing's "government can't do anything right" mantra.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:22 PM

27. I'm assuming it was based on real life experiences,

(and I may be assuming to much) but this act was fairly common on Dennis Leary's "Rescue Me" Series.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #27)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:45 PM

34. I'm not sure if Rescue Me was based on real life experiences.

 

but it sure was a pretty good show.
Dennis' friend, Steve Bushemi, was a FDNY firefighter with Engine Company 55 from 1980-84.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:22 PM

28. I can see both sides...... but

Jackson is alive and for that Cheney should be commended for his quick thinking and actions.

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 05:26 PM

29. often the procedure is there to protect the institution, not the people.

the idea is not that the firefighter should not have done what he did.
the idea is that the department wants zero liability if and when a firefighter does something like this.
so they set up a policy saying you're not supposed to do it, but usually the hope that the firefighter will take it upon themselves to do the brave thing -- at their own risk.

if so, the proper departmental response should be to give him an official slap on the wrist, then for his boss and co-workers to unofficially take up a collection and throw him a party or something.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 06:05 PM

36. What an amazing person.... We need more of him in Washington.... To teach how to serve the people...

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Sat Jul 7, 2012, 03:43 AM

43. In spite of procedure, he saved her life

I am reminded of the incredibly heroic actions of two Park Police officers, Don Usher and Gene Windsor, plus a Federal government office worker named Lenny Skutnik.

5 people are alive because of their actions, and those 3 men violated a long list of procedures.

I was watching the rescue efforts live on local television in the aftermath of Air Florida Flight 90 crashing into the 14th street bridge in Washington, D.C.

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