Brooklyn Citizen Finds Firefighters “Joyriding”. Or, “Engine 255 Shops for the Meal”

Shopping for the meal still baffles the public.

I found this 'gem' while browsing through Brooklyn fire videos. The title was interesting, "Our tax dollars at work" as well as the description,

"Five fire fighters of Brooklyn, NY ladder co. 255 take a joy ride in a fire truck to grocery shop at a Brooklyn Shop Rite."

But it gets better. The anonymous cameraman replies to two comments,

"A firefighter's job description "does not" include joyriding or using taxpayer property for personal use while on the payroll to "play house." Taxpayers expect firefighters to conduct themselves in a business like fashion. That means, come to work ready to work which includes bring your lunch from home and use a firetruck for its sole purpose…put out fires.?"


"I hope your house burns down while "there buying food for themselves." Perhaps then you'll get the message. Though I seriously? doubt it, since you need "connected brain cells" for the thought process to work."

It's shame that in this day and age some simple facts, especially ones regarding urban fire departments, just don't get across. Then again, 'smoke detectors save lives' doesn't either.

How would you respond in a respectful, professional manner should a citizen question why you are in the Giant picking out steaks?

And for the record Mr. "oberstd9", it's not a ladder truck. It's Engine Company 255, the Jolly Rogers of Rogers Avenue, a top shelf house.

Bill Carey is the daily news and blog manager for Elsevier Public Safety (FireRescue Magazine/Firefighter Nation, JEMS and LawOfficer sites.) Bill also manages the network and is a former volunteer lieutenant with the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County, Maryland.

We encourage and support constructive dialogue and debate. View our comment policy.

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  • Ron Ayotte says:

    I have been asked this before… I mention that unlike the the 9 to 5 world, firefighters do not get a lunch break, nor can we leave to go out to a restaurant to eat. When the tones drop, we go.
    If we stop by the supermarket, it usually is coming back from a call, training or an inspection detail. I also mention that contrary to popular belief, the City does not "buy us lunch". I then mention that if wehad a dollar for everytime we left our meals on the table to answer a call, we could all retire tomorrow.

  • patricia Watkins says:

    I welcome meeting or seeing the fire department at the grocery store, rather than in my home on the worse day of my life.  Many folks in the community do not understand, the firefighters on shift, some days, don't get a lunch hour like we do; when the alarms sound, the first thought on these brave souls is not, the steak they had to leave on the grille, it is your safety, how can they respond and keep other citizen safe.  Yes, it seems crazy they have to bring the engine to the store to buy food, but when the alarms ring, they have to be near the engine so that the heart attach or the person bleeding can be helped with in a 5 to 7 minute window.  Our first responders are amazing folks, I could not do their jobs even 1 hour, but i can not tell you how i appreciate, your are only minutes away to help me, and what possible could be the worse day of my life.

  • Kait says:

    I did a job shadow with a nearby larger town's fire department, we went out to lunch at a nearby restaurant luckily we didn't have to leave in the middle of our meal, and even that they never do but only for their ride along high schoolers. If someone would ask me what we were "joy riding" or "using tax money for the wrong purpose" for, I would be decent but curt saying that we do need to have some food in the fridge at the station and sometimes we need to use the trucks after a call or training etc…

  • Teddy Salad says:

    Why didn't the firefighters buy me some snacks?  Has this guy recorded the ambulances sitting at gas stations and malls?  Maybe the guy making the video is offering to do the shopping for the firefighters.  I'm sure he is a productive member of society and can be fully trusted, that is unless he jumps off a bridge or such first, just hope he doesn't do it at lunch time, response might be delayed if the cashier is new.  Support your local first responder and hug a vet. 

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