Quebec Fire Photographers
Code of Conduct
Article 04: Perimeters and incident sites
- The fire photographer mush always get explicit authorization from a perimeter officer before crossing that perimeter. Without authorization, the photographer may not cross that perimeter.
- The fire photographer can enter perimeters labeled «fire» only and only if the fire C.O. authorizes him to do so at the time he identifies himself. This authorization can be given when the fire photographer arrives or later during or after the incident (the photographer may not enter the perimeter as long as he does not have that authorization). Authorities are not required to grant access to the fire photographer. In addition, a grant of passage can be given a time limit (example: for 15 minutes maximum) if the authorities deem it necessary.
- The fire photographer may not enter any other official perimeter without explicit authorization by a police officer or, if no police service is present, a fire department officer.
- An official perimeter is defined as an area surrounded by a yellow or orange tape OR by the specific instructions given by a police, fire or paramedic officer.
- The fire photographer may not, under any circumstances, cross a perimeter established with a red tape.
- The fire photographer must retreat IMMEDIATELY from any perimeter when a priority retreat (code red) or a strategic retreat call is given. The photographer must then report to the C.O. (or make sure he is visible to the C.O.), so that the officer in charge is able to quickly confirm the presence of the photographer during personnel counting. The photographer should consult his local fire department for the precise procedure to follow.
- To do fire photography within a security perimeter, the photographer MUST wear appropriate, complete and confirming to standards turnout gear (bunker), including firefighter boots, full turnout, fire helmet with face shield, fire gloves and any other mandatory piece of equipment according to the local fire department's regulations.
- In the presence of fallen power lines, the fire photographer will always confirm with the C.O. or a sector officer that the power is out before entering the perimeter.
- In the presence of a vehicle fire, the fire photographer will stay far away from the incident to avoid getting hit by explosive objects (tires, cylinders, mag).
- In the presence of hazardous materials (including incidents involving a tanker truck or a tank), the fire photographer will remain near the command post, unless explicitly authorized by the C.O.
- The fire photographer will take special care to preserve the sensitive characteristics of incident sites such as vehicle breaking lines, impact debris, position of burned objects, etc.
- The fire photographer entering (with authorization) a perimeter cannot try to assist or help the emergency personnel. An exception may be permissible when the department invokes the Law on Fire Safety (L.R.Q. S-3.4) article 40 paragraph 7.
- If the fire photographer has the role of «official photographer» for the responding fire department, some access rights may be different from those described in the present Article. In that case, refer to the director of the fire department. Note: being the only fire photographer covering a fire department does not make you an official photographer; the title of official photographer must be formally awarded in written form by department and/or the city counsel.
©2017 Quebec Fire Photographers Association (QFPA)