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  1. #1
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post I don't believe this @#$%

    1 NASCAR driver this year dies at work 2 weeks ago.

    Over 20 firefighters have died in the line of duty this year, 5 in the last 7 days.

    Right now, at this very moment, congress is debating on a resolution to honor Earnhardt!

    What a deal!

  2. #2
    FFTrainer
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    It all comes back to the fact that, for the most part, we are overlooked and taken for granted as being ordinary everyday people.

    We are not celebrities on national television generating billions of dollars in revenue from logo merchandise, advertising, public appearances, etc. so therefore we are swept aside. Of course until someone needs us, then we are criticized for taking too long, etc.

    It is a sad commentary on that state of affairs of our nation and a commentary on the over glamourization(if that's a word) of sports figures. We are all humans here, but since they are gifted with a talent that generates big $$$ and we are gifted with the courage, strength and knowledge to handle real life emergencies yet COST money doing it, we tend to be either overlooked or targeted for attack!

    Stay focused and more importantly, stay safe!! We're not off to a good year and it's only February!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Monstermudder78
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    I must say, I am very dissapointed in many of the posts I have read lately concerning the death of Dale Earnhardt. I thought that firefighters were supposed to be selfless and respectful pillars of the community. However, the majority of the people who have chosen to express their opinions have shown nothing but disrespect and selfishness. It seems that many of you are jealous of how many people respect the man. Just because Dale Earnhardt never "saved a life," doesn't mean that he deserves no respect. The people greiving for him deserve your respect also. Unfortunately, there is not time for TV Stations to put everyone on TV for 4 hours a week. I am sure if your fire dept was the focus of a weekly TV show for 20 years, and you happened to be the best fireman on the show during that time, many people would grieve for you if you lost your life during one of those shows. Sorry for the long post, but all of you who have been so negative need to stop being so selfish and show a little respect to those who are grieving.

  4. #4
    Catch
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    OK, I feel compelled to reword some of my first post.

    How few and far between are those who can and do give millions of dollars towards charity, particular those aimed toward children? I can think of two, Dale Earnhardt and Mark McGwire. These are two men that in a screwed up world of ours do something good with the circumstances they've been given. NOT to take away from firefighters, medics, and law enforcement. We all do it in our own way. We may not have the money, but we put our lives on the line day in day out for the same reason.
    "Affecting the lives of thousands..." Probably a poor way of wording, but honestly, can anyone say they've INDIVIDUALLY made life better for thousands of people? Not very many of us, but that does not take away from those we have made an impression on. Bottom line, honor all those who have been unselfish enough to help others, whether it be firefighters, police officers, medics, soldiers, and yes, sports stars. I have to say, never once have I seen a memorial for those athletes that have died before their times. Just remember, the years past and we all still remember the acts of those who gave their lives for their jobs through the many, many memorials that have been erected. But who will remember the good things that came from these athletes that touched lives in a different, but equally important way?

    Long, but I hope it get the point through a little better.

    [This message has been edited by Catch (edited 02-27-2001).]

  5. #5
    RADFIRE
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I respected Earnhardt for his skill, but his importance compared to the firefighter is without doubt confusing. Driving a car vs. our job (career and vol.) is apples and oranges. The Congress is a bunch of nuts so out of touch with the working stiff that what they do and say speaks for itself. Whatever happened with the bill to get money for fire departments? Why aren't there just as many bills for us as for the police and educators in our country? When they need us we're there, but when we need the public, it's out of sight out of mind. I don't feel this post is wrong in motive, as one response seemed to state, but an accurate depiction of the masses. People are more interested in entertainers with their image as heroes than the people who are the true role models to whom they should be paying attention. He was great as a racer and businessman, but doesn't need anything Congress is handing out. Just my opinion.

  6. #6
    Smoke286
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Why does everyone want to be considered a hero. What we do is a job, a job that needs to be done surely. But it is not the most heroic thing in the world, but then again neither is driving a car around in a circle for money.

  7. #7
    mongofire_99
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    when was the last time a firefighter was able to give millions of dollars to charity?

    Maybe not a single firefighter, but...

    When we show up to our lowpaying job. Pay's low so taxes stay low and so the city can fund entitlement programs. And because if person A doesn't want the job for that pay, person B will take it.

    When we dig into our own pockets to put gas in or fix a truck.

    Shall I go on?

    Or to have a positive affect on the lives of thousands?



    Surely you don't mean that the way it sounds.

    [This message has been edited by mongofire_99 (edited 02-27-2001).]

