Quebec Fire Photographers Code of Conduct

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Quebec Fire Photographers
Code of Conduct

Article 01
Use and application of the Code of Conduct

The present copy of the Quebec Fire Photographers Code of Conduct bears the number 200902-A. The fire photographer commits to this version of the Code, as well as any future version. The fire photographer will regularly visit the Association's web site to be informed of any new version.


To fire photographers

  1. The present Quebec Fire Photographers Code of Conduct is provided as a tool to develop a better relationship with your local fire department. By personally committing to respect this Code, you are showing to your fire department your will to act professionally and respectfully within the field of fire photography.
  2. To formalize your personal commitment to follow the present Code of Conduct, we recommend that you:
    1. Print two (2) copies of the Code of Conduct
      (click here for a printable version)
    2. Fill out and sign the "Commitment" page on all three copies
    3. Hand out one copy to your local fire department
    4. E-mail a scanned copy to the Association
      info@atpiq.org
      (see FAQ)
    5. Keep one copy for yourself.
  3. Note that you may not declare yourself member, certified or accredited by the Association. Signing the Code of Conduct is a personal voluntary commitment only, and represents in no way an accreditation or a formal membership. Once a signed copy is mailed to the Association, you may use the following line: «Signatory of the Quebec Fire Photographers Code of Conduct».

To fire departments

  1. The signatory of the present Quebec Fire Photographers Code of Conduct personally commits to follow the enactments and rules of the Quebec Fire Photographers Code of Conduct, as written by the Quebec Fire Photographers Association (QFPA).
  2. By signing this Code, the signatory is committing to respect many important aspects of an emergency incident, including what involves emergency personnel, perimeters and victims.
  3. The signatory commits to always follow the directives of the fire department.
  4. You are hereby invited to examine all of the articles contained in the Quebec Fire Photographers Code of Conduct and to consider favorably the personal commitment to this Code by the signatory.

To police services

  1. The signatory of the present Quebec Fire Photographers Code of Conduct personally commits to follow the enactments and rules of the Quebec Fire Photographers Code of Conduct, as written by the Quebec Fire Photographers Association (QFPA).
  2. By signing this Code, the signatory is committing to respect many important aspects of an emergency incident, including what involves emergency personnel, perimeters and victims.
  3. When arriving at an emergency incident scene, the signatory intends to report directly to the officer in command and to become aware of the specific characteristics of the site he/she will have to observe.
  4. The signatory commits to always follow the directives of the police service.
  5. You are hereby invited to examine all of the articles contained in the Quebec Fire Photographers Code of Conduct and to consider favorably the personal commitment to this Code by the signatory.

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Quebec Fire Photographers
Code of Conduct

Article 02: Legislation

  1. The work of fire photography is governed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly the second article which guarantees to everyone the freedom of expression.
  2. The photographer respects and upholds this fundamental right in our society.
  3. The fire photographer respects and upholds the Laws of Intellectual Property that protects him as an author.
  4. The photographer commits to perform its work with a social and fiscal status that meets the requirements of the law.
  5. The photographer respects the laws and regulations in effect, such as the Highway Safety Code and the Law on Fire Safety.
  6. If the photographer is paid by the fire department and by that fact, or a through a special explicit agreement, the ownership of the photographs belongs to the department, the fire photographer must have a formal written agreement with the department which defines the parameters of usage of such photographs. Without such agreement, photographs that fall into the category described here are the property of the fire department and cannot be published.
  7. The fire photographer declares being 18 years of age or older at the time he/she is signing the present Code of Conduct.

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Quebec Fire Photographers
Code of Conduct

Article 03: Responders and authorities

  1. The fire photographer identifies himself clearly by showing an ID card to the officer in charge of very perimeter he crosses (police and fire).
  2. The fire photographer vows to follow the instructions and access bans that are given by voice or written by an officer of the fire department or the police service during specific emergency incidents.
  3. The fire photographer will not challenge a denied access during an incident, understanding that police, fire and paramedical personnel have much more important things to take care of during an incident than to take time to explain or justify a defined access or a directive. In accordance with the previous paragraph, the photographer will immediately obey any official directive he receives, without asking for justification.
  4. When a scene is controlled by an outer police perimeter around a tighter fire perimeter, the fire photographer must indicate to the police officers that he intends to report directly to the commanding fire officer. However, the police service has no obligation to grant passage right even to report to the C.O. If access is denied, the fire photographer will comply. EXCEPTION: If the fire photographer has a pre-authorized access with the fire department (official photographer), or that his presence is requested by the department, and that access is denied by police officers, the fire photographer will ask police officers to confirm the ban with the fire C.O.
  5. The fire photographer specifically commits to not impede on the work of the fire department, paramedical service or police service. The photographer moves and operates in places that do not prevent free movement of firefighters and equipment. He remains alert to movements around him and moves immediately if he foresees to potentially be in the path of emergency personnel or equipment.
  6. On explicit request (voice or written) from the director of the fire, paramedic or police service regarding the removal of a specific photograph, the fire photograph will comply immediately and will remove the targeted photograph from all Internet sites and catalogs.
  7. The fire photograph obeys the fire department's chain of command. If an officer gives the fire photographer a specific instruction that contradicts one from an officer of inferior rank, the fire photographer will comply with the order from the higher-rank officer. The photographer cannot however benefit from a permission granted by a higher-rank officer if it contradicts an access ban given by a lower-rank officer (unless both officers communicate with each other and confirm the permission).
  8. The fire photographer will not publish photographs taken while participating in a fire investigation. It is established that a photograph for a fire investigation is one that was taken during the specific timeframe that a fire investigator used the services of the photographer explicitely. It must be noted that any photograph taken inside an affected building, while participating in a fire investigation, but that does not specifically target an element considered in the investigation cannot be published either, as it was taken during the fire investigation. EXCEPTION: The involved fire department is the final authority in this matter; publishing some photographs can be authorized explicitly.
  9. The fire photographer will never provide or sell directly a photograph or information to an agent, a representative, an insurance company or an expert firm, unless explicitly authorized to do so by the director of the fire department involved.

