Stopping to help (or call for help) when pulling up on devastation

Apr 14, 2011
310
33
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Alexandria, LA
The original video posted yesterday was over 4 minutes long. They seem to have taken it down, edited it, and then put it back up. The original showed him pulling up on the damage, 3 point turning, and high tailing it out of there. The new version up now ends as he faces the damage, and doesn't show him pulling off. Also of note, this new version doesn't show the entirety of the view from inside the vehicle which made his driving on the center line much more obvious than the go pro view. There was also a section of video cut that had him trying to mount the go pro (out the sunroof I assume) while still driving. So it seems to me that after the initial back lash, some sort of damage control on their part was attempted.
I didn't see the original video. But enough people have described the editing here to give me a good idea of what's been cut out.

If what everyone is saying is accurate, I find the editing of the video following the criticism to be more than merely suspicious; it is blatantly dishonest. It would have taken less time and effort to simply acknowledge everyone's criticism and apologize for his actions, than it did to edit and reupload the video to hide his misbehavior - and it would have meant a whole lot more. Heck, it wouldn't have even looked as bad for him if he had simply ignored all the criticism completely and did nothing. But quietly editing the video after everybody already knows what was on it just makes him look unscrupulous on top of being careless; it shows he knows what he did was wrong but doesn't want to own up to it.
 
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Apr 14, 2011
310
33
11
Alexandria, LA
I have done it in the past, and to would hope chasers would do that as well.
Yeah it really is the least you can do in that kind of situation. Not everyone has to become Mr/Mrs Search-and-Rescue or carry a bag of medical equipment in the trunk. But you know you've got a cell phone; for heaven's sake put the thing to some use and save a life.
 
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Reactions: Randy Denzer
Oct 31, 2013
402
304
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Eastern TX Panhandle
Calling 911 and letting them know of damaged homes is rendering aid. I would hope most chasers would do this.
But calling them out and being disrespectful to them on FB always helps huh???? If you were not in the car with Scott, you have no clue what he did or who he called. I know Scott, and I know that he is a respectful chaser that would help in any way possible.
 
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But calling them out and being disrespectful to them on FB always helps huh???? If you were not in the car with Scott, you have no clue what he did or who he called. I know Scott, and I know that he is a respectful chaser that would help in any way possible.
Hi Jason, any chance of getting him to say something? Maybe he simply screwed-up or maybe he did call in? Might help to stop the rumors. Amazingly, people say and do stupid things during and after a tragedy. As an EMT I've seen this done as stress-releasing "black humor" but some comments are over the line, especially right afterwards in a public forum. I jumped on multiple people after the El Reno disaster after they would not stop openly bragging and boasting about stupid things they did (and survived) after they knew a tragedy had occurred.
 

B. Dean Berry

Moderator
May 25, 2014
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I am a CERT instructor & team member, 20-year EMT, SAR tech, rope rescue tech, and firefighter.

I am fully against untrained people going in to collapsed structures. This is simply a way to add a +1 to the initial kill counts. Similarly, even with proper training, if you don't have proper equipment, same thing. Similarly, even with proper training and equipment, are you by yourself? If so, same thing. Call 911 or call in the location on ham radio (if you have one), but don't go in to a severely compromised structure.

What consists of "compromised"? The CERT Training explains it.

One thing about CERT training - Go to in-person classes, if available in your area. The online class is nice, and goes over all the book-learning part of it, but nothing will replace first-hand knowledge of how hot fire is, or what a water cutoff valve feels like when you're turning it, or how shaky cribbing feels when you're lifting a wall with a lever. Do it in person, and you'll gain a whole different perspective.

I'd also recommend Hazardous Materials Awareness, and FEMA's IS100 and IS700 self-study courses.
 
Sep 7, 2013
565
394
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Strasburg, CO
Yeah, I never saw the initial video, so I can't comment on that. I sure don't condone reckless driving at all.
Even in the edited video you can see his speed and crossing the center line. I really doubt that guy flashing his lights was warning about the tornado, it looked like he was warning to avoid a head on collision.

In any case, I won't judge as, like you said, nobody was in the car with him. I'll only comment on what I can see from the video, edited or not.

I'd simply rather not see another dead chaser/chaser caused death thread.

Be careful everyone. None of this chasing shit is worth your or someone else's life.
 
