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[Split] Discussion: Who is a civilian?

Halifax Tar

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Unlimited Liability (UL);
The concept of the unlimited liability contract is that when members of the military ‘sign up’ for military duty they surrender certain rights by the very nature of their military service – they must obey legal orders, are placed at an increased risk of harm or death in certain situations due to their military service and they surrender certain rights by the very nature of their military service, such as their right to safety, to autonomy, to freedom of movement, and so on.
The idea of UL was stated about 60 years ago and then really brought up in discussions and to be defined about 40 years ago. In essence, you signed on the dotted line and that has consequences.

But respectfully. I don’t think it is the panacea that many think it is and quote.

In 15 years as a firefighter I was never ordered to do something knowing it would kill me. In fact, in all dangerous situations actions were taken in a very calculated way. In a few cases I was called out of fires when the calculation of risk for the crew were deemed too high based on the possible benefits. There were also other incidents where we took extreme risks based on our belief that the benefit ( the saving of a human life) was worth the risk.

In more than 25 years of policing I lived and worked in a number of small northern communities and spent time on the Tactical Troop and Emergency Response Team. I lived in restrictive conditions, giving up some of my rights due to my service. I attended more calls than I can count where there was an increased risk of injury or death. I have given orders to other members at calls that were calculated risks. I have been assaulted, shot at a number of times and run down by a vehicle once while on foot. All here in Canada. Often attending by myself, and there was no “opt out” option.

I deeply respect many veterans and many things about the military. I just think that some times the only thing missing about UL from policing, at least in the RCMP is that nobody adopted a British Generals expression of UL and published an equivalent to Duty with Honour: The Profession of Arms in Canada.

Oh, I did a 9 month tour in Afghanistan as an RCMP member. I was deployed in the field as a police mentor to the ANP. I never worked in a training camp or as an advisor at an HQ. I carried a 9mm pistol and a C7A2 and most of the time lived in a tent. I did my share of gate guard, foot patrols and vehicle patrols. I was present more than once when my unit was in contact. I once heard a CAF officer tell some other RCMP members in mission that when they go on patrol if anything happened that they could just stay behind the CAF members and they would be protected. As they had no UL. It sounded stupid when he said it. As it was. Probably why I am so cynical most times when I hear it used by people now. On July 22nd I will be a civilian.

For your discussion and dismemberment.
Did you volunteer for your Afghan deployment or did the RCMP come and tell you you were deploying ? When you did deploy how did you end up outside the wire vice behind it ? Were you ordered or did they look, again, for volunteers ?

I have allot of respect for our Paramedics (we pay them way to little) FDs and PDs. Hell when I am at home they are my security blanket. But I don't get a choice on where the Crown uses me. And I cant look at a situation and say its too dangerous. My life can be ordered to be laid down. I don't believe our emergency services cannot be ordered to do so, even though I know most of these fine folks would volunteer to do so to save the life of another.

I would say that brings up another difference. The CAF's ultimate reason for existence is to cause death and destruction of an enemy resulting in victory. I am not sure our Emergency Service folks have that same raison d'etre.

I stand to be corrected. Well, I'm currently sitting so maybe I sit to be corrected ?

 

QM

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I always thought the correct term to highlight their unique role in society was First Responders, alongside firefighters and paramedics, and occasionally some others. People who run towards the threat.

As an aside, I also generally feel they are exposed to more personal risk, more frequently, more rapidly, and over a longer period of time (and often alone) than most of us are (at least most of the time, and for some of us, ever).
 

lenaitch

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I would say that brings up another difference. The CAF's ultimate reason for existence is to cause death and destruction of an enemy resulting in victory. I am not sure our Emergency Service folks have that same raison d'etre.

This. Under the appropriate circumstances, a soldier can sit on a door and eliminate any and all who exit it, or an aviator or sailor can launch ordnance on a spot on a map. No police officer can do this.
People who run towards the threat.

As an aside, I also generally feel they are exposed to more personal risk, more frequently, more rapidly, and over a longer period of time (and often alone) than most of us are (at least most of the time, and for some of us, ever).
Careful with overly broad definitions or we'll have tow trucks claiming to be first responders.

Statistically, law enforcement typically doesn't crack the top ten of riskiest jobs. Two differences from other professions is that they generally have little choice to avoid the risk and it is often at the hands of others.

There is a difference between duty or obligation and term of employment. If I don't want to be posted to a small remote community, I don't join a deployed service. I can't refuse a direction that might put me at risk, because they are inherent to the job. I can refuse to take out a cruiser that has bald tires.
 

mariomike

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I can't refuse a direction that might put me at risk, because they are inherent to the job.

Active Shooter / Hostile Event ( ASHE )

Rescue Task Force ( RTF )
First arriving street paramedics ( NOT tactical paramedics ) team up with 2 patrol officers to move quickly into “warm” zone areas along cleared corridors to initiate treatment and evacuation of victims.
2 patrol officers for front and rear security and 2 street medics in ballistic gear with supplies to treat up to 14 patients.
“Stabilize, position, and move on”
Once the first RTF runs out of supplies, they grab a victim and evacuate out.
RTF re-supply near point of entry.
 

