The Invaluable Work of California’s Inmate Firefighters | The Daily Show

  • Published: 06 November 2019
  • Inmate firefighters are a vital part of keeping California’s wildfires under control, but they aren’t paid adequately or permitted to keep firefighting post-prison. Smokey Bear weighs in on the situation.


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Comments • 2 012

  • Christian Soldier
    Christian Soldier  14 hours back

    California deserves to burn.

    • Marscheesteak Andcrepes

      This guy is always making fun of everyone in our country. Why don't you get the fuck out of here if you dont like us. Fag boy

      • Hamer51
        Hamer51  2 days back

        But what about dealing with the trees the Australians sold California that keep setting themselves on fire which constantly ignite more forest fires perpetually worsening the issues

        • thublit
          thublit  2 days back

          I think he means state owned slaves or at the least indentured people. Especially in CA. the guv has run wild. The "penal" systems war on the family/drugs is absolutely evil.

          • Jake Mcewen
            Jake Mcewen  2 days back

            Those inmates are being robbed. Federal min wage is 7.25. I think some crimes are being commited...

            • dma69nyc
              dma69nyc  2 days back

              That's the exact same reaction I had when I first saw Smokey take the mask off. Glad it wasn't just me.

              • KingOfGames
                KingOfGames  3 days back

                1:45 I definitely thought that guy was Bill Nye just based on the sound and cadence of his voice

                • James Yakura
                  James Yakura  3 days back

                  "Wildfires. As the climate changes and the land becomes drier..."
                  Sounds dire. Perhaps we should aspire to avoid this briar, even if it means we retire some of the power we desire.

                  • Cheshire Kat
                    Cheshire Kat  3 days back

                    I'd say that whether or not a convicted felon should be allowed to become a firefighter, after he or she has served their sentence, depends on what crimes they committed.
                    Firefighters interact with children a lot; so I'd say that no one who has been convicted of rape, or child-molestation (or attempted rape or child-molestation), should be allowed to become a firefighter.

                    • Lup Domnitor
                      Lup Domnitor  3 days back

                      America was built on the foundation of discrimination.

                      • CheaterCheater
                        CheaterCheater  3 days back

                        Who all thought Smokey was going to take off his head and be a hot woman. Lol

                        • Altrantis
                          Altrantis  3 days back

                          Where I'm from, firefighters don't get paid anything even though they're not prisoners.

                          • Paraplegic octopus
                            Paraplegic octopus  4 days back

                            Those Smokey ads were fire!!.... Oh, shit, wait..

                            • doom2avatar
                              doom2avatar  4 days back

                              They can be firefighters. Not all systems have combined fire+EMT. There’s good reason to be skeptical of past criminal history for medics. There is a pile of strong narcotics sitting in ambulances and you have to trust the medics to not use or sell that.

                              • Samantha Des Jardins
                                Samantha Des Jardins  4 days back

                                When we had the fire in Napa, people of Napa were told not to talk to inmate fire fighters nor were they allowed to take refreshments citizens brought. I heard people being yelled at for thanking them.

                                • Michael Robertson
                                  Michael Robertson  4 days back

                                  Modern day slavery....its bullshit..

                                  • SillyNa Cannada
                                    SillyNa Cannada  4 days back

                                    There’s no profit in ex cons being legit. That’s all it boils down to. Pun intended.

                                    • Saiyan ForLife
                                      Saiyan ForLife  4 days back

                                      So where supposed to teach the inmates how to stand on their feet after they served their time. But when they get out and find a new passion, the people in charge say, no no choose something else, you know something that doesn't involve helping others. Screw that non sense. Being a paramedic myself, first responders are short staffed. Let them work a job that not many are willing to do.

                                      • derp herp
                                        derp herp  4 days back

                                        Let California burn , this is self inflicted. They made their bed, let them burn in it.

                                        • E S
                                          E S  4 days back

                                          I remember living in Marin Co CA til last Dec. Inmates from San Quentin rescued people in trouble on a small boat on SF bay in the AM one night

                                          • orry townes
                                            orry townes  4 days back

                                            Plus Bear-Face?! Animalist!

                                            • Larissa D
                                              Larissa D  4 days back

                                              That is some BS doing those inmates that way.

                                              • Merrick Gould
                                                Merrick Gould  5 days back

                                                Yes from a firefighter

                                                • Chris Pontius
                                                  Chris Pontius  5 days back

                                                  So America's economy is still based on slavery. What else is new?

                                                  • Dawn alexander
                                                    Dawn alexander  5 days back

                                                    Thank God for the inmates for being there on the front line they are true Hero's God Bless all the firefighters 🙏🙏

                                                    • Carlo Jones
                                                      Carlo Jones  5 days back

                                                      Make special forest firefighters unit where EMT's work not part of this job.
                                                      So some convict wouldn't be medic's , picking the pocket of heart attack patients they're treating .
                                                      Need more creative policy makers.
                                                      If some professions were not so hard to get into many people wouldn't have turned to crime.
                                                      In California you need a special certification for lots of thinks but some just to collect public money.

                                                      • Icare
                                                        Icare  5 days back

                                                        The prisons is a money making machine that rely on inmates to return to the system, why else would they not grant a chance or change the rules once these guys have served their time....keep your feet on their necks all the way to the bank.

                                                        • Ronny Simon
                                                          Ronny Simon  5 days back

                                                          Why dont you address the issue of arson instead of blame global warming you asshole

                                                          • Felicia Gardner
                                                            Felicia Gardner  5 days back

                                                            As someone who live near where the carr fire was, I am so appreciative that inmates did this. I was extremely pissed when I learned avout this from a cal fire volunteer. I think they should help those that fought fires get into the program for certification if they want to. And they should get paid like anyone else to do it in jail.

