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Firefighters being used as warrantless spies

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posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 06:40 AM
Just found this report.

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Firefighters in major cities are being trained to take on a new role as lookouts for terrorism, raising concerns of eroding their standing as American icons and infringing on people's privacy.

Unlike police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel don't need warrants to access hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings each year, putting them in a position to spot behavior that could indicate terrorist activity or planning.


When going to private residences, for example, they are told to be alert for a person who is hostile, uncooperative or expressing hate or discontent with the United States; unusual chemicals or other materials that seem out of place; ammunition, firearms or weapons boxes; surveillance equipment; still and video cameras; night-vision goggles; maps, photos, blueprints; police manuals, training manuals, flight manuals; and little or no furniture other than a bed or mattress.


Are there really that many terrorists in the US.

I thought there was only a few cells that had been identified.

If we express discontent with the United States (government?) are we on the watch list?

Wittle, wittle.

[edit on 24-11-2007 by stompk]

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 07:14 AM

``If in the conduct of doing their jobs they come across evidence of a crime, of course they should report that to the police,'' said the ACLU's German. ``But you don't want them being intelligence agents.''

I don't always agree with the ACLU, but I have to say I agree with this guy.

This just creates more distrust amongst people. I don't like it.

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 05:32 PM
How is it any different to them coming across evidence of crimes and reporting it?
No one was complaining when they were watching out for criminal activity, it's just because it's for terrorism that they're viewed as spies. It's not like they searh houses to look for terrorism suspects.

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 05:33 PM
I can tell you for a fact it is NOT LIMITED to police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 05:44 PM
reply to post by x-phile

I will 2nd that what you said!

When I worked as a private investigator...I was in someone's house interviewing them...and saw in the other room they were growing marijuana. I could have called and turned them in if I wanted too - even though I was not there to investigate drugs.

Same thing w/ firefighters.

And really, this isnt anything new. It is just "news" now. LOL

And they arent just randomly going into homes. They are in homes due to a fire - and if they spot something they let the proper people know. Not a big deal IMO

[edit on 24-11-2007 by greeneyedleo]

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 07:00 PM
I'm as adamant as anyone about my rights, but in this case I think that this is only even news because it touches on a larger issue without in and of itself being particularly egregious.

First: I've never had a firefighter or paramedic in my home. I probably never will. If I do, I have every confidence that they will do their job without taking the time or effort to see anything more than the cable repairman does.

Let's suppose that I end up with paramedics in my home. They'll come in the front door, and if they've got good eyes they might see that my bookshelf includes a series of army field manuals, a few military classics, several reference books, a few political biographies, a few works of philosophy and a 1940 edition of Leaves of Grass that is clearly marked as library property (oops).

That's not a problem for me. They are not the point of breach in my rights. The point of breach would be if a warrant was issued (or if further search was undertaken without a warrant) on the basis of my ownership of a couple of field manuals and political works. So I'm not going to attack the idea of firefighters keeping an eye open. I'm going to attack the idea that there is anyway whatsoever for the government to harrass me for that without first presenting probable cause to a judge.

Second: On the odd chance that a firefighter or paramedic DOES see something suspicious, whether related to terrorism or something else, I want them to have the training to properly make, document, and report the kind of observations that will result in a warrant being issued if one is justified.

Because one time in a thousand when they go into a home to do their job and some dirtbag starts acting shifty, if they sharpen up and start making the right observations, they just might get something on the dead-beat landlord who is bringing down my whole neighborhood, end up getting a meth cook, a sex offender, or a thief out of my neighborhood, and one in a million, even get Abu Ghrabazz before he tries to light his sneakers on fire and throw them at me.

So to make a long story short, of course the government is selling this with exaggerations, but back down in the real world, we're still talking about a very small downside and a real potential to solve problems. Will it stop the next 9/11. Probably not. Will it stop something bad from happening? Probably. So it's a good thing in that sense.

The last remaining question is whether it is a keystone issue in the very real battle to preserve constitutional rights in this country. No it isn't. That battle is going to be decided in our judicial appointments and the Justice Department, not at the under-funded little firehouse nextdoor to the munie golf course.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 05:37 AM
That's just it. I'm an electrician, and I do go into secret installations. I don't tell people about these places, when I told them I wouldn't.

But I do tell them, I will not keep any illegal or immoral secrets.

Usually, they trust me more from that. And my reputation, with references and background checks.

Now, are they going to start asking me to tell them what I see in peoples homes?

If I see something illegal, you bet. If I talk to someone who is opposed to what the government is doing right now, I have to agree with them, and I wouldn't say Sh&t

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 05:47 AM
Even tho there is im shure nothing to it at all. In the UK at this very moment in time there is a massive fire safety program going on.

