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Bystander Videos Angry Captain at Landing Zone: More to this Story?

Have you seen the video yet of the angry captain defending the landing zone from a videographer?

The incident is well covered by (includes video) and the Happy Medic has some good thoughts as well.

An Ugly Incident 

If you can handle it, watch the video. I found it really painful to watch. This is an ugly incident for the Captain, the fire department and for EMS and fire professionals everywhere.

Cumulative Stress?

While the Captain’s actions are both wrong and embarrassing I can’t help but wonder what else is going on in life that pushed him over the edge. Stress is cumulative and we can all reach a point where something seemingly benign pushes us over the edge.

Life is going to get more difficult for the Captain on top of what is already happened/happening to him in the weeks, months, or years before this video. Not only did he have a bad day, but what is likely his worst moment ever on the job is memorialized forever on the internet.

What happened in the minutes before this video that finally caused him to snap?

Co-Worker Self-Destructing

One of the stunning parts of the video is the Captain’s co-worker standing nearby. He can’t be heard or seem to be taking any actions to defuse the situation, redirect the captain, or somehow ease the tension.

Have you ever had to stop or redirect a peer that is self-destructing? The situation that comes to mind first is a partner screaming at a combative patient, “You MUST CHILL or ELSE?” With the “what else” being exchanging punches.

In hierarchical organizations it can be especially challenging to stop or re-direct a supervisor that is self-destructing.

Cameras are at Every Scene

Forget about the camera and focus on your job. This incident was destined to be one of the most boring helicopter landing videos ever, until the Captain visited the camera man.  

My concern isn’t about social media, bystanders with video cameras, or your department’s privacy policy. My concern is your stress and how you manage it before it explodes dangerously and publicly.  

Other articles about this incident:

Another First Amendment Issue on the Fire Law blog

What are his first and middle names? “Not So” on the Ambulance Driver blog

By Greg

Elearning designer, writer, podcaster, blogger, presenter and paramedic. To relax I run and bike as far and as fast as I can. Also like to read a lot and fast.