1. #1
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    Default Killed in the line of duty.

    One writer in Canada recently wrote that he felt that the issues of Firefighter line of duty deaths as being overblown. Too much "pomp and circumstance" when we get killed. From our perspective, it is one of the most misguided editorials we've read - with a significant missing ingredient: perspective and balance. He misses the mark that when all the other "professions" get in trouble, it is us who bail them out-with little time to spare. We do our best to fix "their" accidents, errors, ignored risk and stupid. Do we cause accidents and errors? Do we ignore risk? Sure-but we are getting better as the numbers show. Are we done? Hardly, but the culture we live within today is significantly improved than the culture we lived with 10-15 years ago-and of course, even further back. We are getting better at minimizing the unnecessary risks, injuries and deaths.



    Killed in the line of duty

    By CHRIS BRENNAN

    Posted 4 days ago

    Did you hear about it or read about it? There's a good chance you probably didn't.

    It wasn't in the Expositor. In was in the National Post, buried on page A10 in a column two inches wide and eight inches long.

    I'm speaking of the death of two Sudbury miners on Wednesday, June 8.
    Now just imagine if it had been two police officers or firefighters who had been killed. It would have been front-page news across the country.
    Why is that?

    Is it because being a cop or firefighter is such a dangerous occupation? The only problem with this explanation is that it isn't true. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2009 the 10 most dangerous jobs in America were:

    1. Logging. 2. Aircraft pilot. 3. Fishers. 4. Iron and steel workers. 5. Garbage collectors. 6. Farmers and ranchers. 7. Roofers. 8. Power line installers/repairers. 9. Truckers and drivers/sales workers. 10. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs.

    So why is it when a logger or miner or fisher or farmer dies it rarely makes the news, but there's a big hullabaloo when it's a cop or firefighter?

    I'll venture to guess that popular culture has something to do with it. Cops carry guns and deal with criminals. Crime is a staple of books and movies and TV shows. You don't see a lot of movies about fishers hauling in their catch or loggers cutting trees down. It's mundane. Dangerous, but not thrilling. Perhaps if they shot fish with a hand gun or felled trees with a bazooka there would be more movies about them.

    Funny thing is, on the grand scale of things, our foremost priorities are food and shelter. So theoretically, when a farmer or fisher (food) or logger or construction worker (shelter) dies on the job we should lament their death equally, if not more. Without them we would literally starve or freeze to death.

    Maybe it's got something to do with the idea of "heroism." Chasing down a gun-toting criminal seems "heroic." Rushing into a burning building and emerging with a child seems "heroic."

    Plowing a field doesn't conjure images of heroism. Neither does cutting down a tree. Or hauling in a net full of fish.

    Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is these endeavors, while not exactly "heroic" or daring, are far more dangerous and potentially lethal than fighting crime or fires.

    Cops and firefighters are happy to propagate the myth, especially at contract time, that their jobs are exceedingly dangerous. It's self-serving but disingenuous.

    Ah, but they selflessly sacrifice themselves for the "public good." Ditch the martyr complex. Growing broccoli or roofing a house is just as socially beneficial as apprehending a shoplifter.

    Another thing: The massive funeral processions for fallen comrades is getting a little stale and self-indulgent.

    Enough, already. If every profession or occupation marked the death of one of its members the way cops and firefighters do the streets would be jammed with marching mourners 24 hours a day and the economy would grind to a halt.

    Furthermore, an unintended consequence of the big funeral as public spectacle is that it serves to highlight how relatively rare it is when one of them to dies doing their job.

    A particular uniform or occupation doesn't entitle one to de facto hero status. All sorts of people in all sorts of jobs do courageous things every day. So the next time a cop or firefighter dies and it's all over the news take a moment to remember all the other people killed 'in the line of duty' doing jobs that are far more dangerous, but less glamorous. The only difference is you probably didn't read or hear about them.

    Chris Brennan's column appears every other Friday.

    He can be reached at chrisjbrennan@bell.net.

    http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/Art...aspx?e=3174542


    Every firefighter, should write this POS and view their concerns about his article.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  2. #2
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    Well 2 things come to mind: 1) unless we as a fire service quit responding at all, the risk is always there, and a zero sum LODD is impossible; 2) its always easier to write about something when you have spent your entire life on the sidelines.
    On a side note, the witless statement "everybody goes home" has done more to ruin the fire service than any cultural or perceived attitude.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
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    This guy's a real a-hole.

    Could it be that we (and cops for that matter) put ourselves in harms way for the direct and lifesaving benefit of other human life???.. more like the military then a coal miner.

    Idiot.
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 06-21-2011 at 01:50 PM.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    I think he couldn't get hired on his local police or fire dept and is now mad about it. BTW, prob should have put this on a thread with a little more traffic.

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    Yeh,
    This "columnist" is a total scumbag.....On a Canadian forum, a bunch of the Canadian FF's have written in to the paper and directly to this guy......he's a total waste of air.

    BUT as it is in life.....he has the right to his opinion and to voice it......unfortunately he has the ability to air his "opinion" to a large public audience through his paper.

    Like others have said,....."wait till HE is the one that needs the cops or the FD"...I doubt he'd get a whole lot of "extra" efforts....

    Then again, don;t we as FF's just go in and DO WHAT NEEDS DOING, regardless of race, religion, opinion or any other factor?.....I guess that is maybe the "hero" attitude he was talking about....

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    He's getting what he wants: Hits on his paper's web site, and letters to the editor. Remember, no such thing as bad publicity.