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Quebec Fire Photographers
Code of Conduct

Article 04: Perimeters and incident sites

  1. The fire photographer mush always get explicit authorization from a perimeter officer before crossing that perimeter. Without authorization, the photographer may not cross that perimeter.
  2. The fire photographer can enter perimeters labeled «fire» only and only if the fire C.O. authorizes him to do so at the time he identifies himself. This authorization can be given when the fire photographer arrives or later during or after the incident (the photographer may not enter the perimeter as long as he does not have that authorization). Authorities are not required to grant access to the fire photographer. In addition, a grant of passage can be given a time limit (example: for 15 minutes maximum) if the authorities deem it necessary.
  3. The fire photographer may not enter any other official perimeter without explicit authorization by a police officer or, if no police service is present, a fire department officer.
  4. An official perimeter is defined as an area surrounded by a yellow or orange tape OR by the specific instructions given by a police, fire or paramedic officer.
  5. The fire photographer may not, under any circumstances, cross a perimeter established with a red tape.
  6. The fire photographer must retreat IMMEDIATELY from any perimeter when a priority retreat (code red) or a strategic retreat call is given. The photographer must then report to the C.O. (or make sure he is visible to the C.O.), so that the officer in charge is able to quickly confirm the presence of the photographer during personnel counting. The photographer should consult his local fire department for the precise procedure to follow.
  7. To do fire photography within a security perimeter, the photographer MUST wear appropriate, complete and confirming to standards turnout gear (bunker), including firefighter boots, full turnout, fire helmet with face shield, fire gloves and any other mandatory piece of equipment according to the local fire department's regulations.
  8. In the presence of fallen power lines, the fire photographer will always confirm with the C.O. or a sector officer that the power is out before entering the perimeter.
  9. In the presence of a vehicle fire, the fire photographer will stay far away from the incident to avoid getting hit by explosive objects (tires, cylinders, mag).
  10. In the presence of hazardous materials (including incidents involving a tanker truck or a tank), the fire photographer will remain near the command post, unless explicitly authorized by the C.O.
  11. The fire photographer will take special care to preserve the sensitive characteristics of incident sites such as vehicle breaking lines, impact debris, position of burned objects, etc.
  12. The fire photographer entering (with authorization) a perimeter cannot try to assist or help the emergency personnel. An exception may be permissible when the department invokes the Law on Fire Safety (L.R.Q. S-3.4) article 40 paragraph 7.
  13. If the fire photographer has the role of «official photographer» for the responding fire department, some access rights may be different from those described in the present Article. In that case, refer to the director of the fire department. Note: being the only fire photographer covering a fire department does not make you an official photographer; the title of official photographer must be formally awarded in written form by department and/or the city counsel.

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Quebec Fire Photographers
Code of Conduct

Article 05: Victims and the public

  1. The fire photographer vows to respect the victims of fires and accidents during the course of his work. He will adopt a discreet and respectful behavior on the scene of an accident, such as by avoiding to point his camera toward accident victims. When possible, the fire photographer working on the scene on an incident where a person has died or is severely injured will hold his camera with the lens toward the ground and a hand covering the camera, between shots, so to show respect and discretion toward victims and family members that may be present on site.
  2. The fire photographer will not publish photographs that could allow to recognize the victims or accidents (with a confirmed death or not), or victims of fires with a confirmed death. If a victim is accidentally displayed in a photograph, the fire photographer commits to not publish that photograph.
    EXCEPTION: Publishing is allowed when: the victim or the victim's immediate family grants it explicitly, and/or the fire department authorizes it explicitly (recognizing that the fire department itself may authorize it only if multiple conditions are met (family authorization, police authorization)).
  3. If the fire photographer is working on the grounds of a school or kindergarden and that children are photographs, the fire photographer must make sure to get the required authorizations and to confirm that his photographs to not violate applicable laws. As needed, the photographer will alter his photographs as to make it impossible to determine the identity of individual children in relation to their location, as is required by the Youth Protection Act (L.R.Q. P-34.1).
  4. The fire photographer will not publish photographs taken from inside a building involved in a fire.
    EXCEPTION: Publishing is possible when: the building's owner (and locator if applicable) provide their explicit agreement, and if the fire department provides its explicit agreement as well.
  5. Photographs or groups of firefighters on an incident scene (often referred to as «gang photo», «family photo», etc.), by default, cannot be published.
    EXCEPTION: The involved fire department is the final authority in this matter; publishing some of these photographs may be allowed explicitly by the department. Publishing these photos on private web pages (that the public cannot reach) is however allowed.
  6. Under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (L.R.Q. C-12) chapter I paragraph 2, any fire photographer arriving on the scene of an emergency incident where a human life is in peril must come to the aid of anyone whose life is in peril, either personally or calling for aid, by giving him the necessary and immediate physical assistance, unless it involves danger to himself or a third person, or he has another valid reason. However, as soon as a qualified emergency personnel member is able to take over and that replace the photographer, he will immediately back off from the operation and will comply with all the other rules of this Code of Conduct.

