Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More on frostbitten KRDO reporter Eric Fink

Posted By on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 4:23 PM

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Recently, we posted the tale of KRDO reporter Eric Fink, who was hospitalized earlier this month with severe frostbite shortly after the station ran a story about the risks of frostbite. Additionally, an unnamed insider told TVSpy that other reporters had previously criticized the station over a lack of training for extreme weather.

Now comes our source, who requested anonymity but is known to the Indy, for another take from inside the TV station. Here's the email we received today:
Everyone here is very surprised and saddened with Eric's situation and we're all praying and hoping for a speedy recovery.

Many of us have been in the news business for many years in cold weather climates and never heard of a reporter or photographer getting frostbite like this.

• Accusations about the station being criticized by reporters for not warning reporters about the dangers of cold weather are not true and laughable. It's unclear who the source for this is, but the only concerns about safety ever brought up by reporters are about covering crime news at night in certain areas of the city. Those concerns have always been properly addressed. No one has to do anything they are not comfortable doing.

As far as the cold weather — the station not only provides winter jackets, but managers and senior staff members frequently remind crews to wear those winter coats, gloves, hats and layers when it's cold. Many of us have worked in different markets in cold weather climates and no station has ever given any type of "formal training" on how to dress yourself for the cold.

• The News Director was never notified about Eric's condition until after he was taken to the hospital. She asked if he'd like her to come see him, since his family was not here, and he said yes.

• According to Eric and the producer who worked that shift, Eric never asked to come back to the station because it was cold.

According to Eric, the only thing he said was he was concerned about the wind blowing over his tripod at 6pm. The weekend anchor told him to prop it against the car. Eric couldn't get the backpack live unit to work so he took off his gloves. The live shot failed and the producer cleared him to come back at 6:05pm. It's unclear why he did not get into the car to try to power up the backpack unit. It's also not clear if he put his gloves back on.

Eric came back to the station and said his hands were cold, and staff members present at the time report that the weekend anchor told him to sit on them to warm them up. Only later did Eric start to show signs of a blister. He went out into the station parking lot with a photographer who set up his live shot for him and did a report for the 10pm.

It is very sad that this situation has played out the way it has. Eric is a very nice man and does not deserve the negative comments posted in the comments section from several publications that reported this.  
For his part, Fink never responded to our request for comment.

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