This may be a stupid question, But does anyone else find it disturbing that so-called firefighters are starting fires? I'm starting to notice these articles more and more. I find it to be proposterous that anyone would risk a fellow firefighters life, so that they can keep themselves occupied. I know that around here we have to take a mental psych test before you can be hired. Is that common anywhere else? If it is in these areas, how can these people pass them? I just don't get it. I realize that these are isolated cases, but I notice them more and more. Then there is the piece of garbage that burned down his house and killed his family. I realize that he is innocent until proven guilty, but when I read the article when it first came out and I immediately thought,"This guy really killed his own family." I don't know anyone who is a firefighter that would not have gone back in, despite the heat, smoke, or whatever and tried to get at least some of his family out. And, I don't know of any firefighter who doesn't notice whether or not a house, especially in his own neighborhood, is vacated or not. Any thoughts?
It is a little disturbing. We had two guys from a neighboring department start a fire one night last year. Then they went back to the firehouse, and waited for the tones to drop. Idiots that they are, lit the fire in another district and never got to go like they wanted. Both were arrrested, and got sentenced a few weeks ago.
I have posted on this topic so many times that I find it hard to believe there is anyone out there who hasn't heard it. This problem could happen in any firehouse in the US. This is a problem that can be addressed with psychological evaluations to weed out the idiots.
The key is early recognition and reporting. The hidden problem is that many vol. fire fighters enjoy the work and the attention that comes with being busy all of a sudden. Some vol. companies have historically tacitly encouraged this behavior. When the vol. fire service decides to mandate psych. testing for applicants much like many paid departments do, the problem will be drastically reduced.
PS: My agency has locked up 34 vol. fire fighters for arson related offenses during my 16 years in the Arson Unit.