Contents


Quebec Fire Photographers
Code of Conduct

Article 06: Uniform

  1. To enter a fire operation perimeter, the fire photographer must wear a full turnout gear (bunker) with proper equipment (helmet, shield, boots, gloves, etc.). Fire photographers are therefore better protected on emergency sites and meet the NFPA and CSST requirements. Before arriving at an emergency incident with a bunker, each photographer must validate with his local fire department director if he can indeed wear a bunker in the presence of that department.
  2. When the fire photographer has a fire bunker, he must wear it systematically, with all the required equipment and in full conformance with regulations during all emergency responses where firefighters are also in full turnout gear. An authorized ID vest (see following paragraphs) must also be worn on top of the turnout gear, as to easily distinguish the photographer from firefighters. It is also prohibited to wear a white, red or blue helmet, as these colors have special meaning in fire departments.
  3. During the summer when the temperature is very high, fire photographers are allowed to remove some pieces of their turnout gear if the officer in charge explicitly authorizes it to prevent heat strokes. The Association recommends to fire departments that they supply fire photographers with drinkable (bottled) water when turnout gear is used during the summer, acknowledging that fire photographers are also susceptible to heat strokes.
  4. The fire photographer must always wear an ID vest, wether he is wearing turnout gear or not, so as to make him visible and identifiable. The vest must be approved by the local fire department.
  5. The fire photographer working on the site of a traffic accident or in proximity of moving civil motor vehicles must always wear an approved reflective piece of clothing: turnout gear, approved ID vest or safety vest. Any photographer that is not wearing this kind of reflective clothing can be expelled from the scene by the fire department of police service.

Contents


Quebec Fire Photographers
Code of Conduct

Article 07: Vehicle

  1. The fire photographer must follow the Highway Safety Laws.
  2. The fire photographer will safely yield to any approaching emergency vehicle running in emergency mode. The action of yielding must be performed well in advance, and not at the very last moment, because emergency vehicle operators must have enough time to foresee the movement of vehicles in front of him.
  3. The fire photographer will pay particular attention to his approach method and the place where he parks his vehicle:
    • Building fire:
      • Park far enough from the site
      • Locate fire hydrant, and park on the opposite side of the street
      • Locate which side of the road is used by tankers, and park on the opposite side of the street
      • Avoid parking under power lines that connect to the building involved
    • Vehicle fire:
      • Park far enough from the site
    • Hazardous materials and gas leaks:
      • Listen by radio the approach instructions given by the C.O.
      • Determine the wind direction BEFORE arriving on site
      • Approach the site under the wind
      • Park far enough from the site
    • Vehicle extrications and accidents:
      • Park far enough from the site
      • Park on a side of the street which will allow free movement of ambulances and other emergency vehicles
      • Never park behind the last emergency vehicle with lights on (which serves as the site's first line of protection)
      • Highways and one-way streets: if possible safely, park past the accident
  4. If the fire photographer uses an emergency vehicle provided by the fire department, he will comply with all rules and regulations that relate to the use of that vehicle, and will hold an appropriate driving permit.

Contents


Quebec Fire Photographers
Code of Conduct

Article 08: Liability in case of accident

  1. The fire photographer must be the permanent beneficiary of an insurance policy covering him personally for risks of accidents that can occur in a place where the fire department's responsibility could be engaged if such an accident were to occur. The Association suggests taking a look at Accirance and FQISI solutions.
  2. At the request of a fire department director or the Association, the fire photographer will provide a proof of a currently valid insurance policy to his name.
  3. The fire photographer will not hold the following parties liable in the case of an accident: the responding fire department (if present), the responding police service (if present), the responding paramedical service (if present, and the Association.

Contents


Quebec Fire Photographers
Code of Conduct

Article 09: Commitment

I personally commit to the enactments, requirements and rules of the Quebec Fire Photographers Code of Conduct, as published by the Quebec Fire Photographers Association (QFPA):

See article 1 to get the instructions for sending this form.

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©2020 Quebec Fire Photographers Association (QFPA)