Fire Photographers

Fire photographers, sparks and / or Buffs or whatever you call them they are a necessary part of our business. Listen, firefighting is a spectator sport in some ways.

God knows that we have some of our own members that are spectators only but I digress.

Please be friendly with these firefighters who come and take pictures and really love what they do and they really do help us in so many ways they help tell the public our story. They get to see some of what the public never sees, and some of the most stark and greatest images we have come from these fire photographers sparks and buffs. As an incident commander I like to believe that I’ve always been friendly and Buffs or Spark friendly photographer friendly on the fire ground.

 I think that they serve an important role. Now obviously there are good and bad in every organization or every group of people and some of these people get a little aggressive or get a little overzealous and may go places they don’t need to go, but I find they are the minority.

I have truly been blessed here in the Northeast because many of the fire photographers have either been firefighters or have tons of experience. I think about some of the greatest of them have even been photojournalists as professionals.

 I think that we have some of the best and finest photographers in the Northeast that he will not get themselves in trouble and will not violate the trust of gaining access to the fire ground and being given access to places that others may not be able to go. 

I would encourage you to meet with your firebuffs and Sparks and fire photographers. I want to encourage you to pay for the pictures that you received from the paper that they’ve spent their time their equipment their gas and all of those things to help make you in your profession look better.  Try to develop a relationship with your firebuffs and sparks and photographers and they will help your organization reach the people that it needs to reach to be able to maintain your funding and your support as you go forward

Pete Lamb

Tactical Fire Problem – Strip Mall

Use this week’s tactical problem for discussion.


1.) What does this type of occupancy present for challenges to YOUR department?

2.) What is the floor construction between floors? What do you think is the age of construction?

3.) Describe the actions of the first alarm response in your department.

4.) What is your ventilation strategy and tactics?

5.) What effect does the time of day have on this incident? It is daytime.

The speed of social media

The speed of social media social media is a phenomenal thing. I think about in my lifetime when we didn’t have social media my goodness I was at the very start of message boards and all that stuff before the Internet was fully blossomed. Social media moves very quickly. just as it with fire photography Sparks involved in social media can be a friend as you can get information to the masses as soon as we need to get it there,  but it could also put out partial information very quickly I think that we underestimate the risk of partial information very quickly. I know that I’ve been a victim of that myself I know that in some cases I have watched a fire video from the scene I’ve watched fire photos from this the scene and I’ve made a judgments. I often talk in my podcast about being a witness rather than the judge using a court room analogy. I think that it’s critical that in the speed of social media we do not be swept up in this frenzy to get the first information on the first comment or the first challenge to what we saw “going wrong” in the video that was just published from the scene. Quite frankly I love periscope I love some of the active fire videos it allows me to see things as they’re happening. I can’t tell you how much that these videos have taught me in shaping tomorrow. The videos I saw made me a little better as I see things whether I am correct in my assumptions or not. I have used these experiences in the speed of social media to help me. I think that getting information early is important and I think that in some cases it allows us to get more educated as more information becomes relative to us we learn more. I think my point is use patience in social media don’t be trapped into making a comment as fast as you receive the information. Use patience, take it and absorb it and wait for the follow-up information so that your assessments may be a little more accurate than what they might be the moment you received instant information.