Commentary

Drawn by Fire: SCROOGED!

Crash-scene video Christmas by Paul Combs
Paul Combs/Drawn by Fire

On the eleventh day of Combs-mas (our Yuletide collection of Paul Combs Christmas cartoons past)…

As I was reading Dickens’ A Christmas Carol last week, it came to me that the lessons learned in this classic tale apply to many facets of life – especially in the fire service. And just as the three ghost that haunted Ebeneezer Scrooge that Christmas Eve opened his eyes to what was, is, and will be, so could they warn us of the perils of recording and posting crash-scene photo/videos. Though a few creative liberties were taken on my part, the message remains the same – we are chained to what we do in the past, must be accountable for the present outcome of our actions, and suffer the future consequences.

With alarming regularity, incident scenes and video taken by firefighters are popping up everywhere on the Internet. Most are harmless; well-intended movies of responding units showing what we do and experience. However, in recent months reports of disturbing photos and videos recorded by firefighters are making headlines. Whether for morbid curiosity or deranged pleasure, these images were leaked to the public, and what’s worse, to the victim’s family. I can’t imagine their horror and heart-break! In an age where nearly everyone carries technology that is capable of taking photos or recording video, we must stop and think about our actions. Because once shared, they can never be retrieved – and that permanent chain is forever linked to you! And just as my Jacob Marley/Ghost of Christmas Past character portrays, you will dredge that chain for the rest of your life.

Cell phones have NO business on the fireground or crash-scenes, so keep the damn things in your pocket!!

Previous: On the tenth day of Combs-mas…IT’S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS!

To see more Drawn By Fire cartoons or to purchase prints, go to: