LETTERS: Firefighter explains use of photos

To the editor:

I dislike your article, I like the photo... a lot. I am not a journalist nor should you expect a grammatically correct and perfect response. I am a firefighter, and after reading this article I must ask if you ever considered your personal argument to be considered “burning bridges.” Because you certainly didn’t respect the responders with such a headline. Fire scene illustrations and photographs have been a part of the fire service since the start of the fire service. Which for the United States was Ben Franklin’s Union Fire Department of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1736. Enter any fire station and the station walls will prove this.

You are angered for this photo... Why? It shows us firefighters a thousand words worth of training and awareness. Firefighters sitting? That is the established Rapid Intervention Crew standing by in the event of a sudden collapse that might injure or trap a firefighter. Also we can observe effective hand-line and master stream usage through the use of pre-connected hose and an aerial device.

Journalists will “like” photos of a pen, typewriter or fancy still shot camera because those are pieces of their job. We (firefighters) will like fire scene photos because we see those photos differently from the public. We are liking the operation progression captured in a photo. The safety measures in place to save us, also the fire behavior and progression as it correlates to building construction.

But I am sure our side was taken into consideration prior to the publication of this article. Sorry for your loss but we use these photos to learn from and continue to strive to be the best at what we do. Now I welcome everyone to open your newspapers, I’m sure questionable photos will regularly arise.

Jason Haas, East Syracuse

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