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How many of you know the word "no"?


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  • How many of you know the word "no"?

    Read the story .... it is such a tragedy ....
    My prayers will include his family and he.
    Originally posted by front page
    New York Trooper Electrocuted
    Officer.com News

    The Officer Down Memorial Page is reporting the death of New York Trooper Shawn Snow.
    Snow was electrocuted while assisting a driver change a flat tire on an antique fire truck in Ogdensburg. As Trooper Snow and the truck's driver worked on the tire, the fire truck's ladder came in contact with overhead power lines. Trooper Snow and the truck's driver were both killed instantly.
    Trooper Snow had served with the New York State Police for 19 years and was assigned to Troop B. He is survived by his wife and children.
    (I did wonder how the ladder came in contact with wires though. Did they raise it to gain access to the spare maybe? Jack? Was someone else moving the ladder while they changed the tire? Were they attempting to use the ladder to counterbalance or rock the truck over?)

    As I read it, I was reminded of so many times over the years when I was facing a decision to either help someone with "hands on", help simply by watching traffic, or help simply by offering to call some road service at their expense. When I was probating before basic, I stayed at a residence for $15 a week, it was the home of an older widow and I got the big bedroom and private bath. I noticed throughout the house, some pictures of a young trooper in uniform, and being brand new myself, I asked who he was (thinking maybe a son or other family member of hers). He was the last probate she had rented out the bedroom to during his field training earlier in the year. He was already deceased after being struck alongside an interstate helping to change a tire. I can still see his picture as I spent time studying it, absorbing the fact that he was my age, had just graduated about the time I was testing a few months earlier, and he was already gone.

    I have thought of him most every time I faced the decision myself. I confess, there have been times when I maybe helped some determined young lad or lass out on their own or someone's grandpa determined to change that flat when there was some reasonable safety involved. There have been times I helped a father change one while momma was supposed to be helping watch traffic ... only to look back and see momma wasn't. There have been many times when I simply offered to watch traffic and to call a service provider / wrecker. There have been times when there was no decision, just put out flares and call a service and stand by.

    I have some younger troopers around me who have somehow gotten it into their heads that "no" when asked for such help is not an option, they seem to think changing tires is in their job description. Had one the other day I caught helping a young man change one in the left edge of the left lane on a left handed curve next to a gardrail and it I confess, it made me "mad" that he would do that ... take such a foolish risk (later, he told me the boy had the jack under it but couldn't loosen the lugs, I told him of a couple cases where I took a jack down and put it in either my car or the one with the flat as I ordered the driver to "move it" and got them to a safer place pronto, he didn't know I was a little angry, but he knew I thought it was stupid).

    My view .... You can't even count on yourself to always watch traffic or other hazards when getting distracted by a task like changing a tire. It's why it's so important to either do it in a safe place, or move to a safe place ...
    ... and to be able to say "no".

    (I know that if I or my wife has a flat, even if it costs us a wheel, we'll continue until we can safely get off the roadway. A wheel is "nothing" in the balance.)
    "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

    "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

    >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

    Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

  • #2
    LE should pull over and offer minimal assistance or at least "check" but I dont think any taxpayer expects you allto help people change tires.. etc..

    Our vehicles are our responsibility not yours.. really sad this happened.


    • #3
      Funny how this comes up the day after I changed a tire for a lady and her 6 year old daughter. I responded to an accident where she failed to stop for a light (was looking at a map) and she got nailed. Yeah, I wrote her a ticket and we got the car off of the road. She was taking her daughter to meet her husband at Myrtle Beach and didn't know how to get out of our city to get back on the highway. She admitted she 'might' have run a red light and that it was probably her fault. I had no remorse writing the ticket. She had the car loaded with stuff to last a week, so I helped her change the tire in 95 degree heat with a heat index of 104.

      I have changed several tires but not so much lately. Especially after I had one lady call the Chief because I took too long to change it. I got pretty ticked off after that one and more times than not, I call a service for tow. I've never NEVER changed one on the roadway. I make them drive it to a parking lot.
      I am a Native American of non-Indian decent.

      Cleaning the pool, one gene at a time.

      I'm on a 30 day diet. So far I've lost 15 days!


      • #4
        I don't change tires because no good deed goes unpunished! I don't want the owner's wheel to fall off or they get into an accident and the last thing they remember is Officer X changing their tire.

        I'll call a wrecker, set up flares or if were not busy and they're in a bad area, I'll wait for them to get their help.
        Strong Body, Sharp Mind And Good Tactics!


        • #5
          Whether they're attempting to change it themselves or just waiting for the tow, I am always amazed by people who immediately stop in the traffic lane when they get a flat. Pull off the road!!

          I don't change tires. They have people that do that for money: tow truck drivers. If the driver doesn't want to call a wrecker service, I'll tell/show them what to do, but I tell them beforehand that I cannot change their tire for them.

          The people that always want to change it themselves also seem to always have the wrong jack, and a donut spare that's been mounted underneath the vehicle for 15 years.
          Wis Statute 947.01: Disorderly Conduct - Whoever, in a public or private place, engages in behavior that is violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud, or otherwise acts like a ****ing idiot, is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.


          • #6
            Since my career for the last 12 years has been automotive mechanic, now trying to become an officer, I have wondered about this topic a few times. A hundred if's from now, if I'm on patrol and come upon a broken down vehicle, how much assistance do I render? Do I try to help the driver out to the best of my ability, being that there would be a good chance that I could actually find the problem, or just pretend I know as much about cars as the next guy and offer a tow?