                                                            • Sade Jones
                                                              Sade Jones  5 days back

                                                              Prison = slavery

                                                              • ike eki
                                                                ike eki  5 days back

                                                                prison labor is an abhorrent scheme that exploits people and keeps them in a subjugated state. it could be an empowering and rehabilitative approach to crime, but not on those wages and not when they are forbidden from using these life-saving skills outside prison.

                                                                • k3rrons
                                                                  k3rrons  5 days back

                                                                  To punish and enslave 👌

                                                                  • aura floo
                                                                    aura floo  5 days back

                                                                    You know, I'm pretty sure I'm a minority in this thread but I don't get it. You feel bad for people in prison? They are in prison for a reason. You feel bad for rapists, murderers, thieves etc? Are you kidding? Can you imagine being a rape victim being told that the person who hurt you is getting off early because he was nice and kept to himself on jail? That's bullshit. What about a person who took the life of someone you love. You're NEVER getting that person back. They'll never see the next generation of the family, no weddings, no reunions no anything but yet the murderer DESERVES a better life. I'm sorry but this world is screwed up! American prison is too laid back in my opinion.

                                                                    • Aarotron 777
                                                                      Aarotron 777  2 days back

                                                                      @aura floo When it comes to thinking yeah unfortunately California is in a world of it's own Haha The sad part is those who are quick to defend and whine about the convicted paying there dues back to the state are silent about the treatment of law abiding citizens who are treated like trash such as military veterans.

                                                                    • aura floo
                                                                      aura floo  3 days back

                                                                      @Aarotron 777 It doesn't make sense! I'm reading and these ppl feel bad about prisoners in the fire crew not getting great benefits, money and better time off. Seriously?! Did they forget that these are BAD people? is California really soooo different from NYC? I mean this is polar opposite thinking.

                                                                    • Aarotron 777
                                                                      Aarotron 777  3 days back

                                                                      This is California, truth be told "victims" don't mean anything. We live in an age where doing wrong is rewarded & doing right you are considered a sellout or some form of evil. The media sells false narratives and people buy into it.

                                                                  • ToniHunterOne
                                                                    ToniHunterOne  5 days back

                                                                    I have one of the original large metal Smokey road signs!

                                                                    • ToniHunterOne
                                                                      ToniHunterOne  5 days back

                                                                      that is shitty!

                                                                      • Sophia Leone
                                                                        Sophia Leone  5 days back

                                                                        It's not volunteer, it's forced. You should thank Kamala Harris for putting poor people in prison to use them as slave labour.

                                                                        • Chrissyce
                                                                          Chrissyce  5 days back

                                                                          They should be allowed to get EMT training in prison for free while they are in the program at the very least. The laws should also be changed to allow them to be able to get a job afterwards. They can make special provisions for the inmates that fought the fires.

                                                                          • gobanito
                                                                            gobanito  5 days back

                                                                            Non-violent offenders should be allowed to become firefighters professionally after serving time as an inmate firefighter.

                                                                            • Re dacted
                                                                              Re dacted  5 days back

                                                                              Americans have the weirdest fucking ads.

                                                                              • tenacious645
                                                                                tenacious645  6 days back

                                                                                They also can't vote. It's bullshit.

                                                                                • Patricia Handa
                                                                                  Patricia Handa  6 days back

                                                                                  I read one time that 1 in 3 young black men will spend some time in jail. Then we wonder why more aren't legally employed. 😕

                                                                                  • abbsnn cose
                                                                                    abbsnn cose  6 days back

                                                                                    That’s basically slavery with a loophole.

                                                                                    • N O
                                                                                      N O  6 days back

                                                                                      Smokey bear is an ecoterrorist. Fires like this are caused by a lack of nutrients and water due to smaller plants like shrubs that grew and weeds. This makes it so it is more common to see fires like these and more fuel is available to the fire, causing it to no longer and stronger.

                                                                                      • doliio volay
                                                                                        doliio volay  5 days back

                                                                                        America wants to make money off of slavery. It also wants to keep people in prison.

                                                                                    • Ray B
                                                                                      Ray B  6 days back

                                                                                      So are you want8ng to commute sentences? NO!!! Crimes were still committed and for the criers saying. "These pooor criminals reoffend because EMPLOYERS and THE NEIGHBORS in the NEIGHBORHOODS in which you would want these criminals to live in have the right to demand knowledge of an individuals passed....its sooooo wrong!" Screw you criers, advocates, whiners and pissbags.YOU invite convicts into your home. YOU reform them. Stop expecting so much out of Society. For society itself is made up of People...Good or Bad.

                                                                                    • Melissa Sigua
                                                                                      Melissa Sigua  6 days back

                                                                                      Yes they get paid little but it costs a lot to pay for them in prison, an avg of 30-40 k plus they get a sentence reduced.

                                                                                      At the same time they should be able to become fire fighters after if they wish to do so. Clearly they were good for job when in prison and should qualify after, that’s just messed up. They paid their debt!

                                                                                    • Intercat
                                                                                      Intercat  6 days back

                                                                                      How to avoid wildfires in California? Live in a world where a man from Missouri isn't encouraged by Trump's viciousness to go to California and start a fire. (Freddie Owen Graham, the Reservoir Fire, 20Sep2019. )

                                                                                      • Jay Gagne
                                                                                        Jay Gagne  6 days back

                                                                                        This is slavery

                                                                                        • qopoy dnon
                                                                                          qopoy dnon  6 days back

                                                                                          "Only you and cell block d can prevent forest fires." I died lol