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  1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face Watch Out! Here they come again.

    "Dateline Moves Up Critical Report On NY Volunteers"

    New York, NY) -- In a move that has many fire-rescue personnel stunned,
    producers of "Dateline:NBC" not only have refused to drop a scheduled report
    critical of volunteer firefighters, but they've moved it up one day. The
    segment scheudled to air tonight 12/7/99 at 10pm Eastern/Pacific and 9pm SCT asks
    "Did Firefighters Do All They Could Do?"

    In a report filed by veteran NBC reporter Mike Taibbi, a husband claims that
    volunteer firefighters in Saratoga, NY, did not do enough to to try to rescue
    his wife, who died during a raging house fire. The story will focus on the
    issue of liability, and questions whether New York State's volunteers are
    ready to heed the call.

    Several firefighters, including John Cannon, president of the Professional
    Fire Fighters of Maine, have written emails to NBC expressing their concern
    that the story is being run while five members of the Worcester Six remain
    trapped in debris.

    You can voice your concern by contacting NBC Public Relations through Caroline Perez - caroline.perez@nbc.com

    Tiger Schmittendorf
    OnScene Marketing Services
    "Mutual Aid for Marketing Your Fire Department"

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    What a sorry way to boost ratings.
    Stay safe...

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I just finished watching the segment. The lawsuit was decided in favor of the Fire Dept. Mr. Stadaís rage is clearly the result of survivor guilt. He had the best chance, and maybe the only chance, of anyone, to save his wife. The jurors interviewed were convinced the Fire Dept. had done all they could do.

    I think NBC made an effort to report the story fairly. However their decision to run the story while they are still sifting the ashes in Worcester, for the bodies of our Brothers, is reprehensible and, unforgivable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 4 FF's are Volunteers!

    [This message has been edited by S-22 (edited December 07, 1999).]

    [This message has been edited by S-22 (edited December 07, 1999).]

  4. #4
    Rick Bond
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I just finished watching the story myself, and although I agree that at the end it was a fair report I do feel that the reporter was very aggressive toward the Fire Department. I E-Mailed NBC about my feelings and stated the one question that never got asked. What if Volunteer Firefighters didn't Volunteer. The timing of this story was sad and unkind to the brotherhood and the families of our fallen brothers. My we all say a prayer for our fallen brothers and their families.


  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I watched the NBC show last night and could only think ~ what if there were no volunteers? Who would that man blame now?

    He is a man looking to place blame somewhere. He made it out and though he thought his wife was behind him, she wasn't. I can't imagine his pain, but I also cannot imagine he could blame the firefighters?????

    I question NBC's ethics for running this episode while the search in Worcester goes on. Sounds like ratings grabbing to me.


  6. #6
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I concure - this guy has a guilty conscience and is looking to place blame on someone other than himself.

    NBC should have waited to run the story considering Worcester. The timing of running it and the local teasers for it lead me to believe it was going to be about Worcester.

  7. #7
    Lieutenant Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest


    When I saw the trailers for Dateline concerning the Saratoga fire story, I e-mailed Dateline NBC to let them know how inappropriate it was to run a story like this while the bodies of five of our six fallen brothers still have not been recovered in Worcester. NBC shows reruns all of the time, including Dateline, they could have waited to air this episode. I guess ratings points and profits are more important than the grief that all of us are feeling about the loss of our brothers in Worcester.

    Stay safe...Lt. Gonzo

    After I posted this, I sent an e-mail to Caroline Perez at the address Tiger put in his posting. I gave her my feelings about the timing and challenged her to send a crew to Worcester to cover the Memorial Service for the Worcester Six to see what dedication and sacrifice means to the fire service community. President Clinton is going to be there, so maybe they will come....

    [This message has been edited by Lieutenant Gonzo (edited December 08, 1999).]

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    For those that missed it, I posted a summarization fot he incident under "Recruitment and Retention". Take a look there for the story.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Dateline should have waited to air that brodcast. As a Professional FF and a member of the IAFF, we are saddened at the loss of 6 brother FF. Our sympathy goes out to the families.

