First Cops. Now Firefighters.

by Kerry Dougherty

I’ve had enough. Chances are you have too.

Enough of lawlessness. Enough of destruction of property. Enough of despicable disrespect for law enforcement.

It’s time to send a message to those bent on mayhem that there are some lines they may not cross.

Interfering with firefighters trying to save lives IS that line.

No doubt you heard. On Monday at about 9 p.m. a motorcyclist apparently lost control of his bike and slammed into a tree in the Seatack neighborhood of Virginia Beach.

As emergency workers arrived a crowd of gawkers materialized. The numbers quickly swelled to between 75 and 100, according to news reports.

For reasons that are unclear and can NEVER be justified, some of the spectators began pushing and kicking the first responders.

You know, the folks working furiously to save a critically injured man’s life.

It gets worse.

After the paramedics loaded the victim into an ambulance some punks trailed them to the hospital where they acted like lunatics and damaged EMS equipment. These hooligans created such a disruption in the parking lot that the emergency room was locked down for about four hours.

Yep, a hospital was forced to lock the doors to its ER. In the middle of a pandemic.

There must be cameras around the hospital. Authorities need to study the tapes, identify the idiots who tried to interfere with first responders and prosecute them.

The motorcyclist died en route to the hospital, by the way. We will never know if delays caused by the disorderly mob contributed to his death. Seconds count when an accident victim is clinging to life.

The Virginian-Pilot reported that some in the throng were angry that it took firefighters six minutes to arrive on the scene. In fact, the newspaper cited a 1993 story about complaints of slow response time to Seatack as evidence that this “has long been an issue.”

Let that sink in. The local paper had to go back 27 years to support that charge.

I’ve had enough. Of all of it.

This column was republished with permission from

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21 responses to “First Cops. Now Firefighters.

  1. Six minutes is not a slow response time for EMS.

  2. NFPA Standard 1710 establishes a 60 second “turnout time” and 480 second “travel time” (together, 540 seconds or 9 minute “response time”) benchmark time goal for “the arrival of an advanced life support (ALS) unit at an emergency medical incident” at not less than 90% of dispatched incidents.

    For those who may not know, NFPA is National Fire Protection Association & NFPA Standard 1710 is “Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments”

  3. Perhaps had the EMS responders been accompanied by social workers as currently proposed in the defund the police movement, the mob could have been talked into channeling their outrage to some other worthy target before the EMS folks did their job.

    I have this picture of social workers on ready alert 24/7/365 that I can’t get out of my mind.

    Assuming the social workers were not themselves attacked – a stretch in these times – the attempted emergency rescue might have taken another 30 minutes to an hour, but everybody would have have been saved bruised feelings except the dead victim and his family.

    The next time a traffic accident occurs in Seatack, six minutes response time might turn out to be a tad longer so the police can set up a perimeter. Something else to protest.

  4. “I have this picture of social workers on ready alert 24/7/365 that I can’t get out of my mind.”

    My visions has them sliding down poles like firemen, grabbing their “gear” (case files and peer-reviewed studies), dashing to their publicly-owned mid-sized sedans (or small SUVs) and racing to the scene of the latest social justice violation…

  5. In her typical fashion, Kerry, bends the facts to fit her narrative. So the paper cited a 1993 story to show that this has long been an issue. This did not indicate that the issue was not continuing to present day. This same 1993 story contained the complaint that paramedics would only enter the community with a police escort. Does this complaint also persist to present day? This morning on the local radio show with Kerry and Mike a fire department spokesman downplayed the incident noting that they often deal with crowds gathering at the scene of an emergency. It was unfortunate that this instance became more intense than others but it was nothing that they were not trained to handle. Like so many these days Kerry is apt to lump all protestors into one big “mob” as she is not one to make distinctions.

    • Your are using the term “protesters”?

      “Protesting” the arrival of EMS to help an injured motorist. Chasing them to the hospital to “protest” until the hospital was required to put the emergency room on lockdown?

      Listen to yourself. Are you serious?

      This is a direct attack on public safety by a mob. Your safety.

      Are you scared? Feeling guilty of something? Aren’t sure? What?

    • “So the paper cited a 1993 story to show that this has long been an issue.”

      I repeat: six minutes is not a slow response time for EMS.

    • You can’t be serious … I hope. What part were they trained to handle? The pushing? The kicking? The damaging of EMS equipment? All of them?

      God help us if first responders have to contend with such conduct AND those who would condone it.

  6. VANavVet.

    1. I don’t know what you mean by “downplay” coming from the fire official and I didn’t hear the interview. I think in this climate, it would be in the firefighters’ interest to downplay an incident such as this. Publicly condemning it on local radio would be to invite further problems. The astute fire official knows that there are others who will carry his water for him.

    2. Your use of the question “Does this complaint also persist to present day” is one of those question begging fallacies known as the “suggestive question”. Your question is actually an assertion, a statement unsupported by evidence but which suggests that the answer is “Oh yes, it’s the same today” If that were true, it would be easy to support with facts.

