Friday, October 29, 2010

You Sell the Tickets, I'll Sell the Popcorn...

...while we watch these two poor buggers drown.

In UK, two men drowning in a frozen lake were refused help by firefighters.


Divemedic said...

Came to this site by way of Borepatch. As a firefighter, I can sympathize with those guys. We have many policies in our department that, as a firefighter and a paramedic, I do not agree with.

However, refusing to follow the rules will get us fired in many cases. I have a family and a future to protect. I imagine the same is true of them.

Let's not forget that the true cause of the accident was the idiot that walked onto thin ice in the first place.

Bob said...

@Divemedic: If nobody did stupid things, fewer would need to be rescued; the "idiot" that walked out onto the ice did it to rescue his dog, which isn't quite the same as doing it on a drunken impulse. And by calling him an idiot, aren't you implying that he somehow deserved his fate, and was not worthy of rescue?

Derfel Cadarn said...

The firemen should be hung like common felons, this type of behavior is unacceptable.Just exactly is their job description? Thinking people would have concluded that public safety might be included in it, but I guess slurping at the public trough seems much more accurate.Hold these guys up for inspection for they are your heros in uniform.Great Briton what a country.

Divemedic said...

No, Derfel. Firefighters do not enter a suicide pact when they take the job. If a scene is unsafe, we NEVER enter until it can be made safe.

Would you expect them to walk into a dangerous chemical spill without equipment and training? Confront an active shooter with a machine gun to rescue one of his victims, with no weapon and no body armor? Why is a lake covered in thin ice any different?

And yes, I am saying that many people get themselves into situations through folly (a dog's life != a person's life) and I will try to rescue people as best I can, but frankly, my life is worth more than yours. I will not take unacceptable risks to save anyone, and venturing out on thin ice with no equipment and no training is an unacceptable risk with a very high chance of killing a rescuer, and a low chance of success.

Risk versus benefit, and in this case, I agree with the firefighters.

Anonymous said...

As a firefighter, and a swiftwater rescue technician, I agree totally with the decision the firefighters made. The unfortunate result is sad. But they did what they had to do. And didn't do what they weren't trained to do. They weren't properly equipped OR trained to go in the water. We don't rush blindly into fires either - we do it with training and the right gear and equipment.

RavingDave said...

Not knowing the exact circumstances it would be unfair to be completely critical, but from what I DO know of the circumstances, I find it difficult to believe that they couldn't have figured out some method that would have minimized risk to the firefighter while still allowing the person to be saved.

Offhand I wonder why they couldn't have tied a rope to a fire fighter who could scooch out on the ice as flatly as possible, at least close enough to throw a rope? I would have been willing to try this. If the ice starts to crack, (or cracks) they could pull the rescuer back to shore.

The Brits used to be so daring, and now they are so timid.