Safety First

Safety_GearWhen I watch various ghost hunting shows, I am bound to be vocal about my opinions on how to do things. I will also express my opinions on evidence and attitudes. And while I may disagree on these issues, it doesn’t make me right and they wrong. Since we have no real set method of how to conduct an investigation, people are free to do things at their comfort level. One thing I cannot stand, however, is a blatant disregard for personal safety. It is disrespectful to your team and a bad role model for your viewers. Especially when you have NO disclaimer before your show to not emulate the show.
Case in point was a recent episode of Ghost Adventurers. I don’t normally watch this show because of my particular issues with Zac Baggans and how he chooses to behave on his investigations. Unfortunately I was in dire need of a ghost hunt fix and watched them. This episode is when they visited Remington Arms. The dilapidated building is so bad they were told to wear masks inside to guard against asbestos poisoning. Zac Baggans decided not to do this. And his mature way of handling this was to wait until his teammate Aaron had his camera rolling to say “hey, we were told to wear masks but we aren’t going to”. Aaron interrupts and demands a mask to which Zac Baggans replies “we don’t have any”.
Perhaps this was all scripted. I have a hard time believing that anyone would allow them in without the supplies nor that anyone would trust Zac Baggans enough to put their health in jeopardy. Of course, I could be wrong. So that brings up the first issue. When you’re investigating you don’t knowingly put your crew in danger like that. I have worked a couple old buildings and usually we work together to keep ourselves from getting hurt. If someone in front finds a hole in the floor, loose boards, or even something on the floor they make note and start passing the message back so that everyone is aware. If authorities informed us that we MUST wear protective gear than we do so. And that makes me highly suspicious as well. There is an old hospital we have been trying to get into for years and we have yet to get clearance from the authorities and owner due to possible asbestos inside. We have tried to get clearance by offering to sign waivers of liability but no go. The owners don’t want any possible lawsuits in the future. Perhaps if we brought a camera crew we could gain clearance? Who knows?
My other issue is the impressionable viewing audience. I am not one who normally places blame on television shows or any media. However, I do think it’s wise to cover your tush. Not once did I see any disclaimer or advisement to avoid dilapidated buildings without consent of authorities. It would be ethical for someone to put something like that up when they are claiming to taking life threatening risks. Sadly, there are a lot of young people who will now seek out some old building to camp out in and provoke any possible spirits and maybe get hurt. All because some people see Zac Baggans as some sort of expert in the field.

4 comments for “Safety First

  1. December 20, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    You make so many excellent points!

    I’ve always had the hunch that reality shows were staged and rehearsed.

    My brother used to have the job of cleaning away asbestos. It is foolish to compromise one’s own safety … to put others in danger unnecessarily is just negligent and irresponsible.

  2. moonwatcher
    January 3, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    I agree about Zac’s attitude – it’s starting to wear thin and although I think the macho posturing is for TV I consider it unprofessional.

    I am enjoying the new “The Haunting” on Animal Planet even though the animals are sometimes little more than props to set the story. Overall, I think it’s done pretty much on the up and up from what I’ve seen.

  3. January 24, 2010 at 2:22 am

    I agree about Zac’s attitude – it’s starting to wear thin and although I think the macho posturing is for TV I consider it unprofessional.

  4. Annie
    May 23, 2010 at 6:40 am

    I agree. I’m watching this episode right now and couldn’t believe it when they mentioned that they’re supposed to wear masks and that Zach said they couldn’t because ‘they’ll get in the way’.

    He’d better watch out.. he keeps putting his team in harm’s way.

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