  8. #8
    comwhite
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I'm sorry, I haven't heard anything about congress doing anything for Earnhardt. What are they thinking about doing. I do know that Bush was a friend of his, and I would totally disagree with using his office for that purpose, or congress.


  9. #9
    firehat87
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    Let's remember that this is a forum for and by fire fighters. It is not, in intent, a public arena. Fire fighters usually don't toot their own horns around citizens (or at least most fire fighters don't), but if a bunch of us want to sit around here and bitch, then that is fine. This is just a really big firehouse kitchen table and what is said here is between fire fighters. We are not getting on TV and saying, "We are icons, worship us," like so many athletes.
    So yeah, it makes me angry that the FIRE Act was held up in Congress, but a resolution for a race car driver sails right through. It makes me angry that someone is called a hero because they make a very PUBLIC donation to charity. Where is the altruism in that? It makes me angry that the police get so much more money than we do. It makes me mad that so many fire depts. have to build their own trucks with the personal income of members. It makes me mad that some departments don't have air packs, up-to-date bunker gear, thermal imagers, or trucks with brakes. But a race car driver is a hero because he gives money to charity and we all know about it? Do you know the name of the fire fighter in Sealy, TX that died last year when his dept's home-made tanker rolled over because it didn't have proper baffling? No, you don't. So who is the bigger hero, the man or woman laboring in anonymity for the safety and welfare of thousands of strangers, or the man racing a car lining his own pockets on TV every Sunday?
    Am I being hypocritical by saying these things in the company of other fire fighters? Should I stand idly by as two fire fighters EVERY WEEK die in this country because I am too selfless to call attention to these funding and support disparities? HELL NO! No monstermudder, I am not jealous. I am ****ed off. I am tired of fire fighters dying and leaving behind scores of kids and wives and no one outside of their county but us caring about it.

    ------------------
    Be safe.

  10. #10
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    comwhite - H. Res. 57: recognizing and honoring Dale Earnhardt and expressing the condolences of the House of Representatives to his family on his death. Was surfing and hit C-Span and there it was. (I think it was tabled)

    (And I didn't know you were a politician. Considering that, let me say I appluad you for taking the initiative to find out what goes on behind the scenes of the fire service. I hope the info you get here helps and I trust that your community firefighters get the same consideration from you. Hope I can help in some small way.)

    mudder, I've expressed many times in other posts on this topic that I intend no disrespect and do not wish to take anything away from those of you that are grieving. As far as being jealous and selfish - no way. Baffled by the spectacle of it all - yes.

    catch - I would bet that as a whole, fireifghters are more generous and positively affected more lives than most other individuals or groups.

    [This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited 02-27-2001).]

  11. #11
    Nick SBFD 6
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    It's about time all of you GREAT AMERICAN HEROS get off your high horse of self pity and realize, you are right! you are comparing apples to oranges, and these posts should not exist! Yes it was wrong to compare Dale to the Worcester Tragedy, but who are you, I or any one else to say he is no less of a hero? It seems like you are all out here for the recognition and not the joy of helping your fellow man. Maybe Dale didn't get up in the middle of the night for dub calls, maybe Dale didn't rush into a burning house like us, but oh well, it's life! Deal with it! To those drivers who are running the circuit today because of Dale he is a hero, or the kid who went to the garage after school instead of the streets, he is a hero.
    Guess what, you knew getting into this it was a thankless job! Are we under appreciated, to the child whose mother we just saved, or house we just put out I would dare say not! You have to realize, life just isn't always fair, my father taught me that when I was 1 or 2 and that realization has made this journey of life alot easier! Try it sometime and calm the hell down over the small stuff.

  12. #12
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Relax, Nick, before you have a TIA.

    Where's the self pity? As I stated before, I'm just baffled.

    Earnhardts one of your heroes, fine with me.

    I guess it's OK with you that congress didn't have anything else to do today like cut taxes, act on and improve the fire bill, get the government out of our lives as much as possible, the list goes on...

    Now that I think about it. If a firefighter LODD got as much attention from the regular press, would we be better or worse off in terms of public support?

    Would the public outcry be to improve our equipment and such to help us help them?

  13. #13
    comwhite
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Scott,
    I think you have to remember in this case that we ARE talking about politicians. There has been an enormous outpouring of emotion from *voting citizens* on the death of Earnhardt. What better way to make yourself look good and possible get another vote than to appeal to grief with a condolence that sounds much more than it is.

    When my father passed away, we recieved a letter of gratitude from President Clinton for my father's years of service to this country. My first reaction was to tear the da*n thing up and send it back to him. He didn't know my dad, he even disavowed the action he was thanking him for. My mother, on the other hand, felt it was deserving and wanted to keep it.