Feb 19, 2007
176
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Austin, Texas
www.randydenzer.com
But calling them out and being disrespectful to them on FB always helps huh???? If you were not in the car with Scott, you have no clue what he did or who he called. I know Scott, and I know that he is a respectful chaser that would help in any way possible.
If you know him and he helped out, lets hear all about it, that would be great. I am all ears and I am sure others would love to hear. I would also like to hear about how many storm reports he turned in since he would help in any way possible, that seems like a simple way to help.

I hope this is not a trend in the "Chaser Community" and that chasers would stop to help your family out when they are in need up there in the panhandle.
 
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Feb 19, 2007
176
79
11
Austin, Texas
www.randydenzer.com
The names of the 23 victims are pretty much out in the open now (James Spann posted the names on Facebook). One of the victims was an author whose Alabama writers forum page can be found here: https://www.writersforum.org/authors/listing/charlotte_miller_fiction.html. Chillingly, if you look up the address listed on her page in Google Street View and compare to Scott's video, it's the exact leveled house where he turned around...

Thankfully, I have precious little experience with fresh damage on a chase. I don't know the whole story and I'm not here to pile on. But I do think we each need to decide before our next chase what level of help we are trained for and ready to provide. Coming up on a scene like this without having forethought on the steps of action is not a position I ever want to be in.
For God's sake, I hope folks learn a lesson from this.
 
Feb 19, 2007
176
79
11
Austin, Texas
www.randydenzer.com
I do think we each need to decide before our next chase what level of help we are trained for and ready to provide. Coming up on a scene like this without having forethought on the steps of action is not a position I ever want to be in.[/QUOTE]

I REALLY like your response and am taking it to heart. Everyone needs to decide what is important. Part of the problem may be folks do not know what to do.
 

Dan Robinson

Staff member
Jan 14, 2011
2,527
2,189
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St. Louis
stormhighway.com
I'm seeing some mixed messages in this whole debate. One is that untrained and non-equipped amateurs should not be entering a tornado damage path to try to help, because it's likely they too will become injured, making the situation worse. On the other hand, there are calls to do just the opposite. I'm not singling out anyone in this thread, because I've been reading the same things in other places.

Am I correct in saying that both of these are true:

1.) untrained, non-equipped or solo chasers should NOT be doing any type of search and rescue, as it is likely that they too will become injured and add to the burden on professional responders.

2.) All chasers SHOULD be competent in CERT training and be at least minimally-equipped to offer assistance ONLY IF: there are two or more trained and equipped individuals present AND the scene has been properly "sized up" to determine that rescues are feasible and safe to attempt.
 
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On the other end of the spectrum, one thing chasers should be very careful of is rushing into a "scene" without confirming it's safe. Every time I renew my State EMT certification, the practical tests always begin with "Is the scene is safe? This is especially true of disasters involving commercial properties or vehicles. I've been on the scene of accidents involving commercial trucks, and even though I could see victims that needed immediate assistance, I had to first confirm, for example, what was leaking out of the truck trailer onto the vehicle. (The last time this happened it was beer). The responding units also needed this info. If the truck has placards, there are apps that can tell you what the numbers mean or usually the driver knows. The trucks with hazardous cargo trailers (one small tank surrounded by a metal frame) are a big no-no to approach. Commercial or industrial buildings are very complex and I would only relay information from a safe distance. As someone else said, going inside a damaged structure should be avoided without special gear and training. As chasers it's good to know this as you sometimes encounter disasters in rural areas where substantial help may be 30 minutes or longer away. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is relay information and guide rescuers into a scene, especially when street signs and landmarks are gone. I hope to conduct a class someday soon about post-disaster situations.
 
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I'm seeing some mixed messages in this whole debate. One is that untrained and non-equipped amateurs should not be entering a tornado damage path to try and help, because it's likely they too will become injured, making the situation worse. On the other hand, there are calls to do just the opposite. I'm not singling out anyone in this thread, because I've been reading the same things in other places.

Am I correct in saying that both of these are true:

1.) untrained, non-equipped or solo chasers should NOT be doing any type of search and rescue, as it is likely that they too will become injured and add to the burden of professional responders.

