Why Live Streaming A Fire/Crime/Accident Scene Is A Terrible Idea

After yesterday’s house fire near Newport we learned that the fire scene had been live streamed by others. That surprised us. Viewers watched as paramedics wheeled away an injured homeowner on a gurney, they saw firefighters working the fire and those that looked closely could even see medics working to save the family dog.

First State Update usually captures those same images but much of what we capture is never released publicly. We see no value in showing people in their worst moment. We understand somethings just aren’t for public consumption.

Without the ability to delay the feed, live streaming an accident,fire or crime scene is a bad idea on many levels. If you’re far enough away from the scene, you’re not showing someone’s family member and it serves the public interest then yes live streaming can be a tool.

We should never be at a place where you can tune in and watch someone extricated from a car, see a fire fighter injured in real-time or watch a SWAT team’s movements.

Case and point. We documented an apartment fire on Thursday where there was a roof collapse. (See Video Below) As the roof collapses a tanker truck blocks the scene. As the tanker moves out of frame you see firefighters rushing to the injured firefighter. Was he crushed? Was he burned? Can you imagine the grief this would have caused any family members that may have been watching?

After several minutes we could see that the firefighter was fine and that he was smiling but it could have turned out different.

We wanted to let the first responders, that we see on a daily basis, know that First State Update is not going to live stream incidents without first making sure safeguards are in place.