    He is clearly missing what I have seen or heard about-- coal truck drivers' funeral processions with a long line of coal trucks, farmer funerals with a small army of tractors, and so on and so forth.

    He'll get over it and needle somebody else next week.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    --General James Mattis, USMC


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    no, he's just a *****
    Last edited by Axehandle; 06-28-2011 at 04:30 PM. Reason: delete

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    On a side note, the witless statement "everybody goes home" has done more to ruin the fire service than any cultural or perceived attitude.
    Without getting into a 14 page heated argument, what is wrong with the notion of everyone going home? Maybe I'm missing something, but getting my guys home safe the next morning is one of my priorities. Its cool if you dont like something about it, I'm just curious about what that is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwright367 View Post
    Without getting into a 14 page heated argument, what is wrong with the notion of everyone going home? Maybe I'm missing something, but getting my guys home safe the next morning is one of my priorities. Its cool if you dont like something about it, I'm just curious about what that is.
    The issue isn't that everyone goes home as much as everyone responding and trying to make a difference...

    In some departments and with some wacko individuals the thought of "everyone goes home" has been taken to the extreme, meaning take no risk, regardless of the benefit.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Ah...that makes sense. Thats not how I interpret the phrase. I take it to mean train hard to keep out of dangerous situations and watch eachothers backs if you have to get in them. I can see how the extreme end of that spectrum could be bad. Thanks Chief, that answered my question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwright367 View Post
    Without getting into a 14 page heated argument, what is wrong with the notion of everyone going home?
    I like the idea of everyone going home, and I think it's a great goal to work towards. I am a realist, however, and know that people are going to die in this line of work. The death could be the result of a heart attack, stroke, having a non-preventable vehicle crash, searching for missing persons in an IDLH, or any number of things that we encounter on a daily basis.

    Yes, there is a risk versus benefit that we must measure, but we must also understand that our job is inherently dangerous and that we must train and prepare for the worst.

    EGH is a wonderful goal, but I don't think we can call it failure if everyone doesn't go home.
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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    Without getting into a 14 page heated argument, what is wrong with the notion of everyone going home? Maybe I'm missing something, but getting my guys home safe the next morning is one of my priorities. Its cool if you dont like something about it, I'm just curious about what that is.
    Good question, and since I posted it, I will give you my take on it. I bet it goes back over ten years, the "everyone goes home" slogan started to appear. I'm thinking the FOOL's have dibs on it. But then it stood for something; work hard, know your trade, gain experience, learn your buildings and hazards, size up, think, basically, know your enemy. A great thought: the most dangerous thing on the fire ground is the fire and what it is doing to the structure. Eliminate that, eliminate your hazard. Everything I stated allowed you to do that as safely and as aggressively as possible. Giving you the skills to put going home in your favor.
    But now, there is a minority, but a very vocal minority, that have bastardized the term to the point that in-action and cowardice are acceptable. Look what has happened, live burn training all but eliminate. Why, not because it is deadly in of itself, follow the rules, but because stupid people did dumber things. Instead of using those example and making an example out of those morons, this group is for abolishing live burn training. Tough to gain experience, tough to learn the trade, impossible to know your enemy. What's more dangerous?
    They have also managed to take a simple and effective command structure and bureaucratized it. Hell, there are so many vests to fill, many smaller departments need to call a 2nd just to fill them. In the meantime, your fire is still burning, your structure is still failing. What's more dangerous?
    Then add the risk vs. benefit, hiding behind "everybody goes home", any benefit has been completely erased, thus a convenient excuse for no risk.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
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    That makes even more sense, thanks for taking the time to explain it. I didnt take any offense to you making the comment, it just confused me that someone would not like going home the next morning. Sorry for hijacking the thread, I'll pray for the gentleman who wrote that editorial.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwright367 View Post
    That makes even more sense, thanks for taking the time to explain it. I didnt take any offense to you making the comment, it just confused me that someone would not like going home the next morning. Sorry for hijacking the thread, I'll pray for the gentleman who wrote that editorial.
    You asked a great question, and SPFD answered it perfectly... very well put.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Just sent the turd a nastygram. A well written, polite nastygram....

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    Posted by KN
    In some departments and with some wacko individuals the thought of "everyone goes home" has been taken to the extreme, meaning take no risk, regardless of the benefit.
    Posted by SPFDRum
    Good question, and since I posted it, I will give you my take on it. I bet it goes back over ten years, the "everyone goes home" slogan started to appear. I'm thinking the FOOL's have dibs on it. But then it stood for something; work hard, know your trade, gain experience, learn your buildings and hazards, size up, think, basically, know your enemy. A great thought: the most dangerous thing on the fire ground is the fire and what it is doing to the structure. Eliminate that, eliminate your hazard. Everything I stated allowed you to do that as safely and as aggressively as possible. Giving you the skills to put going home in your favor.
    But now, there is a minority, but a very vocal minority, that have bastardized the term to the point that in-action and cowardice are acceptable. Look what has happened, live burn training all but eliminate. Why, not because it is deadly in of itself, follow the rules, but because stupid people did dumber things. Instead of using those example and making an example out of those morons, this group is for abolishing live burn training. Tough to gain experience, tough to learn the trade, impossible to know your enemy. What's more dangerous?
    They have also managed to take a simple and effective command structure and bureaucratized it. Hell, there are so many vests to fill, many smaller departments need to call a 2nd just to fill them. In the meantime, your fire is still burning, your structure is still failing. What's more dangerous?
    Then add the risk vs. benefit, hiding behind "everybody goes home", any benefit has been completely erased, thus a convenient excuse for no risk.
    Ken and Mark have hit the bullseye on this!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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