I might have hit a new low here, but oh well.....
A few days ago, I got to work a rock concert put on by a nationally known act. Pretty good crowd, excellent show. But I digress...
My task for the night was to go in plainclothes, mingle, and try to snatch up dope smokers and t-shirt piraters (this is apparently a major concern in the music business). Before the show started, I was wandering around the floor, and I see one of our local BATFE agents standing around. I asked him why he was there, and he told me that the fire marshal had brought him in as extra help monitoring the pyrotechnics that the main band was going to light off during the show.
Pyrotechnics, you say? Show me more!
The fed walks me down past the stage, and he shows me the bank of all the fireworks that were lined up. I'm not an expert, but apparently the stash was red-lining the regulations in terms of indoor safety. He explained everything, and made a very big point of telling me to stay on the other side of the rope, and to pay attention to the blinking red light on top of one of the nearby speakers. When that sucker starts blinking really fast, he went on, it's a five second count-down until boom time. Message noted, I said, and wandered off.
Twenty minutes later, I'm looking around and I see one of our rookies from the last academy. This guy, while smart and generally competent, has managed to alienate 90% of the department and is one of those guys who just begs to be screwed with. I also know that he's a huge fan of the main act, and that he collects guitars.
I walk up to him, and point out the rope. See that? That's where the band will duck off stage for a quick water break between songs. They're kind of anal about their personal space, but they don't mind talking to people over the line, and they like cops. See that red light? That means that the song is almost over and they're getting ready to hop off stage for a second while the roadies rearrange stuff up there. The kid eats up every word.
I find a spot in the crowd, and after the opening bands I start watching the rookie as the main act gets on. Sure enough, he ambles down near the corner of the stage, trying (and failing) to look more like a cop than a groupie. The red light starts pulsating, first slowly, then quicker...and quicker...and quicker. He gets closer to the rope...and closer...and closer...
The fed wasn't kidding. From five rows up, it felt like getting flash-banged. From what I heard, the rookie spent the rest of the night checking cars in the parking lot with a dazed look on his face. And yes, he hates me for some reason.
Indoor pyrotechnics are serious business... I'm glad to see you guys had it covered well. I just finished some fire marshal training, and we saw the footage of the Station fire in Rhode Island, where around 100 people were killed in a crowded nightclub after indoor pyrotechnics caught indoor furnishings on fire. Really nasty stuff.
Great prank, though!
hopefully you dont need the rookie to back you up anytime soon, he might still be a little pissy
You ain't kidding, that video is quite sobering & makes ya want to never ever go to a concert, let alone a crowded public gathering of any kind.
Did ya notice how many people ran toward the exit they went in and never realized that there were other exits.
Still can't believe they found a survivor in the bottom of the stack of people in the doorway, it was like piling up wood how fast they piled up
Research the "Coconut Grove" Night Club Fire in NYC.
IIRC the dead were piled as high as the door.
Iroquois Theatre Fire, Chicago IL
1903, 602 deaths, 250 injuries
Theatre billed as "Fireproof" (think, Titanic?)
Combustible interior furnishings, exit doors bolted shut
(including doors leading back to lobby - to prevent stragglers sneaking in)
Cocoanut Grove, Boston MA
1942, 492 deaths
Paper mache and silk ceiling coverings, overcrowding
Beverly Hills Supper Club, Southgate KY
1977, 165 deaths
Combustible interior furnishings, overcrowding
Happy Land Social Club, Bronx, NYC
1990, 87 deaths
Overcrowding, limited means of egress,
lack of detection systems, darkness
Imperial Foods Chicken Processing Plant, Hamlet NC
1991, 25 deaths
Locked exit doors, dead ends,
lack of suppression equipment,
lack of automated system shut downs
The Station, West Warwick, RI
2003, 100 deaths
Overcrowding, combustible furnishings
Here are some other pertinent fires to research that are examples of code violations which resulted in tragedy.
Sorry for the hijack
Not a problem, anytime my pointless ramblings can be turned into something educational, I am all for it. I appreciate the input, and the fires gives me something to google next time I feel like wasting time at work.
At least nobody here, like someone on another board where I cross-posted this, has called me a sadist.
Hey, since we all thought it was cool, does that make us sadists as well?