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General Scanning Discussion For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Location specific posts should be directed to the regional forums listed below.

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Old 12-05-2013, 4:09 AM
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Default Scanner listener Tragedy

Washington state woman live-tweets husband's fatal auto accident - U.S. News

Though we love our hobby and it provides many exciting moments, it also can give us an inside window into human heartbreak and tragedy. This reminds me of an accident I monitored a few years ago in early December. During a dark rainy evening rush hour, a woman crossed over the median of a NJ interstate and struck another car head-on. The NJSP dispatch reports as Troopers were responding and the reports from the Troopers upon arrival were heartbreaking. Though they were careful not to use names over the air, by running the vehicle registrations and victims DL numbers it was obvious it was 2 women, one 27 y/o the other 40 y/o old both DOA.
It struck me these 2 women left work and would not be coming home. There would be 2 knocks on the door with a Trooper standing there. 2 families would be devastated. For 2 families Christmas would never be the same.
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Old 12-05-2013, 6:35 AM
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Wow...Horrible
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Old 12-05-2013, 4:17 PM
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Default gf and i listened to this.

Sergeant Mike Wilson, Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, Florida

you never know.
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Old 12-05-2013, 4:45 PM
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I hear about deaths every once in a while around here, but, after 10+ years of scanning, it sadly doesn't bother me that much any more. What did was the fire we had here back in February that killed 2 Bryan firefighters. I still remember one of the firefighters who was severely injured and later died screaming in pain over the radio, and the garbled transmissions that followed when the structure collapsed on top of the RIT team. I also remembered the final transmissions of the other firefighter who died after getting lost in the building:

When Command requested that he follow one of the hoses out, he gave this, final response:

"Command, can't do it. I have stuff all over the hose line and I'm disoriented...please send help."

Next thing I knew:

"Command, this is [Ladder] Truck 1. We have a firefighter down..."

Needless to say, when I saw the news that two firefighters were killed in the fire, my jaw literally dropped. I was in a numb state of shock with one thought: My god, I just listened to two firefighters die...

I saved all of the Broadcastify audio files of the incident.
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Old 12-05-2013, 5:05 PM
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That was always my biggest fear when I used to shoot news footage full time. I always wondered what I would do if I arrived on a scene to find out that I knew (or worse, was close/related to) a victim. Fortunately, that never happened. Seeing total strangers dead/die in front of my eyes was bad enough.

Ironically, I still miss doing it full time and so every now and then I go chase the scanner for old times sake (as you can see in my sig below). I guess I'm a morbid freak or something lol.
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Old 12-05-2013, 8:03 PM
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My father got me interested in radio at an early age. TV-DX, clear channel AM radio, CB, and Police Radio before there were scanners.

In July 1968 my dad sold a CB (Lafayette HE20C) to someone and they were having trouble with it. He asked them to bring it back and he went to buy a resistor for it that had gone bad.
He wasn't feeling good that morning when he left to get the part.
A friend stopped by the house after my dad had left. He had a police receiver in his car because his son was a dispatcher. I walked out to his car and we were listening to the police and fire calls. We heard a call about an accident and then sirens (volunteer fire department). We then heard the report that a driver was DOA. (Fatal heart attack)

A few minutes later my brother came flying into the driveway and said he got a call that our dad was in an accident. I knew immediately that this was the radio transmission I heard. I couldn't say anything to him or my mom because I was hoping it wasn't true. Finally they got the confirmation from the hospital. Needless to say it was a radio call I never wanted to hear.

Now 45 years later I am listening to police and fire calls again. My daughter is a dispatcher! I have to say some of the calls I hear bring back memories of that day.

Last edited by tinslep; 12-05-2013 at 8:10 PM..
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Old 12-05-2013, 9:36 PM
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Even dispatchers themselves have this happen . . . I once heard a dispatcher for my county send a deputy to assist rescue at a particular address, and as she was giving the address she said "oh my God, that's my grandfather's house!"

I heard a call one night during a bad storm for a tree that fell on a house and came through the roof, and I recognized the address as my in-laws house. Called over there and sure enough, there was a tree branch sticking through their living room ceiling. Fortunately no one was injured.

Worst I've had personally though, is one Monday morning I heard rescue dispatched to my Dad's address for an unresponsive subject, and a minute later the phone rang and it was my step-Mom saying "I can't wake up your Dad"... That turned out to be a very bad week.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:04 PM
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In the 80's, an Indianapolis PD officers wife was listening to the scanner and heard her husband and two other officers dispatched to a robbery. She later heard them calling officer down but did not hear her husbands voice any longer coming across the radio.
On a good note, once during an ice storm, I was in foot pursuit of two teens at a B&E call, getting into a physical with the one. I was calling for backup and the closest officers were 10 miles away. Luckily a fireman on his way home heard what was happening and assisted me
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Old 12-06-2013, 8:36 AM
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That's why my wife would never listen to our scanner when I was on duty. To this day, there are still stories that I haven't told her about.

Stay Safe,

Rich C
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Old 12-06-2013, 9:19 AM
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It's inevitable that we, as scanner listeners, hear things first that will end up affecting us in many ways.

I've had quite a few over the years, and have also been the guy on the other side of the radio for some (my grandfather was a witnessed cardiac arrest and I called for the ambulance on my fire department radio while I was doing CPR).

