Extreme photography---fire line photos?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by RIEMT, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. RIEMT

    RIEMT TPF Noob!

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    So I'm brandy new here. I put up a few different threads (black and white; outdoors) to hopefully give myself a little credibility as more than a troll-- sorry I got evicted from under my bridge apparently I wasn't making quota! hahah joking!

    Anyway what I wanted to get at is, I'm an EMT-C by trade. No other state has us so essentially we're your first tier Advanced Life Support provider) I got into photography incidentally-- took some photos when I was vacationing, did some processing on them for "giggles" and according to facebook they were pretty damn good.

    I'm one of those individuals who thrives off adrenaline. So I was thinking, how do I cross the two? I did some research and realized there haven't been too many embedded with the helitack crews of the Forestry service.

    I was thinking about trying to get embedded with one of their units. In addition to photography I've got the medical background so I figured I could pitch it as a "allow me to embed, I'm willing to act as the squad medic". If anybody has any ideas let me know; I don't need a federal paycheck (though I would never turn down one! haha) because I'm trying to fund this as perhaps a book. But if anybody has any ideas, let me know; if you've got a direct link lets talk through private message.

    Not using this forum to start a business--- I'm looking to get front line photos from these wildfires (ideally us and other nations too over the next few years) for general public enrichment.. any "business" is strictly because I obviously have to make sure my bills get paid like anyone else!


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I could see it being a hard sell due to liability concerns, but you won't know unless you try....
     
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  3. RIEMT

    RIEMT TPF Noob!

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    Yeah definitely come liability concerns-- I'm absolutely able and willing to pass the qualifications (I never took them but I have some experience in brushfire-firefighting--- arduous testing if I remember is a 3 mile ruck in 40 minutes). But I also know they're all sorts of waivers... Whatever works I'm willing to do. I think its dangerous but it would be worth it to show the "front lines in our country"
     
  4. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper The camera takes the Pic. I just point the way. Supporting Member

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    If you manage to pull it off I would recommend not using the word extreme. It has become a very polarizing word and most associated with the energy drink "Look at me!" crowd. EXTREME!!!! will only serve to limit the audience.
     
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  5. dunfly

    dunfly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would think selling yourself as an EMT first with the understanding you will be doing some photography would be the best route. Being an EMT on the team should solve the liability issue since it would be an essential service and would likely be more palatable for the Forestry Service. Just trying to get on as a photographer and, oh yeah, I can help out as a medic if needed, seems to be a tough sell.
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    True, but on the flip side... (1) If I hire you as a medic for my fire team, I want you medic-ing, not messing around with your camera; and (2) an embedded medic is going to have to tote a fair amount of gear; I don't see having the capacity to manage another 50 - 75# of camera gear on top of that.
     
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  7. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think it would be a very uphill battle. Most agencies want either a photographer or a skilled responder. It would be hard to do both and usually one job or the other job will suffer, hence the reluctance to do so. Most large agencies/departments have staff photographers. A phone call to a local paper would get them a professional photog as well. Your EMT card would get you in the door ... (as you're already in) ... but I doubt that card is good enough to allow you to do both. If you're willing to shoot on your spare time ... then maybe, as it isn't costing the agency anything. But remember, that only the PR department cares about the photos, not the people running the show day-in and day-out.
     
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  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    :boggled:.
    Was that someone that worked for Facebook, or just people that visited your Facebook page?
    If it was the later I wouldn't recommend getting to excited.
    You might want to seek the opinion of a couple of people that can judge your images without bias and from the basis of having some expertise regards the commercial viability of your photography.

    Making money from photography is mostly about having business skills, rather than having photography skills.
     
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  9. RIEMT

    RIEMT TPF Noob!

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    Sorry it took so long to reply, apparently I didn’t hit post earlier— but since I’ve seen more replies I’ll add that in—Appreciate the replies folks. I was just throwing the idea at the wall to see if it stuck. And I meant people on FB, as a general population.
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I can only second the view that you should be there to do one job only rather than try to juggle two. Even if you could juggle the two perfectly you'd leave yourself open for accusation if anything went wrong, mostly on the medical front. It would only take something as simple as your camera being in the way one time to cause contention.

    I've seen TV shows where police and ambulance have film crews following them (I assume its normally only one or two) and every time the crew are simply recording the event nothing more. They keep right back and out of the action and leave the work to the professionals.
    I'm sure off-camera they might lend a hand in an extreme situation, but in general they are not there to help they are there to record.

    Being trained does give you an advantage in helping out and also helps since you'd have an appreciation for certain situations and what is the proper order of conduct and what is going to happen - ergo you know when to take a shot and when to get out of a situation and not to put yourself in danger.
     
  11. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    An EMT cannot legally operate without being under medical direction as they are delegated providers. Unless OP is getting hired on to be an EMT or is operating as one in an official capacity through an EMS agency, he cannot legally provide EMS services to the crew. Doing so would be considered practicing medicine without a license; and he should well know that.

    Source: I’m a paramedic and I’m intimately familiar with the laws governing practice of EMS providers. There is nowhere in the US that we are considered independent practitioners, we are always working under a physician’s license.

    OP: It’s doubtful that you’ll get them to let you come along as just a photographer off the street. The liability is too great; and I’m not talking about the risk to your life. Bringing someone along who isn’t part of the team will only serve to slow them down and distract them, and you’d be putting the entire team at higher than normal risk. Unless you’re showing up on assignment from a major publication like National Geographic that carries a professional reputation, you’re likely going to get turned down. It can never hurt to ask and give it a shot though, because they could surprise you and say yes. But with no real photography experience to back you up, it’s going to be a long shot to say the least.

    I wouldn’t even mention your EMT certification because using it, especially any advanced skills, while out with the team would open you up to more liability than you could even begin to dream of. And I’m certain that at least someone on the team is an EMT or paramedic, with a good chance that they are all EMT trained.
     
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  12. RIEMT

    RIEMT TPF Noob!

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    Destin: you are correct, however I know for a fact the usfs has medical control so for that I’m not worried. What I was saying was when I pitch it I could offer in the advanced life support credentials to get taken on an a “supplemental employee” even if relegated to working at the BLS level. And according to usfs (attached is a screenshot of the actual guidelines) there’s only one EMT-B on the bird. For the sake of community self-checking, since you state you’re a paramedic, what is the proper treatment of an immodium overdose resulting in a change of mental status?

    And yes I agree long shot. As I mentioned before I’m throwing **** at the wall. Just bouncing it off you guys for opinions and I appreciate them all.
     

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