Madison Firefighters Denied Access To Capitol During Emergency


It’s generally speaking a bad idea to attract press for preventing firefighters from rescuing police officers during an emergency call. But that’s about where we are in Madison now.

Check out this report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Dave Trainor, a Madison firefighter, said he was part of a crew dispatched to the Capitol on a call that someone was trapped in an elevator. Firefighters were denied access at one of the building’s entrances that is being guarded by police….

As it turned out, a police officer was trapped in an elevator. But at the time of the call, firefighters did not know if there was a medical emergency, Trainor said.

“We lost crucial time on a call we didn’t know anything about,” he said.

Read the whole report. It turns out the firefighters were turned away by other police officers who were blocking an entrance to the Capitol. Fortunately everyone was ok.

A sort of irony here is that Scott Walker sought to exempt firefighters and police from his plan to scotch public sector unions. Now, whether through solidarity or through hijinx like these, they’ve become a big part of the story.


Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at