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Video: Cincy Police Told Not to Enter Burning Buildings to Rescue People

June 03, 2014  | 

VIDEO: Cincy Police Told Not to Enter Burning Buildings to Rescue People

Cincinnati police officers were issued a new training bulletin Friday, ordering them not to enter a building that is on fire – no matter how small – to rescue people inside.

The bulletin, obtained by WCPO TV, was introduced after the death of a New York Police Department officer.

Dennis Guerra, 38, who served more than seven years with the NYPD, died from inhaling carbon monoxide in April while saving others from a fire in a Brooklyn apartment building.

Cincinnati officers who are first to respond to a fire are now ordered to stay out of burning buildings and ignore their instinct to rescue others.

Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Dan Watson @ 6/3/2014 3:23 PM

How about distributing a training bulletin that offers information about the hazards of fire and smoke inhalation, and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim. Having a blanket policy prohibiting officers from entering a building in which there is a fire, no matter how small, is unrealistic and unreasonable. It will result in officers violating the policy. Police are usually the first on scene and to have a prohibition doesn't make sense.

Leonard Mather @ 6/3/2014 6:48 PM

I am surprised that burning buildings have the Police arriving before the Fire Department. Perhaps the efficiency factors allowing he Police to arrive first should be shared with the Fire Department so that they may be the first responders. Police training should include decisions regarding smoke inhalation, oxygen mask availability, etc. before entering so that the common sense plus intelligence of the officers on site may make a proper call. The Carte Blanche against entering, even if it is a small fire seems to be a "Politically Correct Call" made by some person put in charge and up for being re-appointed to his/her position. As they would say in some bars, "It don't make no sense."

DeputyJJG @ 6/4/2014 6:40 AM

The reason law enforcement arrives first (generally speaking) is because they are out patrolling. The FD does not usually have fire trucks out patrolling the neighborhoods.

Jenanne @ 6/4/2014 6:52 AM

L.Mather: I don't believe this would help ANYONE get reappointed! If you had a wife, or a child, in the house whether small or large fire, you would want SOMEONE to help them. Even an average citizen has been known to run into burning buildings/houses to save someone's life! It's called being a HUMAN BEING with genuine concern for other human beings. Shame on the Chief of Police (or whomever approved this) for allowing this RIDICULOUS training bulletin to be put out. Officer's just be safe and go with your instincts - God Bless those who cannot stand by and watch someone get burned to death!

Lt Dan @ 6/4/2014 7:25 AM

The hazards of ventilating a small fire and mystery of fire flow path in a building can get police officers hurt. Two things you never do are chase a bad guy into the woods when alone or enter a burning building WITHOUT AN AIR PACK. The blanket statement is surely a result of an overcautious administration and lawsuit avoidance. Another area best left to the EMTs is the administration of meds for heroine overdose.

Jack Betz @ 6/4/2014 2:30 PM

They can put out all the orders they want to, I hear someone screaming for help, I'm going to do what I figure I must to help them. As to getting killed, I am not that eager to die, but you don't get into this line of work with any kind of promise you are going to live to spend your pention.

Bob @ 6/8/2014 6:42 AM

Amen, Jack Betz.

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