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I watched Dateline in horror last night as they ran their segment concerning the Waterford Fire Department. As the wife of a career and a volunteer firefighter, I have seen my share of personal tragedy among the firefighters when a "brother" is lost in the line of duty. I can not believe that NBC was so insensitive to the feelings of the Worcester Fire Department and the families of the six fallen heroes that they couldn't even postpone the program. After viewing the program, I,too,emailed Dateline voicing my dismay for showing this program. I guess none of those highly paid executives that made the decision to run the segment knows what it feels like to attend a funeral for someone who just wanted to help his/her community and do their job to the best of their ability even if it meant they might lose their own live trying to save a stranger. Even if NBC decide to attend the memorial service on Thursday, they still won't know the pain and suffering the fire service has had to deal with over the past several days and NBC certainly didn't do anything to help ease that pain.
    I am truly sorry that Mr. Stada lost his wife and this has to be extremely difficult for him but what about the firefighter who did everything he could to try to save her. He has to live with that everyday of his life too.
    I personally hope that NBC has enough compassion that they will at least publically apologize to Worcester Fire Department and the families for the poor decision in showing this segment.
    May God Bless Our Fallen Heroes; and may he watch over all the others who have chosen to serve and protect the public.

    Cornelia, GA

  11. #11
    Jim M.
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    For what it's worth, the Boston NBC station (Channel 7) did not air the show. They ran a re-run of old Dateline.

    [This message has been edited by Jim M. (edited December 08, 1999).]

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Here's a copy of the email I sent to Dateline:

    Dear Sir/Madam:

    The decision by Dateline NBC to hasten the air date of the episode titled "Did Firefighters Do All They Could Do?" was insensitive, ignorant and myopic. The timing was clearly an attempt to exploit the tragedy in Worcester at the expense of all firefighters who are mourning the loss of their brothers.

    In addition, the production values of the piece were one-sided, alarmist and lacked journalistic professionalism.

    I believe NBC owes the public an apology.

    I intend to contact Dateline NBC's advertisers to air my complaints and I will not watch the show again.

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    And people wonder why I call the media vultures,

    How incredibly sad and inappropriate their timing was.

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    From reading the reviews, it sounds like, much to the reporters dimay, the firefighters did all they could. But for some reason they opted to use a disparring title to attract attention. Couple that with their timing considering the tragic events in Worchester, it is impossible to ignore the medias 'elitist' attitude.
    BZ's to Boston's ch. 7 for not airing the segment.

    Stay safe...

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Breaching a sheetrock wall in order to save yourself is hard enough let alone using this method to rescue an incapacitated victim. Nothing was said about the fact that the firefighter would have had to breach the wall, remove his pack to do a low profile entry into the room, avoid getting entangled in electrical/cable wires, locate and drag an incapacitated victim back through wall studs which were most likely 16 inches on center in conditions which were obviously deteriorating rapidly. Hopefully, these facts were brought up in court so the firefighter who attempted the rescue realized he did his best given the situation.

  16. #16
    crash/fire rescue
    Firehouse.com Guest


    i myself being a volunteer firefighter/emt
    felt offended by the news cast...people fail to realize that a firefighters first and foremost job is his or her personal safety. Not saying that civialians are expendable, but people need to realize that we cannot be reckless with our own safety or their wouldn't be any of us left to attempt rescue's regarding trapped civilians.

    Robert C. Ehrhart Jr.

  17. #17
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Although the reporting was fair, the timing of this segment was unbelievably insensitive... At a time when we are mourning our lost brothers, do we also have to watch the another colleague's actions being questioned?

    NBC should be ashamed of themselves for this blatant ploy to use the tragedy in Worcester to boost their ratings. They certainly could have delayed this broadcast... They owe the families of the fallen firefighters an apology.

    from Rebecca

  18. #18
    Kelly Tool
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I too saw the program. Thats what I call bad timeing. Not only is it an insult to the people of Worcester but how many other people do you think and try to sue fire companies. Its bad enough having to fight fire with out having the thought of lawsuit on the mind.

    On a positive note: If i was ever in that situation (which i hope to god i'm never faced with) I'd at least want those jurors on my side

    Put the wet stuff on the red stuff!

  19. #19
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    i think that the timing was extreamly poor as was the judgement to run the show
    as if the families have not already gone through enuff crape
    i strongly belive that this was an undecent act of greadyness

    i am a fire fighter some call me a hero but i call my self another man doing his job that he loves

  20. #20
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The media s*cks. They used this story for ratings. How dare they put us down like this. I don't see them jumping up at 3 AM out of bed and going to a working job where you have to give 550%. They just sit in an air conditioned and heated office taking everything we do and feel for granted.
    As for they guy who lost in court... sir, I am 100% proof positive that my brothers who tried to save your wife tried their hardest. That is our job. That is what we do. It does not matter whom it is. I think our six brothers up in Worcester, MA have proved this overall.
    Hey guys be safe out there. All of you are in my prayers.

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