Monday, 18 December 2017

Last week's CobraEmergencyVideos

Hello all! Thanks for checking out my CobraEmergency blog of emergency vehicle spotting. This is my second blog which is a round up of last week's published videos to my two channels; CobraEmergencyVideos - Europe and CobraEmergencyVideos - North America. 

Week starting the 11th December 2017

On the Monday of last week I published this video of multiple British Transport Police vans responding. The second clip shows two Vauxhall Vivaros, one of the older generation and one of the newest generation. I thought this was quite a nice comparison!
They were responding to a person on the London Underground tracks. It had transpired that a woman had been hit by a tube, but was not injured. At least from my memory of reading the Twitter feeds that day. 

On the Tuesday I published this video of Ladder 4 and Battalion 9 of the FDNY responding. This was my last day in New York City in September 2016 and I was just walking towards the subway at 50th street when these two came responding. I was quite lucky to finish off with such a nice capture! 

Following that, on the Wednesday I published this video of a NEW BMW X5 Armed Response Vehicle. It had been registered in September and I caught it in December, so I was quite pleased! It was the snowy Tuesday before and I was with friends when it came down the road siren and lights blaring. Knowing how new this vehicle is, I decided to put a video up of it the next day! 

Thursday I put this video up of Lenox Hill Hospital responding in a 2016 Chevrolet Express. At the time this was a very new ambulance as I was in New York City in 2016. 

The next day was the London Ambulance Service responding. This is one of their relatively new VW Tiguan Rapid Response Vehicles, to replace the Vauxhall Zafiras and Skoda Octavias! A personal favourite of mine - a vehicle covered in lights, painted all over in yellow and a nice overall shape. Considering all this in mind when I filmed it, I hadn't realised the driver took a very near miss with a bollard until I watched the footage back later. 

And finally on the Sunday, I published one of my favourite videos from when I went to Los Angeles earlier this year. I had just filmed a brush fire in Elysian Park near Downtown Los Angeles and decided to head towards the 'Verdugo cities' (Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena...etc.) and got off the freeway for Pasadena. I sat outside Pasadena's main fire station where I caught the engine responding 3x, as well as this catch! South Pasadena's (a separate city to old Pasadena) new Rescue Ambulance transporting on siren and lights WITH a new Los Angeles Sheriff Department Ford Explorer. Both fitted with very nice lights and sirens! 

So that's a round up of last week! Feel free to subscribe to either of my channels, or follow my social media, to see what this week brings us. 

Thank you for reading
- Steven, director of CobraEmergency

Check out my pages for more:

Monday, 11 December 2017

Last week's CobraEmergencyVideos

Hello all! Thanks for checking out my CobraEmergency blog of emergency vehicle spotting. This is my second blog which is a round up of last week's published videos to my two channels; CobraEmergencyVideos - Europe and CobraEmergencyVideos - North America. 

Week starting 4th December 2017
 On Sunday I published this video of FDNY's Engine 33 responding in a spare Seagrave Marauder fire engine from their quarters on Great Jones Street in the Bowery area of Manhattan. A terrific fire-house that's over 100 years old, constructed in 1899, done in the Beaux Arts style of building that were starting to appear in New York City in the late 1800s. More can be read about the fire house here

I filmed this video one day in August 2016 - it had been a slow day up until then. I was sat at the restaurant opposite enjoying a lovely Italian meal when I heard the distinct alarm sound "ENGINE!"
I got up and ran to the front of the fire house where sure enough the firefighters were preparing to go on a run, I hit REC on my camera and captured what you see below. Luckily for me, due to the one-way system in Manhattan, they came back around again and hit rush-hour 5PM traffic which required them to blast a few honks of the air horn! 
Only moments after this would Tower Ladder 9 get a run from the same house - but that's a story for another time! 
Check out the video below:

On the Friday I published this video of two Vauxhall Astra police cars from the Warwickshire and West Mercia Police force responding earlier this year in a very sunny May. My camcorder had previously been broken in April and it was off being replaced which meant I had to use my spare camera - a Sony A6300. I had only just got the Sony A6300 at this point, a camera recommended by many photographers, and had been using it to shoot photographs (and continue to use it today) but I also knew it had 4K video capabilities - so, with the standard 16-50mm lens I decided to carry my Sony A6300 with me instead so I knew I could film any emergency vehicles I saw. 
And sure enough I saw a few emergency vehicles whilst filming with the A6300, such as a new Vauxhall Astra Mk7, one of the latest additions to Worcester Police station's fleet.  I'm personally a huge fan of this siren, used by a few other police forces in the north of the UK, better yet with the 'priority tone'. The priority tone is the fast-rapid tone we hear at the beginning of the clip, often called the 'phraser tone' as well. Moments afterwards I filmed the previous model, the Astra Mk6, responding most likely to the same emergency in Worcester. Check it out below: 

On the Thursday I published this video of Rescue Ambulance 71, from the Los Angeles (City) Fire Department (LAFD), responding to a medical emergency in West Los Angeles. This was filmed in July on my last day filming emergency vehicles in Los Angeles. I had a great two weeks and it was topped off nicely by what I caught in this spot on that day. 
The corner of Wilshire Blvd and Sepuleveda Blvd in Westwood is by far one of the best spots to film emergency vehicles. With the busy Station 37 one block up the road, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)'s medical centre on UCLA's main campus nearby, the 405 freeway, the cities of Santa Monica and Beverly Hills nearby, and the famous Wilshire Blvd which stretches from Santa Monica to Downtown Los Angeles, this is an ideal spot for filming.

I'll write more about Westwood and this particular spot in future blogs about my videos filmed in the area, including one video of 6x fire department apparatus responding in convoy with sirens sounding, air horns blasting and lights flashing as they respond to a structure fire on the same stretch of road! Subscribe to my North America channel for more. 
Check out the video: 

Previously on the Wednesday I published a compilation video of Metropolitan Police vehicles responding. All of these videos were shot in a 3-day filming period in London over the August 2017 bank holiday weekend and during the famous Notting Hill Carnival (or infamous depending on how you look at it). 
As I've filmed many many police vehicles in London before, I decided that I may as well put together a compilation of some of the more standard vehicles I caught that weekend. This video features Incident Response Vehicles (IRVs), new and old, as well as Station Vans, a BMW 525d Area Car and a Ford Focus 'Q car' (unmarked Incident Response Vehicle) responding around central London. 
Notting Hill Carnival is notoriously known in London for it's wide-spread disorder with fights, stabbings, drug mis-use and gang violence, hence a large police presence which is why I was there. As always there's lots of police vehicles to be filmed responding in the area.
Regardless of the negatives, Notting Hill Carnival is one of the best events in the world in my opinion. It's the largest street party in Europe, covering several blocks of north-west central London with great music, food and over 2,000,000 people having a good time! 
I also put together a compilation video of emergency vehicles responding that weekend, if you're interested you can check it out by clicking here.
Check out the video below:  


On this day I published a video of the New York City Police Departmeny (NYPD) responding code 2 and on scene in August 2016. Unsure of the incident, it appeared to be involving one person who was complaining of some sort of minor medical issue, possibly drug use or they've been a victim of a crime hence the NYPD's presence. The NYPD called their Emergency Medical Service (EMS), which in this case was the New York University Hospital Centre's Lutheran EMS who also responded to the scene code 2. Having dealt with the scene the NYPD and NYU Lutheran EMS left in convoy together, transporting the patient to the hospital. 

I decided to start the week off with a private ambulance in London. The Harley St ambulance!
Harley St is a well-known street in central London, famed for its private medical professionals and various different types of health practices. Some of the world's top class medical professionals practice advanced medicine here. And thus there is the private ambulance service, Harley Street Ambulance! Regularly seen responding and transporting on lights and sirens in the area around Harley St, most commonly on Euston Rd, near the busy London University College Hospital. 

