Wednesday, December 02, 2015

SFFD Deputy Blocks Muni Stop & Complaint is Filed

[UPDATE: Chief Hayes-White sent word this afternoon of the action she's taken: "I received your email complaint regarding a Department vehicle and have assigned Deputy Chief Gonzales to investigate the matter." Let's see how this investigation unfolds.]

Here is what I sent off today to San Francisco Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White, followed by the video I shot yesterday.

The behavior of the SFFD deputy, and that of so many other public safety employees in such instances, where they ignore simple rules all in the alleged pursuit of protecting ordinary citizens, led me to coin a new phrase and social problem: first responder privilege.

When a potential crisis or attack or fire or deadly accident or altercation occurs, and the cops or firefighters swing into action, under their rules of first responder privilege, they go into hyper-activity and flout a few rules.

Yes, there are many occasions when the last thing first responders should worry about is where to park and they are employed to deal with crises, but those are no reasons why the public should avoid scrutinizing first responder operations.

My note to the SFFD:

I wish to lodge a complaint against one of your deputies for needless creating a traffic hazard for Muni passengers, in an incident caught on tape which I've posted on Vimeo.

Yesterday, December 1, at around 12:40 pm at the hectic SF MTA bus stop located at Van Ness and Market Streets, your deputy in an SFFD vehicle pulled up behind an idling Muni bus and then prevented a second bus from pulling over to the curb.

The name of your deputy is not known but the licence plate number of 1437933, clearly visible in the tape, must be used to check SFFD records to see who was driving that City vehicle on Tuesday.

As you can see in my video, there is no fire or public safety emergency in the immediate vicinity and none of us waiting Muni riders understood what the heck your deputy was doing with his disruption. 

Questions in need of addressing are who was the deputy creating an unnecessary problem for Muni drivers and passengers, why did he idle between two buses, why were his emergency lights flashing when there was no obvious emergency and is this proper behavior of a member of your staff?

I will attend the December 3 fire commission meeting to raise my concerns about the incident and to ask the commissioners to also request an investigation into this matter. This complaint letter is being shared with commission secretary Maureen Conefrey and I request that she share this with all of the commissioners.

1 comment:

Rusty said...

I agree 100% with you Mike. Arrogant city employees -- especially in the police and fire departments -- abuse their "first responder privileges" all the time. These are people with personality disorders who love the feeling of power they get when they cause problems for others.