Remius

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I’ve always considered anything outside the military as civilian. Including civil authority and civil power. A police force is a civilian organisation, so is a fire department etc. They exist to support, protect and secure civilian populations in a civilian context. But a lot of organizations define themselves apart from civilians. I’ve even heard the media refer to everyone else as civilians. If I were to put it in context, if a terrorist bombed a fire department would that be a civilian target or something else?
 

Loch Sloy!

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I don't draw a distinction between military members and police in an effort to denigrate the service of civilian police in anyway. They perform an extremely difficult job and accept far greater risks than is typical for any profession.

However if a platoon commander in war orders a fire-team to take a bound and draw enemy fire, well it sucks to be charlie team but I doubt many on here would dispute the authority of the platoon commander to give the order or the fact that charlie team is obligated to obey it. I don't believe that the authority of a police supervisor (and more importantly the liability of the police member) is quite the same.

As for the ability of police members to refuse unsafe work, it may not be as broad a right as enjoyed by those in a typical civilian occupation, but at the end of the day civilian police are almost always unionized employees and do not infrequently push back in various ways to advocate for changes to their terms of service with their employers.

To muddy the waters even further, the RCMP are a paramilitary force (gendarmes?) and in some ways fall into a grey area. I'm more familiar with the terms of service for municipal police in Alberta. However when I worked for the RCMP many moons ago it was as a "civilian member" vs a sworn member, and sworn members certainly did not view themselves as civilians. Incidentally in the heirarcy of the RCMP it went something like; sworn members, service horses, service dogs and finally civilian members ;)

However this is all a bit of a rabbit hole in this thread and perhaps fits better in the "Thin Blue Line" patch thread discussion?
 

TCM621

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Unlimited Liability (UL);
The concept of the unlimited liability contract is that when members of the military ‘sign up’ for military duty they surrender certain rights by the very nature of their military service – they must obey legal orders, are placed at an increased risk of harm or death in certain situations due to their military service and they surrender certain rights by the very nature of their military service, such as their right to safety, to autonomy, to freedom of movement, and so on.
The idea of UL was stated about 60 years ago and then really brought up in discussions and to be defined about 40 years ago. In essence, you signed on the dotted line and that has consequences.

But respectfully. I don’t think it is the panacea that many think it is and quote.

In 15 years as a firefighter I was never ordered to do something knowing it would kill me. In fact, in all dangerous situations actions were taken in a very calculated way. In a few cases I was called out of fires when the calculation of risk for the crew were deemed too high based on the possible benefits. There were also other incidents where we took extreme risks based on our belief that the benefit ( the saving of a human life) was worth the risk.

In more than 25 years of policing I lived and worked in a number of small northern communities and spent time on the Tactical Troop and Emergency Response Team. I lived in restrictive conditions, giving up some of my rights due to my service. I attended more calls than I can count where there was an increased risk of injury or death. I have given orders to other members at calls that were calculated risks. I have been assaulted, shot at a number of times and run down by a vehicle once while on foot. All here in Canada. Often attending by myself, and there was no “opt out” option.

I deeply respect many veterans and many things about the military. I just think that some times the only thing missing about UL from policing, at least in the RCMP is that nobody adopted a British Generals expression of UL and published an equivalent to Duty with Honour: The Profession of Arms in Canada.

Oh, I did a 9 month tour in Afghanistan as an RCMP member. I was deployed in the field as a police mentor to the ANP. I never worked in a training camp or as an advisor at an HQ. I carried a 9mm pistol and a C7A2 and most of the time lived in a tent. I did my share of gate guard, foot patrols and vehicle patrols. I was present more than once when my unit was in contact. I once heard a CAF officer tell some other RCMP members in mission that when they go on patrol if anything happened that they could just stay behind the CAF members and they would be protected. As they had no UL. It sounded stupid when he said it. As it was. Probably why I am so cynical most times when I hear it used by people now. On July 22nd I will be a civilian.

For your discussion and dismemberment.
The difference is choice and I am not sure there is much of a difference anymore. Police, Fire fighters, etc do run towards the danger because are overwhelmingly filled with people who think that way. Soldiers are similar. However, if a police office refuses to enter a building because of the threat no one can make him. Traditionally, a soldier would get a boot up his ass and told to get moving. When I joined the death penalty for Cowardice was still on the books and that was unlimited liability. You go into a situation with a high risk of death or put self in a situation with a certain chance of death. However, that hasn't been the case for a long time, even though the death penalty was still in force when I joined it hadn't been used since WW2. If a soldier today just decided to refuse to fight, I don't see to many cases where the end result is much worse than what a police officer could get. A soldier doesn't have a police union to protect him but I would the most likely result would be a release rather than jail time or something. So I think we have regressed (progressed?) to something more similar to the police model that the older version of unlimited liability.
 
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