Where can I find pictures of dead firefighters?
January 28, 2008 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find pictures of dead firefighters?

I have a friend who is a firefighter. Their budget is about to be cut, and this was their year to replace their turnout gear. His chief wants semi-gory images of burned firefighters to use to sway the powers-that-be. I have searched Google and flickr to no avail. Does anyone have suggestions for where to look or links to actual images? Sorry for the morbid post.
posted by raddevon to Grab Bag (17 answers total)
Rather than shock value, have you thought about using the more standard, inspiring, heroic sort of images? Budgets are often cut because people fail to remember to support a cause, rather than actually disliking the cause. Remind them how incredibly awesome firefighters are, and people will swell with support. Bring a broken and abused firehose as an example of what needs repairing or replacing.

While many civil servants are disliked, from taxmen to police officers, everyone loves firefighters. You represent everything that is right with collective government. Remind people of this, and you'll get your budget.
posted by explosion at 7:22 AM on January 28, 2008

There is a classic picture of firefighters carrying out Father Judge a chaplain in the NYFD from the Trade Center. I am not great at this link thing, but I think this should work.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:27 AM on January 28, 2008

I would be fine using something besides shock, but this is what my friend's chief wants. I just told him I'd see what I can do. Thanks for the help so far, everyone.
posted by raddevon at 7:30 AM on January 28, 2008

I'm sorry, what town is this in?
posted by parmanparman at 7:39 AM on January 28, 2008

While I think this is a terrible tactic to use for motivating the powers that be to fund new gear, I'll suggest that your friend contact the local Fire or EMS training center. Particularly with EMS, you're inundated with slideshows of injuries - often those of fellow Fire/EMS members.

Also, regarding JohnnyGunn's suggestion - its an iconic image, but doesn't speak to the necessity of turnout gear. You'll need images where gear failed - and its my understanding that Judge was killed by falling debris which no turnout gear could have prevented.

Perhaps an alternate suggestion would be for your friends dept. to use some of their old turnout gear and a mannequin to film a demo of what could happen. Might be just as effective, without exploiting someone's real injuries.
posted by blaneyphoto at 7:39 AM on January 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

There are a couple pictures of dead firefighters on corbis, DWF15-1020082 and DWF15-1020083 (type those codes into the search box on corbis.com). But they're not 'gory'
posted by delmoi at 7:42 AM on January 28, 2008

Talk with the turnout gear people. They should have some more things to help "sell" it.
posted by bigmusic at 7:46 AM on January 28, 2008

Good grief. You know, everybody's budget is not what they'd like it to be, and I'll bet the existing turnout gear is not exactly putting them in mortal danger, or they'd refuse to answer calls with it. If they did find and use the dead fireman pix, they would be damaging their own credibility. A positive approach, as suggested, is much more likely to work, or at least to produce a compromise -- 50% this year and 50% next, or a guarantee that it's in the following year's budget.
posted by beagle at 7:50 AM on January 28, 2008

Is there any value to seeking some publicity? As a taxpayer, I can think of a few ways I'd rather see my local government save a few bucks than cheaping out on the firemen...who I might have to call....when all my stuff is burning.

Failing that, an appeal to self-interest: do any of the councilmen/aldermen/whoever really want to be on the hook if someone gets hurt due to worn-out equipment?

In answer to your question, I'd check with the local media (newspapers and such), or with other agencies (medical examiner? EMTs? PD) that might have these sorts of things in their records.
posted by jquinby at 7:57 AM on January 28, 2008

there was a news pic some time in the last year of a publicity stunt of a bunch of firefighters (i think somewhere in europe) where they were protesting a lack of new turnout gear by standing in a line wearing nothing but their helmets held strategically over their (insert hose joke here)

i can't find it in 30 seconds of googling but i'm sure it's out there if you want to look for it.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:41 AM on January 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Check with some of the bigger stock agencies, they should have something at least close to what you're looking for. If you give them a call and tell them what you need one of their image researchers should be able to pull up what they have.

Getty, Corbis, Jupiter, Masterfile, etc.
posted by bradbane at 8:53 AM on January 28, 2008

rmd1023's naked, protesting firemen.
posted by mumkin at 9:22 AM on January 28, 2008

By the way, think of this: how will YOUR firefighters feel about having pictures of OTHER firefighters, dead and burned, used to get them their gear? How would the families of those dead firefighters feel, if they knew about it? Beyond that, how are you even going to prove that the deaths were caused by inadequate gear? Firefighters die, in unfortunate situations, regardless of what kind of gear they have on.
posted by beagle at 9:50 AM on January 28, 2008

This picture (source) made me cry.
posted by iviken at 10:25 AM on January 28, 2008

This is a terrible, terrible idea. To call it tasteless and disrespectful would be a gross understatement. The Chief is obviously very emotional about the cutbacks but using photos showing dead firefighters is not the way to make a point.

As others have mentioned, the major manufacturers of turnout gear are likely to have photos showing failed and/or damaged gear they'd be more than willing to give in exchange for a blurb. You might want to specifically ask for photos from the transition from flammable fabrics (rubber, rubberized cotton) to materials like Nomex and Kevlar. While this may not be the case here, they're likely to be quite dramatic in terms of damage.
posted by tommasz at 10:44 AM on January 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

None of these pictures are particularly gory, but they are certainly poignant.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:44 AM on January 28, 2008

I don't think you should be aiding this project.

It's disrespectful to the people who died and their families.
posted by fan_of_all_things_small at 12:57 AM on January 29, 2008

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