WTF is this? "Fire Buffs"???

Discussion in 'Whacker Central' started by DNorth, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. DNorth

    DNorth MassCops Member

    Posted on behalf of an older friend who isn't internet-savvy. He was at the scene of an MVA when he noticed a male in the crowd of gawkers, wearing dark BDU pants, staring a little too intently at the scene, and talking into a handheld radio that resembled a department-issued one. The person was using what sounded like an official callsign (unit XYZ) and talking to someone else who had a similar call. From the conversation, it was evident that they were both in the area and seemed to be coordinating some activity. Someone became concerned and asked the person what agency he was with. Out comes a story about his "buff group" and all of this crap that sounded like some Walter Mitty-esque covert whacker squad.

    I did some quick searching online and was blown away by what I found. There appear to be actual, apparently-organized, groups of whackers with radios (complete with "dispatchers!"), who seem to be fire truck chasers. Some sites also mention police.

    Behold a local list:

    And a couple actual group sites:

    It never explains exactly who is being "notified" of what, why they have to be notified, or what action they will take upon receiving notification. Almost as if there is some unspoken, weird agenda that will be acted upon when these people are notified. Reminds me of sleeper cells or something, waiting for the big important dispatcher to put out a call so that they can race the shiny red trucks to a scene and interfere as best as they can.
    BxDetSgt likes this.
  2. niteowl1970

    niteowl1970 Moderator Staff Member

    Awesome.. With my training and experience I could be a shot-caller there within a few years.
  3. Delta784

    Delta784 Guest

    Those groups have been around for decades.....they're mostly harmless, and have rules about not interfering with public safety operations.

    If you want to gawk at the scene of a MVA or other incident, then stay out of my way and enjoy the show.
  4. SinePari

    SinePari Needs more complaints

    ...take the police exam.
    Q5-TPR and LawMan3 like this.
  5. csauce777

    csauce777 Supporting Member

    Some of these Wacker groups call info into their "dispatcher" who then sends the info out to a bunch of other whackers who all carry alpha-numerical pagers so they can always know what's happening in the public safety world.
  6. lofu

    lofu Subscribing Member

    Every one of these crankers that I've met are big supporters of what we do. So as long as they stay put of the way and don't try to play hero, I say "no harm, no foul."
  7. pahapoika

    pahapoika Subscribing Member

    Boston has had them for years. believe they even broadcast on their own frequency.

    they give other "sparkies" a more detailed description of the fire ground.

    like Delta said pretty harmless and sometimes pitch in to help roll up hose.
  8. DNorth

    DNorth MassCops Member

    Interesting, thank you.

    I worked "west of 495," so I did not run into these groups.

    I just hope liability is assessed if they do indeed participate in any kind of assistance with a fire department. One of my exes was on the fire auxiliary in the town she lived in (her dad was one of the Chiefs), and she wasn't allowed any closer to the scene than other civilians were, until she went through the same very basic training course that all the new firefighters attended, due to departmental liability from what I understand.
  9. Hush

    Hush Moderator Staff Member

    Theres a difference between the curious, the eager to help, and the firebug psychos. I think it's a nice gesture to throw the decent ones a bone and let them feel important rolling up a hose or something.
  10. CPT Chaos

    CPT Chaos Subscribing Member

    Sparkies! They have been around forever. As long as they "Keep Back 500 Feet" I'm fine with them. These days they have graduated from scanners to cell phones.
  11. Goose

    Goose The list is long but distinguished. Staff Member

    I feel important every time I roll up my hose. :cool:
  12. niteowl1970

    niteowl1970 Moderator Staff Member

  13. SinePari

    SinePari Needs more complaints

    Last time I checked, it wasn't a crime to be a nerd.
    pahapoika, Hush and USM C-4 like this.

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