So that's a round up of last week's videos from various different UK and US cities I've filmed emergency vehicles in. If you're interested, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channels. Feedback is much appreciated! 

Thank you for reading
- Steven, director of CobraEmergency

Check out my pages for more:

Monday, 27 November 2017

Introduction to CobraEmergency's blog

Hello and welcome to my new blog.

I'm Steven, better known as CobraEmergency. I'm an emergency vehicle spotter based in the UK with international connections.

London Fire Brigade Mercedes-Benz Atego Fire Rescue Unit
call-signed 'Alpha Two Three Six' at Euston Fire Station. 
Photograph taken by CobraEmergency.
What is an emergency vehicle spotter?
An emergency vehicle spotter is someone who has a huge interest in emergency vehicles and the emergency services that use them.
Like train spotting, they go to various locations across the world and film, photograph or document emergency vehicles responding, on scene, in demonstrations or just out and about.

The hobby, which is known to have originated from 'fire buffing' (in America) in the 1950s, has gained huge popularity in the 21st century with the availability of social media such as YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook...etc. where many emergency vehicle spotters have their content.

Photograph by Pete Markham of a modified Ghostbuster's car.
How did I get into the hobby?
Growing up, like any other small boy, I had a huge fascination with fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, military vehicles...etc.

I'd regularly go to events and get to ride in these vehicles, pose for photographs with them and of course my favourite bit - play with the sirens!
When ever I watched films like Spiderman or Ghostbusters I'd be fascinated by the emergency vehicles I saw which made me want to see more videos.

YouTube had not long came out when I got interested in 2007. I'd spend hours watching police chase videos, gaming videos featuring emergency vehicles and the few emergency vehicle responding videos that I could find.

A Vico Equense municipal police car in
Italy. Photograph by CobraEmergency 
Italy 2008
When I went to Italy the following year I shot my first photographs of emergency vehicles.

All though the photographs weren't that good, with common mistakes such as cutting the edge of the vehicles out, it was a start!

How-ever I must have lost interest around this point as I didn't start again until almost four years later in 2012.

The Olympics 2012

All though I hadn't officially started emergency vehicle spotting in 2012, when the Olympic Torch came to my home town of Malvern, in 2012, I had to film the convoy which featured West Mercia and the London Metropolitan Police.

The video, seen on the right, was filmed with my mobile phone as unfortunately my camera (which I had in Italy 2008) had stopped working. Again the quality was poor, but it was a start.

In this video can be seen several new BMWs belonging to both West Mercia Police and the London Metropolitan Police.

2013 - When I officially started!

It was on May the 31st I officially started. Filming my local air ambulance - the Midlands Air Ambulance, taking off from a crime scene. This video has since been deleted in a clear out of the files on my computer (big mistake!).

A few months later I founded CobraEmergencyVideos when I went spotting for emergency vehicles in the city of Strasbourg, in eastern France (seen in the video on the right).

From there on-wards I started spotting emergency vehicles under the name, CobraEmergency, which is now well known throughout the community.

Manhattan Beach Fire Department Rescue (Ambulance) 21 at Station 1,
Manhattan Beach, California, USA. Photograph by CobraEmergency.
Blogging what I do!

From November 2017 on-wards I've decided to blog what I do as more and more people gain interest in emergency vehicle spotting.

Since starting in 2013 I've gained a huge following as I have filmed hundreds of emergency vehicles across the United Kingdom and now the United States of America.

So I will provide short-briefs of days out spotting emergency vehicles, highlighting some of my catches with photographs and videos, as well as news and any incidents or events I attend.

For those keen readers out there, feel free to provide me feedback on how I can improve.
I hope my future blogs are of interest to you. 😤

Check out my pages for more: