ATTN FD EXPERTS
I have read these boards for a while now and truly appreciate the information and opinions from members throughout the country. Until now, I have chosen to simply watch from the sidelines. However, the culmination of a thousand little things has finally come to a head for me. I apologize in advance for what may become a long and rambling message. Please bear with me because the people I am speaking to need to hear this. I will try to approach this in a gentlemans fashion.
In the past weeks, my job has received an incredible outpouring of support and fantastic gestures from all around the world. You will never know how much these things mean to us and you must believe that we love you for it. EVERY visitor to this city that I have run across has been a home run.
However, in recent times a small and increasingly vocal minority has appeared. These people seem bent on turning the events at the WTC into their own personal platform. Either they want to tell the world of all the daring, heroic services they performed there, they want sympathy for all of the mental and physical damage they incurred from their heroic service or they want to travel the country selling their story in magazine articles and seminars in which they relate their own personal sacrifices as well as illuminating the glaring tactical errors made by the clearly inexperienced and outgunned FDNY.
In a job as big as ours, our members have contacts and friends in every corner of our country. It has been truly educational to hear some of the fables being spun throughout this great land. In these forums alone, I have seen several messages that contain the words "...I was there and..." or "... you wouldn't believe what I saw there...".
Remember this.... we were there when you were. We know what you really did. We have thousands of brothers who are still dealing with the unbelievable changes to all facets of their lives and the lives of their families. Not to mention the families of our dead brothers. While you are at home getting plaques and parades, doing interviews and working on your memoirs, we are still there.
Do we want your sympathy? No. Do we want you to respect our brothers, living and dead, who have not yet arisen from this nightmare? Absolutely. The next time you gather the boys together over a couple of cans to tell some spectacular war stories, think about what the real story is. Think about how good you actually feel making up horsesh#t stories about those first days, and the fact that my brothers that were actually doing what you claim to have done, are still in hell today.
The last straw for me was the nugget of information we received today from a pal at Fire Engineering Magazine. This guy is a straight shooter and has always been a friend to us. He told us that they had just received a proposed article from a FEMA hero from a department in the southeast. His name and job are not important. In this article, this rescue stud apparently was exposing the horrible misuse of FEMA personnel and overall poor management of the rescue effort by the chiefs of the FDNY. Fortunately, the stand up guy that runs that magazine isn't buying it.
The WTC is located in the city of New York. Any and all rescue operations occuring in the city are controlled by the officers of the FDNY. If your feelings are hurt because you missed your opportunity at rescue glory, too bad. Even with the losses we sustained, the FDNY has over 300 special operations members... not counting the cops. If you think that FEMA is coming in and taking over, then you certainly don't understand the way we, and hopefully you, operate. Those poor, inexperienced SOC brothers that were left when Chief Downey was lost probably did need your expert advice. After all, they only take in one or two collapse jobs a week in this city.
On this very website, an EMS member, of all people, tells of his harrowing experiences watching the whole thing on TV. We obviously needed him here because he had the incredibly valuable forethought that the effect of jet fuel on the steel structure would cause the first known total collapse of a high rise structure from fire conditions. Several forum contributors have speculated as to why members were even in the buildings when they collapsed.
I've got news for you. In this town, if even one civilian is in a building, who has a chance to survive, my brothers will go after them. And despite what you may have heard, those towers were loaded with people, right up until the end.
Say for argumants sake that every decision our officers made was wrong and that we really did screw this whole thing up. I am quite sure that there are several things that we would do differently tommorow and that several mistakes were made. But is now the time to discuss it? Have you listened to my brother that posts here from E40 and L35? His house has buried one man... out of ELEVEN! In NYC, we normally wait until after the job is over, before we start studying the operation. Forgive me, I overlooked the fact that the job IS over for you.
For those of you that were and still are truly trying to help us out, and to learn from this event, I apologize for the negative tone of this message. Again, we love you all and realize that these events have affected you too. But for those of you that are doing your act for the entertainment of those that don't know any better, keep your voice down... you never know who may be listening.
[ 11-28-2001: Message edited by: southbronx ]</p>
Well put southbronx. It needed to be said. My prayers are with all of you.
I Second Roger's statement..... You guys are the greatest.....through all that has happened you still remain strong...
May God be with every last one of you fine bunch of guys..... My prayers have been and are still going to be with you to the end and beyond....
Southbronx,<br />You spoke very well in saying things that needed to be said. I have nothing but the deepest respect for what FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority, hospital based EMS, USAR teams, and all of the other responders have done so far on this incident. On ANY mutual aid call, of which WTC is the largest I hope ever to hear about in my life, it is the home department who is in charge, works the hardest, suffers the most, and who owns the outcome. Any mutual aid is help, not taking the incident away from the home department. You have the responsibility for managing the scene and the respect for doing just that. It's not right for anyone to pretend to be anything other than a helper - or to pretend that being a helper is anything other than much less important that being the primary responder.