My latest was thankfully not involving the anyone's health, but I was at work and had the scanner on as I do frequently when I get bored. I heard my local police responding to a report of a stolen not far from my home. It was notable because I had moved recently and wasn't familiar with the local 10-code, so I had to go look it up. Maybe 20 minutes later, I got a call from home. It turned out to be my oldest, who was still in high school at the time, decided to cut school with a friend, and decided to walk away from her car after leaving the door unlocked and the keys still in it. The story had a "meh" ending that probably didn't end. The car was recovered after some patsy bought it on a web classified page (someone is running a racket stealing cars and turning them around for cash with phony titles... her "friend" were probably in on it at some level) -- minus the personal belongings and her identity documents. Live and learn.

I also think that it is possible for us to develop PTSD from the vantage point we may have to intense incidents, particularly considering no one in this hobby is usually in a direct position to affect any sense of control over the incident. It's not always possible to dissociate yourself from the incident, particularly if you know the person or responders involved. We all deal with these things in different ways. If anyone hears something that bothers them, they should seek help, or at the very least talk to someone about it.

Mrs. Johnson shares our hobby and is probably "one of us" here. I'd like to express my sincerest condolences to her and her family if she comes across this thread.
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Old 12-06-2013, 9:48 AM
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in the town where i live, we have a female dispatcher that took a call for a structure fire at her own house. she dispatched the call, and then had the road supervisor drive her home. thankfully, her kids got out fine.
there was major dmage to her home though.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:03 AM
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Speaking of having to handle bad things you hear on the radio:

In July 2012, two RAF Tornado fighters collided off Scotland during a training exercise, two crewmen were able to eject but two others were declared missing after both aircraft ditched in the sea.

An RAF rescue helicopter was on another training exercise nearby at the time. The helicopter had to be stood down from any rescue attempt after someone realised that the female rescue helicopter pilot was the wife of one of the missing crewmen.

RAF Tornado crash: Helicopter rescue pilot was wife of missing airman - Telegraph
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:41 PM
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Being a fire photographer I actually responded to a fire here that ended up going to a 6-11 and killing a firefighter from the station that is first due to my house. I will never forget how much I hated scanning in that moment, I heard things that made me feel like I would never be the same, it made me physically sick, by the same token it gave me a greater insight and definitely matured me to hear the way that everyone handled the operation.
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Old 12-07-2013, 9:43 AM
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (BlackBerry; U; BlackBerry 9900; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.11+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/7.1.0.1047 Mobile Safari/534.11+)

About 17 years ago I was at a drive in theater and saw a RCMP cruiser fly by lights and sirens, had my amater hand held (RCMP were VHF analog) with me. Turned out the unit was going to back up an officer that had a domestic suspect pointing a gun at the officer. He ended up shooting the suspect when he would not drop the rifle. The suspect that was shot was someone I knew of from my town. I think that incident is still the only officer involved shooting to ever happen in the town I grew up in. It is also something I will never forget.
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Old 12-08-2013, 2:51 PM
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Someone and I were walking down the sidewalk had my earbud in and I froze when I heard a call go out for 2 cars vs bicycle. I stopped and froze and started to shake and I fell down down and didn't say nothing for a few minutes and my buddy said dude you all right? He had his radio on also and he said is the call you heard? I said yes. The next day heard on the radio station saying the persons name and I knew him from school. He also applied for a job at my work the supervisor ask me about him told her in private and she said that's a shame that happened.

I use to hear my Mom's address a few times mostly her or my step-dad. I would call like 5-10 mints later see what happen my since step-dad wouldn't call me or other family members.
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Old 12-09-2013, 7:45 PM
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My mom is 78 and is by herself at home during the day with our menagerie of pets. Whenever I hear the local fire department get dispatched I always stop what I'm doing to listen to the address. So far I haven't heard anything, although I should have today and it's probably good I didn't. Apparently my brother needed some tests and a CT Scan. Why he didn't go from the DR office to the hospital is beyond me, unless the DR office is closer to the house than the hospital. Anyway, apparently he came home form the DR and called 9-1-1 for a ride to the hospital because he couldn't see very well. Anyway, for whatever reason I missed the call out on him, which was probably a good thing because I would have likely gone into panic mode.

For the record, my brother was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy this morning so it wasn't anything super major, but it wasn't a walk in the park or anything.
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Old 12-09-2013, 7:46 PM
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Default re: Scanner listener Tragedy

You guys have just listened to it. I did 20 years search and rescue with the Civil Air Patrol in Southern California deserts. As you know the law says I can't say names, dates and places. I can say with all my experience as a communications officer and with masters observer wings. The worst private pilots that I have seen are doctors and lawer's. A lot of weekend flyer type people in Southern California don't take into account what is called density altitude. There is a saying "As the warm weather arrives, your airplane’s performance can really suffer" it also make the plane use up gas faster. They end up running out of gas in some of the nastest places on earth like Death Valley California, 130°f in the shade with no water, no survival gear. Providing they land in 1 piece.

Steve
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Old 12-09-2013, 9:44 PM
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But we're talking about people we know or are related to, Steve, not just regular work stuff. There's a biiiiiiiig difference.
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Old 12-10-2013, 4:44 AM
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Default Scanner listener Tragedy

I know about that also desert cheetah. I had my scanner on when I heard about a BenFranklyn Transit night service cab was hit in the rear end by a dui with my room mate and her then 6 year old boy (he is now 8) in the cab. Pj just had a lump on his head. But the mva aggravated a surgery done on Arlene's left shoulder only 3 months before.

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But we're talking about people we know or are related to, Steve, not just regular work stuff. There's a biiiiiiiig difference.
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