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November 06, 2012
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P1 Community The Question
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Facebook Forum: Firefighter sues after cop draws gun

You weighed in on who was right in a cop vs. firefighter lawsuit standoff

This week's article on a volunteer firefighter filing a $50,000 claim after alleging an officer overreacted when he drew his gun during a traffic stop has drawn dozens of comments on PoliceOne

The incident was captured on dash cam video, and the police department's internal investigation cleared officer Ted Gilbertson and accused Firefighter Dan Dean of recklessly responding to a non-emergency.

When we posted the article to our Facebook page, we received even more comments. Check out some of the best below and feel feel free to contribute your thoughts in the comments section below:
 

1) In our county, we have several volunteer fire depts. Most understand that when responding they are subject to the same traffic laws as private citizens. If this guy failed to yield intentionally than I think the officer’s actions were warranted, both as an emergency dispatcher and a reserve officer. - Alana Walls
 

2) In NY, volunteer FFs are authorized by NYS law a blue light as a courtesy. You are not allowed to disobey any traffic laws. And if approached by an authorized emergency vehicle, you pull over and stop. - Charles Vitale 
 

3) As a volunteer firefighter/EMT, I feel the officer was correct in his actions and I also believe that if the volunteer in this case would have acted in a professional manner this would not happen. I have lights in my vehicle. However, only activate once I am on scene not en route. - Tim Cowart
 

4) Volunteer firefighters do a good job in the fire service field. However, I have stopped numerous VFFs for driving like complete a**es because they "have" to get to a call. One member I stopped doing over 90 mph in a 55 mph zone. They showed their VFD card and assumed I would give them a break. They were not pleasantly surprised when I returned with the ticket. I told that person I don't want to be the guy who responds to the scene to scrape your body off the road because you drove like an idiot to a call. Think before you act. - Mike Naecker
 

5) I'm a volunteer firefighter and also work at a police department. I think the officer acted appropriately. It was a textbook response. It doesn't matter if you think the cop is going to the same call that you are. You're in your personal vehicle. You yield to the police car. - Seth Fuller
 

6) Filing a lawsuit makes this whole thing stink to high heaven. How many new fire trucks or police units will that end up costing before it’s all said and done? Fireman, you screwed up. Take it like a man. Filing a lawsuit is CS. - Karen Barrong
 

7) It says the volunteer FF was running lights and siren. He did not have to stop even if an officer is trying to stop him. The officer should know what most of the volunteers drive. The officer should've been able to radio in or possibly even get on the fire dept channel to verify. Clearly an overreaction. I would sue too. This is coming from a police/ firefighter. - Kent Pifer
 

8) The officer shows incredible restraint. If I am after someone, in a vehicle or on foot, my adrenaline screams and it's hard to remain as cool as this officer. In addition, the officer believes he may be pursuing someone impersonating a police officer. What's more -- if this is an emergency for the FF, as someone else pointed out, why is he at the station and not the scene? - Pete Paesani
 

9) What's wrong with dropping the lawsuit, apologizing to each other for an obvious mix-up and everybody respecting each other for putting their lives on the line whether paid or not to help others? You people bickering about it should be ashamed of yourselves. I wouldn't want any of you to be beside me going into a burning building. - Jeremiah Harris
 

10) I have a hard time understanding how the Fire Chief could defend this volunteer firefighter. Is the Fire Chief really THAT out of touch with the Police Chief? Obeying the law, regard for public safety, giving right of way to an ACTUAL emergency vehicle, mutual respect... a lot of things went wrong here. Shameful. - Kirk Osborne


About the author

"The Question" section brings together user-generated articles from our Facebook page based on questions we pose to our followers, as well as some of the best content we find on Quora, a question-and-answer website created, edited and organized by its community of users who are often experts in their field. The site aggregates questions and answers for a range of topics, including public safety. The questions and answers featured here on P1 are posted directly from Quora, and the views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of P1.





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