Oklahoma City Responds to YouTube Video

The Oklahoma City Fire Department is on the defense following the release of a YouTube video depicting the treatment of a female patient in 2010. The video appears to show some level of complacency by responders allegedly because the victim was a prostitute, but it also shows something else: firefighters taking cellphone images of a helpless victim.


OCFD has already adopted a formal digital imagery policy that will address photo taking going forward. Fire Chief Keith Bryant has raised a number of questions about the video, including the fairness of the editing and commentary by its maker, Brian Bates. Chief Bryant insists the treatment rendered was appropriate and the unedited video proves it. There will be more coming on this one, I’m sure.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
  • Wow, the “Video Vigilante” was so genuinely concerned that it took him almost two years to release the video. Lucky for all of us that fire departments respond quicker.


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