Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby mojo84 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:27 am

No disrespect intended, just curious why firefighters need a badge. Is it just tradition or is it actually necessary?
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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby Rex B » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:32 am

All I can say is I need to get me one of them badges!
Where is it they sell CHL badges? :mrgreen:
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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby The Annoyed Man » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:33 am

mojo84 wrote:No disrespect intended, just curious why firefighters need a badge. Is it just tradition or is it actually necessary?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_firefighting
In the UK, the Great Fire of London in 1666 set in motion changes which laid the foundations for organised firefighting in the future. In the wake of the Great Fire, the City Council established the first fire insurance company, "The Fire Office", in 1667, which employed small teams of Thames watermen as firefighters and provided them with uniforms and arm badges showing the company to which they belonged.

Apparently, the reason for the maltese cross on the badge and other emblems and paraphenalia is:
http://firefightersmaltesecross.com/About/about.html
The Maltese Cross A good manyindividuals, including fire personnel are not aware of the complete significance of the eight points on the Maltese Cross. Here they are: The Maltese Cross, depicting the meaning and importance to fire fighters of the six points. From the days of the first crusade, the cross has been the symbol of the Christian warrior who pledged not only to fight in defense of the Holy Land, but also to protect the lives of his compatriots. The Maltese Cross now worn by modern firefighters is actually an adaptation of a particular crusader insignia, the cross of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem... The Knights, one of the oldest orders of warrior monks that fought for Christendom, took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Also known as Hospitallers, the monks maintained a hospital for pilgrims in Jerusalem. Then that city became the centre of the crusade-embattled lands, the brothers militarized their order, but continued to protect pilgrims and extend their charity to the sick and poor. Because of the extensive armor that covered their bodies and faces, the Knights were unable to distinguish friend from foe in battle, so the need for an identifiable emblem for the Knights became crucial. Since they fought their battles for a holy cause, they chose the Cross of Calvary, a white or silver cross on a dark background. After the fall of Jerusalem in 1187, the Knights of St. John moved to the island of Malta. During the crusades, many Knights became firefighters out of necessity. Their enemies had resorted to throwing bombs and sailing war vessels containing naphtha. Hundreds of Knights were burned alive. Others risked their lives to save their brothers in arms from dying painful fiery deaths. Thus these men became our first firefighters and the first of a long list of courageous firefighters. Their heroic efforts were recognized by fellow Crusaders who awarded each hero a Badge of Honor ; a cross similar to the one firefighters wear today. The Maltese Cross is your symbol of protection. It means that the firefighter who wears this cross is willing to lay down his/her life for you, just as Crusaders sacrificed their lives for their fellow man so may years ago. The Maltese Cross is a Firefighter's badge of honor, signifying that he/she works in courage... a ladder-run away from death.

I don't know how accurate that is, but that is what I was able to find with 10 seconds of google-fu.
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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby anygunanywhere » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:32 pm

Bunch of woo-woos, you are.

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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby tonzofphun » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:02 pm

I bet he was sweating bullets when you called his bluff. I wonder what he was planning on doing with your family present.
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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby ffemt300 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:34 pm

Typically, and in my experience volunteer firefighters never turn off "fireman mode". They live it, breathe it, eat it , sleep it. Me, when I leave the station at shift change, I'm done til the next shift. I dont flash any badges to get my way. Im just John Q. Public trying to enjoy time off with my family. I saw the term woo-woos used correctly. :thumbs2: I find it funny that some firemen think they have the authority to make a traffic stop, of all things...
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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby gigag04 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:29 pm

ffemt300 wrote:Typically, and in my experience volunteer firefighters never turn off "fireman mode". They live it, breathe it, eat it , sleep it. Me, when I leave the station at shift change, I'm done til the next shift. I dont flash any badges to get my way. Im just John Q. Public trying to enjoy time off with my family. I saw the term woo-woos used correctly. :thumbs2: I find it funny that some firemen think they have the authority to make a traffic stop, of all things...


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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby ffemt300 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:34 pm

Good call on dialing the sheriff. I wont pull over for an unmarked car until i get to a wide open public area off the roadway, if at all. Even then I'll be on the phone with 911.
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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby Keith B » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:51 pm

Had a Mall Cop flash a badge at me one time when I was directing traffic in our parking lot at church for a big yard sale. He flashed it as he puled into the entrance, but quickly hid it as he got close. He saw there was a car that had parked int eh fire lane (before I got to my position) and wanted to know 'if I needed him to take care of it?' I asked to see his badge again, then ID. He showed me the badge, then a photocopy of his non-commissioned security officer ID. I asked him if he was aware that impersonating a public servant in Texas was a felony? As I did, the color left his face. He started stammering and trying to explain he just wanted to help. I told him I was calling the company he worked for on Monday and letting them know what he did, and if he EVER thought about trying that stunt again, he would end up in jail. He started begging like a little dog for me not to call ANYONE and promised NEVER to do it again. I decided he had probably had enough scare, and since he never really tried to identify himself as a LEO he might have an out. I told him to leave and not to come back and the only place that badge better show up was when he was working in uniform. :mad5 He quickly drove off and headed away from our location.