My prayers remain with all of you: the working, the grieving, and the lost. If you call for more mutual aid help, especially CISM, I'll be there. But it's your call to make. Each of us should respect your judgement about how to manage this call. Folks who don't do that are showing poor judgment and should learn better.
There will always be the "wannabees" who will stand before all and proclaim that they were heroes, proclaim to have all the answers, will analyze, criticize and condemn and then attempt to use tragedy for their own gain.
True heroes do not strut around like peacocks and say "look at me". The true heroes are the Brothers who lost their lives...the Brothers who are still entombed in the wreckage, their families who have to cope with this tragedy every day and the surviving Brothers, who will not rest until the last of their Brothers is found and brought home.
I will echo the same sentiments as my Brothers and Sisters here on the boards...God Bless the Fallen Heroes.
[ 11-29-2001: Message edited by: Captain Gonzo ]</p>
Amen SouthBronx, amen.
While there is not one of us who wishes we couldn't have been along side you all, digging, searching, rescuing and recovering - it is ultimately YOUR job. We are the backup.
Well said. Those who take offense are no doubt part of the problem.
Just today I counted 8 or 10 items in a local mall (hats, shirts, sweatshirts, portraits, calenders,etc, etc, etc). All Sept 11th stuff with FDNY, EMS, PAPD & NYPD emblems and patch likenesses. NOT ONE HAD AN OFFICIAL AGENCY ENDORSEMENT, "FIREZONE" LABEL OR ANYTHING ON IT. AND EVERY TAG SAID "MADE IN CHINA" OR "MADE IN PAKISTAN" EVEN !!!!
What a shame. How is this legal???
God Bless you guys.
Be safe. <img src="frown.gif" border="0">
Monday morning quarterbacks suck!
Please know that for the few that have created the added frustration for you that there are tens of thousands of true firefighter brothers around the country who support you!
My only perspective is from what I see on the news and from the brothers from my department who recently made the journey to show support. They came back with nothing but admirationand good things to say about the FDNY. Not only for the awesome event you had to deal with but with for the way you are handling it.
I hope I made sense. <br />Love and respect from Las Cruces, NM
You could not have said it in a more "gentlemanly" way. The sad thing about those people with that 20/20 hindsight or "rescue-itis" is that they are the most vocal of our brotherhood. They can't see that as they disrespect you, they cast disrespect on themselves, and the rest of us. There is always a rotten apple in the bunch. God Bless you and the rest of FDNY. I wish I had 1/2 the amount of experience that a 1st year FF has in your City. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
AMEN Brother. I have heard some of this slander and it upset me...Im glad you spoke up.
southbronx, I want to thank you for saying that. I've been thinking about that for sometime now. However, I couldn't have said as well as you just did!
It really disgusts me too. If anyone wants to see people trying to gain attention and recognition for themselves first hand, visit this link below:
<a href="http://www.mdfirenet.com/article.cfm?id=208" target="_blank">http://www.mdfirenet.com/article.cfm?id=208</a>
I'm particularly fond of the "Vanity Fair" article. <img src="eek.gif" border="0">
They are also selling videos of their heroic experiences as well. I brought the thoughts of southbronx to their attention, but they labeled me as "Jealous."
That couldn't be further from the truth. <br /> <img src="mad.gif" border="0">
[ 11-29-2001: Message edited by: 15 Truck ]</p>
Well put southbronx. I don't think you are being negative at all. It needed to be said. All our thoughts are with you and the brothers of FDNY!
15Truck, what a F***ING MUTT! <br />http://www.stopstart.fsnet.co.uk/mica/MiscMan.gif
That link to the MFN site makes me want to vomit.
I had more to say, but it'd only be a rehash of previous statements. Southbronx - If you are from E50 or know guys on E50 email me, A guy that used to work for us is up there, I wanna see how he's doin
Hats off to all FDNY,NYPD,PAPD past,present and future!! and everyone who has given something to help out all the families.
SouthBronx I feel ya brother!!
15 Truck,<br />True, MFN screwed up by selling a video of there experinces but I feel the article sheds a little light on what the guy saw. Is that bad? I feel he gave respect where respect was due and didn't make it sound like he was there doing it all or trying to tell people how to do there job. He was a very small part in a very large operation. He never went out of his way to praise himself or the people with him. He did shed light on the support and the people behind the scene helping. I ask what is wrong with a story of what he saw? He never put himself above anyone for what he did to help. <br />Hell, I bet you wanted to get up there and help. Right? I know that I did and so did pretty much all of my dept. This man made it happen and that is something in itself. <br /> <br />I guess the only thing that could be good of that video is that they take all of that $$ and give it to FDNY families.