    3. “Kerry is apt to lump all protestors into one big ‘mob’.
    Hasty generalization, one of the fallacies of neglected aspect. It would be nice if you would support this claim, since it is not apparent from her post that she was claiming anything about protestors. All I see is a reference to a “crowd of gawkers”

    • CrazyD –

      Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you…

      For knowing what the term “begging the question” means and for using it properly.

      For every occasion in which I see/hear the term used correctly I probably witness 1,000 instances in which a person uses “begs the question” as a synonym for “raises the question”.

      Sometimes it’s the little things that make for a good day. 🙂

  7. “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.”

  8. James
    I was commenting on Kerry’s use of the terminology “angry mob” to describe a group of residents that gathered at the scene of an incident to see what was going on. I did say that it was unfortunate that this instance became more intense than others which was clearly due to a very few individuals acting out. If they are identified and charges are brought then they will have their day in court. Again the use of the term protestors was with regard to the increasing use of the word “mob” to encompass all people exercising their first amendment rights. It was not being used with reference to this incident. I have no reason to be scared and if I was then I guess I would have to grab my weapons and stand on my front lawn like they do in Missouri.

  9. “A group of residents that gathered at the scene of an incident”. “A few individuals acting out”.

    From the news report in the Virginian Pilot:

    Virginia Beach firefighters were “pushed and kicked” Monday night as they attempted to treat a man gravely injured in a motorcycle crash near the city’s Oceanfront, officials said.
    Some in the crowd who gathered at the scene then followed an ambulance to a hospital, where they “began to jump on, kick and hit multiple EMS vehicles” parked outside, according to a fire department daily briefing filed afterwards. The violence, which a Virginia Beach EMS spokesman said damaged one vehicle, prompted Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital to lock down its emergency room to visitors for several hours.
    “An unruly crowd gathered and rapidly grew in size and out of control, surrounding the scene in a dead end court,” the fire department briefing said.
    The hospital’s emergency room was locked down from 9:24 p.m. until 1:16 a.m., according to Kelly Kennedy, a hospital spokeswoman.
    Gonano said he was told by firefighters who were involved that there were only a few people when they first arrived, but the group quickly grew to about 75 to 100 people.
    “People see a commotion, and they see all the lights and they start to come over,” Gonano said. “And it just grew from there. It was a very tense situation.”
    The incident at the scene was very concerning for firefighters, Gonano said. At least one of the firefighters was kicked and others were shoved, he said. Police arrived and helped with crowd control, he said.
    “This really interferes with our ability to properly care for people,” he said.

    VaNavVet, you take these facts – people converging to watch a man die and then attacking the responders and the hospital to which they took his dead body – and convert them to your passive, non-threatening description. Shame on you.

  10. Gonano essentially said the same thing that I did that “people see a commotion and they see all the lights and they start to come over”. He did not say that all the people that had gathered were involved in the commotion as surely the majority were not. I have no idea what happened at the hospital and as I stated charges should be brought if appropriate. Attack is a pretty strong word to use when it comes to pushing and some type of kick. The fire department spokesman indicated that they are trained for this type of interaction with crowd control. Now today the Virginia Beach police chief is complaining in the paper that his officers are verbally abused, surrounded by people, and sometimes even touched. I can remember the day when these types of things would not even register with cops on the beat. It simply came with the territory.

    • “I can remember the day when these types of things (being pushed and kicked) would not even register with cops on the beat. It simply came with the territory.”

      What day was that? Where was that? There is no policeman anywhere in the world to my knowledge that would or should put up with it. And you think they should just allow it off as another day on the beat? You are nothing if not relentless in repeating demonstrable nonsense.

  11. The lesson is becoming increasingly clear – the Democratic officials who now run the state and most of the cities have no intention of enforcing the law against those who they consider to be righteous protesters. From vast crowds failing to stay socially distant to an armed encampment in Seattle to interference with EMS personnel in Virginia – the police and prosecutors are going to stand down. The politicians will be protected by armed security but you will not. DeBlasio wants to cut $1B from the NYPD’s $6B budget but don’t hold your breath waiting for cuts to the mayor’s security detail.

    There are three options:

    1. Be like the wildebeasts on The Nature Channel and hope the predators attack one of the other wildebeasts.

    2. Move to a more rural area where the police will still enforce the law.

    3. Get a pistol, learn how to use it, get a concealed carry permit and defend yourself.

    There’s a reason that the number of firearm purchase background checks is hitting daily records over and over right now. In America’s urban (and perhaps suburban) areas our already badly broken government is sliding into full collapse.

    You’re on your own. Your government will no longer protect you.

  12. Talk about nonsense. I was clearly referring to the comments in the paper by the VB police chief. His rank and file most likely do not appreciate his apparent whining. Have you not seen the lines of officers standing calmly while protestors get in their face and call them names? They are trained for these situations and are well aware that “words will never hurt them”. Hateful speech is free speech and they accept this as part of the profession. Anywhere in life respect is earned and unfortunately the VB police do have an uneasy history with minorities. It is a fact that people will call the police names and that a crowd will gather around them with their phones out. This is part of living in a free society even if you do not like it.

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