Another one I had recently was when I was backing out of a parking space at a Braums, and my view was impaired by a large van beside me, so was backing out slowly. As I was easing out, a white car with spotlight and a siren on the front brush guard came whizzing past me, way to close and fast for the parking lot. Out of instinct I tapped my horn to let them know I was there, and the driver hit the siren a couple of times (klaxon horn to be precise), and made a terrible u-turn in the drive-through lane causing two other vehicles to have to brake quickly. I had made it out of the space and headed for the exit when the car came up behind me. I flagged the car up beside me and could see it was a guy in an EMT uniform, and this had to have been his personal car. He tried to tell me I needed to watch backing out, and I told him he was driving too fast and needed to leave s little room for folks backing out that might have their vision impaired. He started to huff up, so I pointed out the fact he was 'just an EMT' and his maneuver was not very smart. I then asked for his name and company he worked for so I could report his actions while in uniform. He gave it to me and I rolled my window up and proceeded out of the drive. He quickly made his way out the opposite direction. When I tried to look up the company I think he said, I couldn't find anything like it on the Internet, so think he probably gave me a false name and company. Sure wish I had gotten his license number. :grumble
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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby nyj » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:00 pm

Totally awesome.

BUT, would this have gone down the same way if you weren't in a position and had the connections with those people?
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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby G.A. Heath » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:05 pm

Now for the other side of the coin. I was talking to a Volunteer FD guy yesterday about someone using exploding targets at the county LE range and damaging the property. He is investigating it and I will promise you that should he catch the parties responsible that he will arrest them. Now, with that said I should mention that he is doing so as a Deputy with the Sheriffs Office (his primary occupation) a job that he does along with his VFD and his EMS duties. He is the kind of person I am proud to call a friend, and glad to have out there.
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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby bci21984 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:08 pm

I believe it would have, my dad retired from the sheriffs office that I had to call. I grew up in the building, spent a whole mess of time in dispatch. Ive known the dispatcher i talked to for 15 years. I was an explorer for the SO as well. The Chief of the town that stopped him is an old partner of my dads and spending time with him as he is like a 2nd dad, i know most of his guys. I think the only thing my employment/training did was to make me realize not to get directly involved with my family present and let the uni's handle it.
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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby jimlongley » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:52 pm

mojo84 wrote:No disrespect intended, just curious why firefighters need a badge. Is it just tradition or is it actually necessary?


Except for that one incident, my badge stayed on my parade uniform.

Under NY State's "Volunteer Fireman's Benefit Act" at the time, we actually had limited arrest powers for traffic, such as people driving over hoses, failing to yield right of way, and following apparatus too closely. Most of the time we just called the police to take care of such issues, and with several LEOs in our VFD, we even often had one along anyway.

It is funny, when I was a kid my highest ambitions included being a paid firefighter. I joined the VFD the minute I was eligible, partly because I knew that NY volunteers received the same training as the paid professionals, even attending the same classes, but life intruded and that ambition went unfulfilled and I remain a former volunteer (1964 - 1983 with time out for the Navy) still following columns of smoke in the sky but at least trying to stay out of the way. I was EMT license #72 in NY State (outside NY City).

In NY State back then a blue light meant a volunteer firefighter, but was for "identification" purposes only and granted no right of way or any other privileges, even if some of the volunteers seemed to think so.

We had a couple paid firemen in our VFD and the other departments in our town, and there were times when they were worse about being in fireman mode than any of the rest of us, responding to fires not just in our automatic mutual aid territory, but all over the place. One had red lights and a siren, which were NOT authorized to him, on his vehicle, and our chief had to go bail him out one time when he was arrested as he responded to a fire more than 30 miles from our district.
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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby 91wm6 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:42 pm

Now for the other side of the coin. I was talking to a Volunteer FD guy yesterday about someone using exploding targets at the county LE range and damaging the property. He is investigating it and I will promise you that should he catch the parties responsible that he will arrest them. Now, with that said I should mention that he is doing so as a Deputy with the Sheriffs Office (his primary occupation) a job that he does along with his VFD and his EMS duties. He is the kind of person I am proud to call a friend, and glad to have out there.


Wouldn't this fall under some kind of conflict of interest?
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Re: Had a guy flash a badge at me...wasnt police.

Postby Excaliber » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:25 pm

91wm6 wrote:Now for the other side of the coin. I was talking to a Volunteer FD guy yesterday about someone using exploding targets at the county LE range and damaging the property. He is investigating it and I will promise you that should he catch the parties responsible that he will arrest them. Now, with that said I should mention that he is doing so as a Deputy with the Sheriffs Office (his primary occupation) a job that he does along with his VFD and his EMS duties. He is the kind of person I am proud to call a friend, and glad to have out there.


Wouldn't this fall under some kind of conflict of interest?


I would suggest that his interests and service are not conflicting but complementary.
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