    As I see it, that resolution is along the same lines as that form letter we got. He has no merit, other than it looks good on the people who have proposed it.

    I think you might be surprised at the amount of resolutions made to honor fallen firefighters, police officers, soldiers, etc. that we hear nothing about. Most of these would probably be done in the hometown of said victim, but I have no doubt congress has probably done a few for the same reason as I already said.

    Truly, I think Dale Earnhardt was a simple man and would be terrible ashamed and embarrassed at the attention his death has brought on. I think, he too, would say it's time to move on and think about something more important.

  14. #14
    HOTDOG
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    I am greatly dissapointed in most of the posts I have on this topic.

    Guys, keep in mind comparing Dale to all emergency services LODD is like apples and oranges...there is no comparison and I hope that the people making these comparisons do not have to deal with LODD the way we do.

    In response to the resolution that Congress is/was sending through, keep in mind these are POLITICIANS... they have been doing this shi@ for over two hundred years now, and if it has taken this to open your eyes to this simple and well known fact, welcome to the real world. Comparing this resolution to the fire act is simple...which costs money???It appalls me as much as you guys that the fire act is lost in a paper trail, but that should give you inspiration to strive harder to get legislation like this passed. Instead of bashing a man adored by many who cannot even defend himself now, take the time you put into writing a "bashing" post and e-mail your congressman...let him know how disgraceful their action have been. If we flood them maybe it will open their eyes. I know I have e-mailed every Congressman involved several times.

    One last thought and I will shut up. Just who said a person had to have one hero?? Does this hero have to be a Fireman, Policeman, Medic?? Come on guys. Like Catch mentioned, Dale did a lot of good for many. The reason for his "hero" dubbing is the fact he was a man that came from meager beginnings and made a success of himself doing something he loved to do, fulfilled his lifelong dream. Isn't that what we are all after. Nick says it best...you are a hero to that child you saved, his family. Go out and do some fire prevention with some children and watch their eyes light up when you discuss what you do, how you do it. That is what I am after.

    So lets get on to some more constructive conversation, shall we.

    My $.02.....Sorry so long

  15. #15
    FireRebel
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I agree with Comwhite and S.Cook....I really do believe we have more important things to debate and discuss than a death of a race car driver...I mean no disrespect for the man But truly I am sick of talking about it..
    to the person (catch)who stated that FFs do not give millions millions of dollars to charity....what a joke of a comment...you better go rethink that one again buddy! tell that to the thousands of vollie FF out there.

  16. #16
    comwhite
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Don't you find it really funny that of all the threads on this forum, and all the interesting posts here, that those on the death of Dale Earnhardt have generated the most first time posters?

    See what I meant, Scott? If this forum can generate that kind of emotion, think what's happening out there. You can bet, that not only will congress feed on it, but every retail outlet around will use it to their benefit. Think on the lines of what it's done for this forum, and then multiply that interest a million times. And, Earnhardt didn't do that, we and the media did that.

  17. #17
    Engine69
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    Think of this, GM Goodwrench, UPS, Miller Brewing or some other corporation pumped millions of dollars into promoting ONE firefighter for advertisement. They paraded this firefighter around the country 36 weeks a year, filling 150,000 seats at each appearance with countless television viewers. Then on the off weeks, this firefighter appears on countless television spots. Now, this firefighter dies in the line of duty. Of course there would be great public mourning and the US Congress would certainly respond to the requests of their constituents to recognize this "hero."

    Unfortunately, firefighters don't do well selling cars, shipping services and beer... we buy that stuff. We live in a commercial society where corporations recognize that if they can associate themselves with an "image", countless people will by that product for no other reason than that they saw it on the side of a race car, or on a t-shirt someone was wearing.

    Because of that, Dale Earnhardt was known across the country. Every week, he was brought into many homes and viewed by millions on television and seen by thousands in person. There is not a single firefighter that could ever dream of such recognition. That is just the cold, hard facts. Does it make it right? Probably not. But that is the price we pay for living in a country with our econimics.



    [This message has been edited by Engine69 (edited 02-28-2001).]