2.) All chasers SHOULD be competent in CERT training and be at least minimally-equipped to offer assistance ONLY IF: there are two or more trained and equipped individuals present AND the scene has been properly "sized up" to determine that rescues are feasible and safe to attempt.
There are several types of search and rescues after a disaster. Buildings should be left to experts, but people on the ground who are injured could be assisted - as was the case in Joplin when chasers (including a chase Dr.) did some excellent work. There are still hazards on the ground and participation is based on experience and how comfortable you are with assisting. We helped conduct search and rescue after the Piedmont, OK tornado as several children were missing. But I (we) had the proper footwear to prevent nail punctures along with post-disaster training.
 
Oct 31, 2013
402
304
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Eastern TX Panhandle
In my opinion, I think about the situation like this:

If you're not ready to see bodies/death/blood/gore and choose not to stop, that's ok
If you're not sure about yourself (medical training) and may become more of a hindrance, then keep going.
You can always call 911 while you're going down the road continuing the chase or going home.

If adequate services are there on scene (ambulances, fire dept, LEO) you will likely become more of a hindrance trying to stop and assist than you would by continuing to travel down the road. Personally I would stop IF I was the first on scene, or knew that not many have arrived yet. If I saw that there was adequate staff, then I would more than likely continue the chase unless I was actually asked to help.

Again, these are just my opinions on how I look at this.
 
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Oct 31, 2013
402
304
21
Eastern TX Panhandle
Warren, I remember when we pulled over and assisted that semi that got blow over on I-40 due to the tornado. I thought I was going to need medical treatment for that rogue golfball sized hailstone that hit me in the head! LOL
 
Sep 7, 2013
565
394
21
Strasburg, CO
Looks like much of the area was a disaster scene. I love to hear stories about Chasers/ Spotters helping out... Putting down the camera in the name of humanity. Has anyone heard of any chasers who helped out?

https://www.onlineathens.com/nationworld/20190306/family-devastated-after-losing-10-relatives-in-tornado?fbclid=IwAR3Rjd2O37D5SoWMNwI7eqbEOG59igrrj1sDAknOV-h_QazJnP-vtbl8JYA
Randy...go watch Dan Shaws Pilger chase video...he will always stop and search as he's trained S&R. Best example of a chaser calling the chase to render aid even when not needed.

Personally all I've ever done is pull people out of ditches. But I'm also not an up close in the damage path type of chaser.
 
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Dec 8, 2003
1,285
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Southeast CO
www.youtube.com
I have arrived at the scene within a couple minutes of a tornado a couple times and helped with various things . Both times there were many professionals there too, and immediately, so I didn't feel like I was needed to perform any sort of S&R or render medical help, but I still felt a little bad as time went by that I didn't do one thing or other differently.
 
In my opinion, I think about the situation like this:

If you're not ready to see bodies/death/blood/gore and choose not to stop, that's ok
If you're not sure about yourself (medical training) and may become more of a hindrance, then keep going.
You can always call 911 while you're going down the road continuing the chase or going home.

If adequate services are there on scene (ambulances, fire dept, LEO) you will likely become more of a hindrance trying to stop and assist than you would by continuing to travel down the road. Personally I would stop IF I was the first on scene, or knew that not many have arrived yet. If I saw that there was adequate staff, then I would more than likely continue the chase unless I was actually asked to help.

Again, these are just my opinions on how I look at this.
I agree. No one is required to help beyond calling for assistance - and some people don't even do that.
 

Jesse Risley

Staff member
Apr 12, 2006
1,959
249
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39
Macomb, IL
www.tornadoguys.com
Hi Jason, any chance of getting him to say something? Maybe he simply screwed-up or maybe he did call in? Might help to stop the rumors. Amazingly, people say and do stupid things during and after a tragedy. As an EMT I've seen this done as stress-releasing "black humor" but some comments are over the line, especially right afterwards in a public forum. I jumped on multiple people after the El Reno disaster after they would not stop openly bragging and boasting about stupid things they did (and survived) after they knew a tragedy had occurred.
I did reach out to Scott personally, as a staff member, and I sent him a link to the thread. He stated that he didn't really have any more to add at this juncture, but noted that he did try to contact 911 several times after the tornado was doing damage and had been on the ground for a short time, via his personal cell phone, at the time the videos where shot, and that, per his response, "cell towers were down when I tried calling 911 after the video stopped rolling and couldn’t get ahold of anyone."

He did tell me that initially, early on in the chase, he was part of the reason the tornado warning was upgraded to a TE because he was able to contact the NWS initially (see jpeg attachment of SN report) to let them know a large tornado had touched down and was beginning to cause damage. That's just secondhand information, as I was not present and did not chase last weekend.
 

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