This is just my opinion not my department's or any other association.
"Take care of each other and stay safe". <br />God Bless AMERICA!
Of course, I think every firefighter in the US (and abroad) wanted to go and help, but I personally thought it would only compound the problem at hand.
Actually, I think MFN is donating the proceeds of the video, but I still don't agree with the whole idea.
[ 11-29-2001: Message edited by: 15 Truck ]</p>
I wanted to convey the same thoughts, I also believe those people "Need to hear this" However .... I WAS NOT THERE....THANK YOU!!!
As for the comment about the collapse.....THANK YOU!!!!<br />I can't believe these people that say they "knew" the towers would come down?!?!?!? Upon which highrise fire and subsequent collapse are they basing their opinion????? (uh..never?)<br />This... coming from some JAG-OFF that I wouldn't feel comfortable with as my partner on a LUNG COLLAPSE!!!
I wonder....these people that rushed to the CAMERAS.....would they be in such hurry to get their picture..... or their interview on the 50th floor at about 0945 hrs. on 09/11/01 ????? <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
Apparently it is much worse than we thought. As some of you have stated, we all run into heros that seem to have performed superhuman feats in the face of the worst tragedy any of us have faced. If you perform this type of comedy act for the entertainment of your local buffs and FD worshippers, that is one thing. But to post your personal war story on a web site is unbelievably self-serving and egotistical.
If you haven't done it yet, check out the link that 15 Truck posted to the MSN hero network. Apparently this buff outfit sent a "STRIKE FORCE" (their words) to the WTC. This, in and of its self, is admirable. Doing the right thing will get nothing but praise from us.
However, to them, this was apparently a buffs dream come true. To go to the site with cameras and camcorders in tow and then to pose for pictures of yourselves in action is a scumbag move to say the least. If you want vacation photos, go to Liberty Park or the Empire State. But then to go home and SELL the damn video tape along with your bullsh@t story on a web site is grounds for a beating in some towns... apparently not in Maryland.
I expect the skells on Webster Ave. to jump on the 9/11 bandwagon and sell FDNY stuff for a quick buck. But for men that claim to be a part of the job and to be so moved by their personal experiences at the site to pull the same act, is inexcusable. This is definately the worst I have seen.
I have never been a buff, but have enjoyed the company of a few from time to time. In some areas of this job, there is a general contempt for a great number of them. If any of them are wondering why...read this article. The goal of men in this and any job is not to accumulate the biggest "I was there" portfolio and home movie collection. You do your job and keep your goddamn mouth shut. Why not just wear a shirt that says "...ask me about the trade center!"
Disguising your own grandstanding and self-promotion behind BS concern for our sacrifices and losses is transparent. If you really gave a sh#t you wouldn't describe, in detail, working with a crying Battalion Chief who was looking for his lost family member. If this story is in fact true, why mention his name? Does it give you credibility in the buff world? He is probably still looking for him while you are at home stomping on his dignity in the name of buff glory.
By the way, congratulations on finding, tagging and bagging those body parts (anyone smell bullsh*t?) that you so vividly describe and for having the guts to describe it to the rest of the world. Most of us spare the world the details, since there are only about 3,000 families waiting for word on their lost loved ones....200 or so of them are also firemen that you love so much.
If any of these guys read this message... shame on you. If this is a misunderstanding and you meant no harm, then do the right thing.... send the money you stole for the videos to the UFA and we'll call it a lesson learned.
I have heard several people say that everyone wanted to be here and to help out. I have also heard that a trip here is necessary for "closure" and to help deal with this tragedy. We are not running a counseling service here. We are trying to bring our brothers back to their families in physical, mental and political conditions that range from bad to unbearable. I appreciate your feelings and concerns, but have you ever considered the effect of your actions on my brothers? Turning the site of their worst hell into a buff convention is criminal.
If you truly feel that you are right to do these things and to sell out our brothers to boost your buff resume, then you have alot to learn. Being a step-up guy in this job is something you will never understand. You better hope that the wrong guys don't get wind of your act.
There is a saying in our job that seems quite appropriate. "The job is bigger than all of us". That's how we sum up our need to go back to working every day without so many of our friends and family members. Think about it.
Hope you guys made it to the Rockaways, so that we can look forward to Volume II in your "We love ourselves" series. If not, be patient. I'm sure another national tragedy is just around the corner.
[ 11-29-2001: Message edited by: southbronx ]</p>