  18. #18
    FowlPlayCA
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I think some cultural differences come into play here, as well. Many of us from the South consider Earnhardt to be a hero. "A down-home kind of guy who had done well." We stood in awe of his abilities, philanthropy, and dedication to what he loved (career & family). Many of us poses the same qualities and virtues. Our talents are just in different arenas.
    We've all been placed in positions where we were admired for those same things. Last Sunday while gearing up to enter a house fire, I passed a little kid who just seemed to be in awe of me (a real live fireman going to put out a fire!). I gave him a big smile & a thumbs up as I went past and he just lit up. For that moment I might have been a hero to him. He'll never know who I am. I'll never know who he was. Point being, I took time to acknowledge him and made a positive impact on his world, if for only an instant. Earnhardt essentially did the same, only on a larger scale.
    True, Ironhead didn't die in some empty warehouse, and he wasn't shot & killed along with his partner in some housing project like my best friend was, but he is none the less a hero. Just for different reasons.
    Some of you guys shouldn't let a Yankee newspaper get your panties in such a wad. After all, it's just a newspaper. Heroes are defined by their actions, not their professions. I'm sure you & I both know FF's, LEO's, EMT's that are about as useful as a sack of wet hair. Are they heroes too?

    ------------------


    [This message has been edited by FowlPlayCA (edited 02-28-2001).]

  19. #19
    Lewiston2Capt
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Some of you may remember quite a few years back the video taken at a monster truck rally in New York. The video shows bigfoot performing in the arena when it loses control and goes barreling into the pit area. There happened to be some spectators in that area, as the truck is bearing down on a young child an older gentleman pushes the child out of the way and ended up being killed himself. I knew that gentleman, he was/ is a former chief of my FD. You didnt hear any mention of the fact that this guy was a firefighter, you wont see his name on any memorials. Why because he was a volunteer firefighter and was not on a call when he selflessly gave his life for another.
    Was it a line of duty death, I think it was, above and beyond, he was doing what he did every day. Will anyone with the authority say that it was? No.

    Part of my point is that we have resolutions lining the hallways of our station. But that isnt the real honor, the real honor is the fact that brothers and sisters from all over NY and surrounding areas came to honor him for his funeral.

    I love doing this for the kids that I can talk to during fire prevention week. I do this for those people that have too much else going on to remeber to thank us for cutting their mother/father/sister/brother (you get the point) out of the car.

    I have stood on this soap box long enough. I will turn it over to whoever.

    Thats my $0.02.



    ------------------
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Captain
    Lewiston Fire Co. No. 2

  20. #20
    Darrell G. White
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Remember all these thoughts when our politicans are up for re-election. Be safe and remember our comrades in your prayers!!

    ------------------
    Chiefd900

  21. #21
    comwhite
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by Darrell G. White:
    Remember all these thoughts when our politicans are up for re-election. Be safe and remember our comrades in your prayers!!

    Oh come on now, I've tried to be fair in this.

  22. #22
    Engine 101
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Originally posted by S. Cook:
    1 NASCAR driver this year dies at work 2 weeks ago.

    Over 20 firefighters have died in the line of duty this year, 5 in the last 7 days.

    Right now, at this very moment, congress is debating on a resolution to honor Earnhardt!

    What a deal!

    It's just Washingtons way of not showing any appreciation for the Fire Service, They're always talling about putting more Police Officers on the street, Well here's an idea how about we start to put more Firefighter's out there, Washington is just being so very unfair to us, To prove it Bush cuts funding for the Fire Act, What next?

  23. #23
    mongofire_99
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    To prove it Bush cuts funding for the Fire Act

    What did you expect? Everywhere he went he saw FIREFIGHTERS FOR GORE shirts and signs, He owes us nothing and to be blunt, fire protection is a local issued not a federal one. And there is plenty of blame to go around, the genius that is the IAFF leadership shares in this.

    By the way how's the weather up there in Canada?

  24. #24
    Engine69
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by mongofire_99:
    To prove it Bush cuts funding for the Fire Act

    What did you expect? Everywhere he went he saw FIREFIGHTERS FOR GORE shirts and signs, He owes us nothing and to be blunt, fire protection is a local issued not a federal one.

    Seems I recall some kind of acceptance speech saying something about being the President for all of the people... I guess he forgot that firefighters are people too?

  25. #25
    RJE
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    No, he didn't forget firefighters are people. But he did READ the Constitution.

    10th Amendment: powers not specifically granted by (the rest of the document) are reserved for the States, or the People.

    Bush is a Federalist. If it's not a specific issue addressed in the Constitution, then it isn't the Feds business. So he's against it. It's not personal. It's not departmental (he's not against firefighters). It's governmental. As a Federalist, he's against more of YOUR money going to Washington, where a Washingtonian can decide how much, if any, to give back to you.

    For some things (Defense) obviously the national govt. must take charge. For others, the Demos have been feeding the people a lie since FDR.

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