A Disturbing Trend: Disabling Seatbelt Alarms

In recent years, the U.S. line-of-duty-death rate has dropped below 100 firefighters per year and has stayed there. This is very good news. However, the second-leading cause of firefighter deaths after heart attacks and stress are firefighters dying in...


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A question always lingers after events like these: What situation in the fire service could cause a firefighter to be fired? A point to ponder!

 

Also in the news: Drug use and second-guessing

In a decision just released, a court upheld the New York City fire commissioner’s ability to fire immediately EMTs and paramedics who refuse or fail a drug test. The Appellate Division in Manhattan ruled the City Charter allows the fire department to enforce a zero-tolerance rule against illegal drug use by paramedics and EMTs without regard for any job protections in their union contract.

Finally, in a “What were they thinking?” moment, the person or people responsible for the criminal investigation into the firefighter driving the fire department apparatus that responded to the crash of the Asiana airliner at San Francisco International Airport that accidentally struck and killed a crash survivor was shameful.

As if the first responders that day were not traumatized enough, we have people driving desks in a county office building second-guessing firefighters driving the biggest of fire apparatus to a horrific plane crash with many victims and a fire. According to a recent news release, no charges are going to be filed in the case, but it should have never been allowed to get that far and boarders on an abuse of power.

How many great fire apparatus operators are following this story and may now choose not to drive or are at least second-guessing their decision to drive?

 

Michael Wilbur presents “What Have We Learned? Top 10 Emergency Vehicle Accidents of the Past Decade” at Firehouse Expo 2014.