            I'm sure that training and guidelines along with other mitigating circumstances such as call volume and road conditions will help make that decision, but at what point do I decide not to help someone with a mechanical problem when I know I can?

            Perhaps when faced with that decision I will remember this post, think about Trooper Snow, say a quick prayer for him and call a wrecker.


            • #7
              I will not change a tire on the side of a freeway/highway....period. What I will do is position my cruiser as far back as possible to slow the drivers down then render whatever assistance I can. OR purposely shut down 2/3 traveling lanes so drivers are forced to merge unto one lane and proceed slowly.


              • #8
                Like Buck Savage says in the old video, "Bad guys get flat tires too". Don't let your guard down on a motorist assist, just because someone is broken down on the roadway doesnt mean they are harmless..


                • #9
                  I'm not a fan of changing tires on the highway either, but sometimes you don't have a choice. Elderly drivers, handicapped drivers and so on.
                  "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - Orwell


                  • #10
                    I would never expect or even ask an officer to change a tire for me. All I would expect would be a radio for a tow/roadside service, traffic control if need be, and if in a dangerous situation, I would hope he/she would stick around until service arrived.

                    Another way to handle it would be to do like my one of my brothers did for me once a long time ago -- instead of fixing the flat he guided me through doing it myself. Now THAT's a good brother.

                    A couple of months ago I was standing by my car outside my house with the hood up. I had a bad battery. A friend of mine down the street had gone to get tools so he could take it out and take it to the auto repair shop that is across the street. Yes. Across the street.

                    Anyway, there was some kind of incident at the bus stop on the corner and there were several officers out TCB. I was watching it all, just for the entertainment. When it was all taken care of one of the officers came over to me and asked if I needed help.

                    I was surprised by that. No, I didn't need help, but it sure was nice of him to offer. I certainly had no expectations of that and I wouldn't have asked. Maybe he thought I was caught with a break down in a "bad part of town" and considered it a safety issue. Dunno. Happens to be where I live but I can see how he might think I could be afraid to be stuck here.

                    BTW I took note of his name and at the next police-citizens meeting I mentioned the incident to his boss, with a heartfelt thank you.

                    As a civilian I would say it's not your job to fix my flat or do anything else. Ok maybe it would be nice of you to give me a push so I can pop the clutch if I've run down the battery, but that's about it. NOTHING requiring you to get grease on your hands, that's for sure! You aren't a mechanic. You are a cop. You do cop things. You aren't being "mean" or "lazy" or "impolite" or unhelpful or anything else if you say no to such a request.

                    And it doesn't matter if the person doesn't have the money to pay a tow or for roadside service. That responsibility comes with being a driver/car owner.

                    If the driver is elderly or handicapped, well, you don't need muscles to pull out the plastic to pay for roadside service.

                    If you want to do it out of the goodness of your heart -- if you would do it even if you weren't a cop -- then by all means do so. But it's not your job and nobody should expect you to do it.
                    Last edited by rubyrose; 08-04-2008, 04:59 PM.
                    Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
                    Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
                    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1


                    • #11
                      With the advent of the cell phone, if I see someone broken down on the side of the freeway/road and I can see that they are able bodied, I just keep on driving. However, I'd find it hard to drive past an old lady/man if they are broke down on the side of the road... I just hope another officer would do the same for my mom and dad.


                      • #12
                        as a tow truck driver, you are right, I get paid to change the tire; it would be nice if pd would stick around for traffic control sometimes though.

                        anyway if a cop feels the need to change a tire, just let me borrow your gun and cuffs while to do it so I can do your job. I don't mean that in a mean way but we each have our jobs.


                        • #13
                          To answer your original question, apparently the ladder was up to counter-balance the truck as they changed the tire. When they started to lower the truck back down the ladder came into contact with a high power line and the Trooper and another man were both electrocuted and died instantly.

                          Not that it really matters but Trooper Snow was assigned the Commercial Vehicle Unit so he was probably pretty comfortable with the situation, I don't know how far off the road they were or what sort of traffic diversion was in place.

                          I agree that sometimes it is best to not to get involved in things that are not part of your duty, certainly not alongside a roadway without proper traffic control. Do what you can to make the scene safe and if you can't, wait for the wrecker.

                          FWIW - another officer was hit by a vehicle & killed last week, about 3 hours south of where the Trooper was killed, assisting a commercial vehicle alongside the roadway. That driver, however, was DWI and is facing Vehicular Manslaughter charges.



                          • #14
                            My thoughts and prayers to the families of both men, and their departments.

                            I'm pretty sure our department policy is "no" on changing tires - including on patrol cars - but I also know that our deputies either stop until the tow is there, or at least get CHP/tow started if they can't stop.

                            I once gave a lady a dressing down when she called to complain that a deputy did not stop when she broke down on the freeway. I told her all the lengths our guys go to, and reminded her that they can't stop if they are transporting a prisoner, but they always tell us over the radio if there is a disabled vehicle.

                            People here don't even try to get out of travel lanes when they break down, or get in an accident - it's crazy.
                            Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JB2245 View Post
                              With the advent of the cell phone, if I see someone broken down on the side of the freeway/road and I can see that they are able bodied, I just keep on driving. However, I'd find it hard to drive past an old lady/man if they are broke down on the side of the road... I just hope another officer would do the same for my mom and dad.

                              Or if they happen to be a cute female


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