The fire service are fitting free fire alarm's. I remember when they came to my house they fitted them in room's that did not have them.

And also when they left i sighned a peice of paper that i did not really pay much attention too.

Now this could all be very normal but reading this thread made me think twice.


posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 06:17 AM
reply to post by h3akalee

Wow, that is interesting!

I've always thought, if the gov. really wanted to spy on people, through smoke detectors would be the way.

A listening device or even video could be hidden in the circuitry, and since they are required to be wired in line electricity, they are always powered.

Just a theory though.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 09:48 AM
Well i was not talking much about the actual detector's themselves they are cheaper battery powered version's.

If the government's wanted to spy there are much easier way's.

I was just talking about the firemen entering the house and me sighning something.

They had access to my whole house and let's face it you trust a fire man/women dont you.

I trust them! I was in the armed force's for a good while and i can beleive they may have been breifed to keep an eye open for anything dodgy.

It just make's sense dont you think ?


posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 10:10 AM
Firefighters have always been the work around a warrant. To the savvy person this is a great tool, but also infringes on personal rights when used this way. I normally do not see a down side of it because their purpose is different even though the outcome might be the same.

My friend had a crack house in his neighborhood and he called the police all the time with no results even though 100s of cars pulled up per day and then left. The area also became very unsafe too for his kids to even leave the house. One day he got fed up and called that he sees and smells smoke from that address while the occupants were away and the fire department entered the house to not find any fire but a lot of other stuff. That was the end of the crack house.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 11:02 AM

Originally posted by Nexus
How is it any different to them coming across evidence of crimes and reporting it?

As far as Im aware, having perfectly legal electronic goods or a lack of furniture is not a crime.

I wouldnt cooperate with any authorities purely based on training like this, what if I was viewing google earth when they came into my house, does that make me a terrorist and will I then be put on the watchlist?

Its easier just not to let them in in the 1st place.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 11:05 AM
Terrorism.......oh yes, terrorists are trying to take over our world!


posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 11:23 AM
My brother-in-law, the fire captain, was over for Thanksgiving dinner. His wife, a police dispatcher was here also. I guess I got the double whammy. They'll be back for Christmas too.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 11:25 AM
What I don't get is, if they really are combatting terrorism, why release this info at all.

I think it serves two purposes.

More fear mongering and mistrust amongst citizens.


Testing the public reaction.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 02:02 PM
reply to post by stompk

1 of the various government jobs i had was to do electrical maintenance in military housing for the army 11 years i think-------all we were told to report were unsanitary living conditions so the health inspector could pay them a visit and tell them to clean up if they want us to work there--------we were not required to work in basements full of dog krap or 5 years worth of garbage bages full of garbage-----in some cases the occupants were breeding dogs in these houses and letting the dogs krap on the hardwood floors in the spare bedrooms--------some used their oilfired furnaces to pile up their empty cardboard boxes left over from movings/postings---------they definetly needed the firemen to do the yearly inspections which were required if you signed for a pmq.the odd home would have a basement full of machine guns an live hand grenades that the husband forgot to hide when their wifes called us for help when hubby was out on exercises--------i kept my mouth shut------part of the reason i'm still here.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 02:10 PM
I've got two relatives in fire departments.

They are two of the most gung-ho, pro-rifle, pro constitution libertarians you'd ever meet. One has introduced me at the firehouse a couple of months ago when we were there for a fundraiser. I don't remember any of his crew who DIDN'T have an NRA sticker or a POW-MIA decal on their jeep or pickup.

Long story short, I don't feature those guys imposing on your rights or doing the grunt-work of the nanny state. They also love a party . . .


posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 02:27 PM
reply to post by TheAvenger

if your inlaws turn you in for something you forgot was not kosher be sure to stay in touch-----the prison libraries will let you use the internet wont they ?------well if you survive being tazerd first-------this might sound crude to you at first reading but dont trust anyone when it comes to money --------my inlaws defrauded me out of at least 300 thousand dollars if not more out of my parents wills----their lawyer wont talk to me and they have all the paperwork.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 02:51 PM
Well I mean whats new,

In war they use Blackwater to do the jobs our military cant legally do.
Here at home the military cant police us, so they militarize the police..
And now seeing as the police cant enter homes without permission or warrant, they ask the fire fighters to spy for them....

Just another addition to the ways they get around the Constitution...
nothing to see here move along.

Just a long train of... well you should know the rest...

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 03:33 PM
reply to post by C0le

just out of curiosity-------- patton-------------was he left handed or did the artist just paint him this way ?

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