Chief angered by video horseplay

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Augusta Fire Chief Howard Willis said Tuesday he's none too happy about a film clip posted on YouTube.

This still was taken from a 16-second video showing an Augusta firefighter duct-taping another's mouth, neck and head. The video has since been removed by the user who posted it, according to a note on the YouTube site.  Special
Special
This still was taken from a 16-second video showing an Augusta firefighter duct-taping another's mouth, neck and head. The video has since been removed by the user who posted it, according to a note on the YouTube site.

The 16-second video shows an Augusta firefighter duct-taping another's mouth, neck and head while he appears to struggle in vain.

"I don't tolerate any kind of hazing or anything like it, and I'm (going to) get to the bottom of this," Chief Willis said Tuesday.

The chief said two firefighters involved, Brandon Trapp and his supervisor, Lt. Jeff Daniels, will be in his office this morning to explain what's on the clip and how it got on the video-sharing Web site. Mr. Trapp, 22, is the apparent victim in the entry, titled "P-Trap getting taped up."

The explainer text reads, "firefighter with smart mouth gets handled."

Both men work at Station 3 on Reynolds Street and come back on shift today.

Contacted by phone Tuesday, Mr. Trapp said the incident was no more than in-station horseplay, just a "laughing, joking around-type thing" to pass the time. He said it was Lt. Daniels doing the duct-taping, and he later helped him pull it off. He said he's not even upset that someone posted the clip on the Internet.

"It's all good," the three-year firefighter said. "I know they didn't use my real name or anything like that."

In the video, a young man in a blue shirt with the Augusta Fire Department emblem on the left sleeve is seated at a table, and a similarly dressed man standing over him holds his head and makes six passes with a roll of duct tape, covering his mouth and tightly covering his neck, ears and forehead. In the background, hysterical laughter can be heard.

Mr. Trapp said he's not sure who was laughing or who was filming.

It's not clear in the video whether Mr. Trapp is subdued -- he says he wasn't -- but he squirms and grunts, prompting the man in the background to laugh harder. Seated to his left is another figure, back to the camera, with "Fire Rescue" on the back of a dark shirt.

The only face clearly visible is Mr. Trapp's. He said he wasn't injured, and as for the pain of pulling off the tape, he's suffered injuries in fires that hurt worse.

The men at the station are like brothers, he said. Sometimes, the high jinks can go to extremes, but this wasn't one of them. He described an atmosphere of Police Academy -style pranks and retributions, all in good fun.

The clip was added March 24 by a user with the screenname jdfirre, a 44-year-old firefighter, according to the profile page. Augusta human resources office records say Lt. Daniels, a 17-year veteran of the department, is 44.

The county's employee handbook forbids violence, threats of violence and harassment, and says offenders can be prosecuted. The fire department's administrative manual says workers "shall commit no act tending to bring reproach or discredit upon the Fire Department or its members."

Chief Willis said these are firing offenses.

"They think they're being funny, I think," he said, "and there's nothing funny about it."

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (204) Add comment
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FOOTBALL IS BACK
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FOOTBALL IS BACK 04/09/08 - 09:36 am
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Some of you have no idea what

Some of you have no idea what it is like to be a policeman or a fireman, or in any emergency service. We are around the guys we work with more than we are with our families, WHY to protect you. Have you ever thought that maybe some fun or laughter might be a good thing. This was just all in fun I am SURE!! Yes we are paid by the citizens. However it is no different than you going to work and getting paid by the company you work for and joking around with your co-workers, and I am quite sure everyone has joked around...So think about that. I would hate for these men to lose everything just for having a little fun. KILLING TIME!!!

bone
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bone 04/09/08 - 09:44 am
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one of the best retorts ever,

one of the best retorts ever, tall2!

plzgetalife
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plzgetalife 04/09/08 - 09:48 am
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I really think they were just

I really think they were just playing around. Firefighters are at that station 24 hours a day. Everyone plays at the job sometimes....but if this is not acceptable with the Human Resources department...then I think they should be reprimanded...but not fired.

Rose
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Rose 04/09/08 - 09:48 am
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The person who posted it on

The person who posted it on you tube should be charged with a crime. What if a child saw it and acted out that scene, and taped someone's nose AND mouth as a joke?

carter
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carter 04/09/08 - 09:54 am
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I think that they need to

I think that they need to learn more on being firefighters than horseplaying around.my in-laws lost their house to a fire due to volunteer firefighters unprepaired and not trained in richmond county.these firefirghters should know that if u have the fire containedin 1 room and u bust out a window causing air to the fire tht the fire would spred and it did.the whole house was on fireafter tht and yes they were horseplaying around inside with the fire also and stealing coin collections in the process.so my in laws have no home now with no help from the county thanks to them.i wouldnt have burned but 1 roomif it wasn"t for them . the place was paid for and had no insurance and insurance was all they were worried aboutt when the 911 call was made.so i think they need to be trained properly beforethey are put to work.now my n laws have no home & they lost alot due to horseplay.so im a lot upset.my n laws were devestaed they are almost 60 and dont wont to start over & cant afford amortgage now.

Rose
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Rose 04/09/08 - 10:02 am
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I know a little something

I know a little something about those jokes posted on you tube. One night I went to myspace to see if my grandson was online.I saw the headline of a video that terrified me. It was his name then the word death. He was sitting in a chair, and his brother sticks his arm out and has a gun in his hand, and shoots his brother. It is loud. It was a toy gun but looked real. I was so scared. I called my son, and he had just found out about it too.The boys did not understand what was the big deal, that they were just joking around.Before I went to bed it was off you tube and myspace.My son told them that someone watching it could think it was real, and a swat team might show up at their door. It is one thing to joke around, but taping someone with duct tape and pretending to kill someone is not funny one little bit.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 04/09/08 - 10:11 am
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Carter, does that come with a

Carter, does that come with a map? Rose, they only put tape on the man, they did not pretend to kill him!

belapris55
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belapris55 04/09/08 - 10:21 am
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now you know what

now you know what firefighters do on there down time horseplay , why not be in a class getting better at your skills of life saving, ,all goverment carreers do it state and federals

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 04/09/08 - 10:23 am
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Rose you are way off. If a

Rose you are way off. If a child sees something online and acts it out its the parents fault. Quit blaming someone else for someones child doing something stupid.

Rose
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Rose 04/09/08 - 10:29 am
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My son did not make his 17 yr

My son did not make his 17 yr old video himself. Have you tried to watch a 17 yr old and 14 yr old every single minute? If you say you have, then you lie.

Rose
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Rose 04/09/08 - 10:32 am
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And did I say the fireman

And did I say the fireman taped the other's mouth AND nose? If I did then show me. You are trying to put words in my mouth that I did not say. Can' you understand that children seeing the mouth taping could easily tape a friend's mouth and nose? They might not see it was just the mouth. And don't say the parent should be watching them every minute of every day.

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 04/09/08 - 10:33 am
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NO i am saying u can keep

NO i am saying u can keep your kids off the internet. It's not the internet's fault if your kid does something stupid. It reflects your parenting skills.

Rose
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Rose 04/09/08 - 10:34 am
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You make me sick blaming the

You make me sick blaming the parents for everytime a child even farts.

Rose
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Rose 04/09/08 - 10:36 am
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wyldsfam4 parenting skills

wyldsfam4 parenting skills have nothing to do with this at all. Kids have friends and they can be influenced by stupid people posting trash on you tube.

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 04/09/08 - 10:36 am
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You make me sick with your

You make me sick with your liberal thinking...oh a child saw someone doing something on tv so he did it..let's take the tv show off the air. Quit blaming people for someones stupidity. Stand up and take responsibility for your own actions. If your child does something stupid it's not the tv's fault. It yours for not being a parent.

Rose
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Rose 04/09/08 - 10:37 am
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Kids think they know it all,

Kids think they know it all, and they know nothing about life.

bone
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bone 04/09/08 - 10:39 am
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can't believe i missed your

can't believe i missed your attack on teachers, yak1. yes, we bottom feeders certainly don't do anything important during the week - i find myself so bored with ignoring student concerns that i often tape my fellow teachers. fortunately, i'm never observed and, since children are known for being excellent secret-keepers, no one tattles on me & I haven't been caught yet. hopefully the droves of highly-qualified people storming the gates to get into the profession will enjoy a life of leisure like i do. i'm thinking about taking up firefighting on the side since i'm already pretty good at taping coworkers (i don't like donuts so i think becoming a police officer isn't a viable option).

Rose
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Rose 04/09/08 - 10:40 am
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My son is a good parent. Both

My son is a good parent. Both of those boys are A students.They have never been in trouble with the law, and if it were not for their dad, they would not be where they are today. Let me see you watch even one teen 24/7. You can't do it.

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 04/09/08 - 10:40 am
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I am not a kid. I have 2

I am not a kid. I have 2 teenagers and they were taught what is right and wrong. They also know better than to do something stupid. If they did I wouldn't blame the tv or the internet.

Rose
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Rose 04/09/08 - 10:41 am
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And I did not even mention

And I did not even mention tv. Where did that come from? You must not understand English. Go back to school.

Rose
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Rose 04/09/08 - 10:43 am
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If grown men want to tape

If grown men want to tape themselves acting like idiots, then go for it. Just don't show it to the world.

cash bail
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cash bail 04/09/08 - 10:43 am
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We pay the president and he

We pay the president and he was "Just Sitting Around" getting a job done doing nothing. Come on people, they were messing around. Laugh about it and keep going. They are not setting examples for any kids- that is the Parent's job. They put out fires, risking their lives---can't they relax and have fun. All that are downgrating these men--find something else to grip about.

GnipGnop
13051
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GnipGnop 04/09/08 - 10:43 am
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Oh please. I was making an

Oh please. I was making an example of how people like you play the blame game. Don't attack me cause you don't agree with me. You want to argue the points I will argue my side. I have seen your personal attacks on people because they don't agree with you.

Rose
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Rose 04/09/08 - 10:44 am
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You don't know what all your

You don't know what all your kids do. Are you watching them right now?

GnipGnop
13051
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GnipGnop 04/09/08 - 10:45 am
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I didn't say I did. You don't

I didn't say I did. You don't understand English? You should go back to school.

Rose
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Rose 04/09/08 - 10:45 am
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Where have I attacked you

Where have I attacked you personally? I attacked your opinion, not you as a person.

cash bail
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cash bail 04/09/08 - 10:45 am
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Rose-*--get a freaking

Rose-*--get a freaking LIFE... DOGGONE IT.

cash bail
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cash bail 04/09/08 - 10:45 am
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Rose-*--get a freaking

Rose-*--get a freaking LIFE... DOGGONE IT.

cash bail
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cash bail 04/09/08 - 10:46 am
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Rose-- go get a freakin

Rose-- go get a freakin doggone LIFE.

cash bail
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cash bail 04/09/08 - 10:46 am
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Rose-- go get a freakin

Rose-- go get a freakin doggone LIFE.

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