Hello Brother Firefighters!
Members of the Donora Fire Company are locked in a dispute with their local council over a long-running lack of support. The situation recently came to a head when council threatened suspension of Chief Dennis Shawley over use of a rescue boat and about 10 members of the department turned in their pagers, saying they were taking a 30-day "vacation". Read about the dispute at http://www.firehouse.com/news/2000/6/14_strike.html and send your support to firstname.lastname@example.org
All letters of support will be forwarded to our borough council members.
Thanks for your support and stay safe!
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06-19-2000, 02:30 PM #1Shawley66Firehouse.com Guest
Dispute in PA, Support the Firefighters!
06-19-2000, 04:20 PM #2E229LtFirehouse.com Guest
Please don't call me "Brother"
06-20-2000, 02:20 PM #3Jim M.Firehouse.com Guest
And will you also forward the comments from those of us that think your actions are reprehensible and reflect discredit on volunteers everywhere?
06-20-2000, 05:41 PM #4E229LtFirehouse.com Guest
06-20-2000, 08:38 PM #5FireChief600Firehouse.com Guest
Being a chief of a volunteer department, I can see the point of the chief in question about covering the event. But, I also see the side of the council. The boat is not insured, therefore it should not have been in service.
But I think a bigger problem lies within this situation. The fact that the chief is willing to disobey a direct order given to him. What kind of an example does this set for the other members of the department? It tells them that it's OK to disobey a direct order, as long as YOU think you are in the right!
It is my opinion that this chief should be suspended, if not replaced all together. It is actions such as this, that get firefighters killed! TWO WRONGS DO NOT MAKE A RIGHT!!!!!!!!!
Chief Matt Harmon
06-20-2000, 10:09 PM #6SCFAOFirehouse.com Guest
I would have to agree with E229LT..please refrain from calling me brother.
06-21-2000, 10:54 AM #7iwood51Firehouse.com Guest
I find it interesting that the only post, in the three foums that he's posted in, that agrees with him is from a 16 year old female junior firefighter. (Not that I have anything against females (I'm married to one ) or juniors). More of a note that he only has one supporter (other than his dad and the eight others on strike).
06-22-2000, 04:22 PM #8MAYOR JOHN LIGNFirehouse.com Guest
MY NAME IS JOHN LIGNELLI, I AM THE MAYOR OF THE BOROUGH OF DONORA AND HAVE BEEN FOR SEVEN YEARS. I WAS A COUNCIL MEMBER FOR 18 YEARS AND HAVE BEEN A MEMBER OF THE DONORA FIRE DEPTARTMENT FOR 45 YEARS. I AM 79 YEARS OLD, AND IN MY 45 YEARS OF BEING A VOLUNTEER FIREMAN, I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF VOLUNTEER FIREMEN TAKING ANY ACTION OF THIS KIND. ONE OFFICER SAYING LET THE TOWN BURN DOWN AND ANOTHER OFFICER CALLED OUTSIDE DEPARTMENTS, AND ASKED THEM IF THERE WAS A FIRE IN DONORA, DO NOT RESPOND,IF THEY NEED HELP. NOW ANYONE WITH AN ATTITUDE LIKE THAT HAS NO BUSINESS BEING IN THE FIREFIGHTING BUSINESS. THEY HAVE EMBARRASSED THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY AND PUT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE OF DONORA IN GREAT DANGER. THANK GOD FOR REAL VOLUNTEERS IN THE VALLEY WHO SAID THEY ARE FIREFIGHTERS AND IF CALLED THEY WILL ASSIST. MY HATS OFF TO MONESSEN 1 & 2, CARROLL TWP. AND WEBSTER FIRE DEPARTMENTS. GOD BLESS YOU. DONORA IS A COMMUNITY WITH 5,900 PEOPLE, ABOUT 45 PERCENT SENIOR CITIZENS, AND AN OPERATING BUDGET OF $1,380,750.00. I HAVE BEEN A STRONG SUPPORTED AND A HARD WORKER FOR THIS DEPARTMENT. THE ISSUE WAS A SIMPLE MATTER. WITH A LITTLE TIME AND COOL HEADS EVERYTHING WOULD HAVE BEEN SETTLED. IN FACT, CHIEF SHAWLEY HAS A LETTER, IN HAND TELLING HIM THE BOAT IS FULLY INSURED.
06-22-2000, 09:32 PM #9Firekatz04Firehouse.com Guest
I have a BIG problem with firefighters REFUSING to do the job. When lives are on the line it is US that responds. In ANY town, there is a GOOD chance that at least one of the responding firefighters knows at least one of the victims. It is ALMOST as bad as bad as having a TRUE "brother" or "sister" firefighter trapped in a building and refusing to assist.
To sum it up... I DO support the REAL firefighters... the ones that are STILL responding. The ones that took 30 days off should extend it... FOREVER!!! And GOOD RIDDANCE!!! YA BIG LOADS!!!
This post is MY opinion and not the expressed opinion of my department... but it PROBABLY IS!!!
06-23-2000, 11:28 AM #10Capt. SkippyFirehouse.com Guest
MAYOR JOHN LIGNELLI -
Instead of spending your time here tearing down what the firefighters have done, what are YOU doing to improve the situation? What I just read in your post is the same political feel goody BS I hear from my own city council, statehouse and Washington DC! I don't vote in Donora and therefore you don't need my vote there! > If you have time to spend in this forum telling us how horrible these firefighters are and that they should be ashamed of what they have done, then YOU are not doing your JOB as a community leader and attempting to resolve the problem THERE in Donora!
So..get busy and help repair the damage in your community, it's YOUR elected responsibility (or appointted as the case may be). And God help you and your community.
Remember - Safety is a way of Life!
06-24-2000, 11:36 AM #11FireRebelFirehouse.com Guest
please read the other posts in the other forums regarding this topic, you will see that the Mayor is not in the wrong....this department is and was supported by the town and by the council...these so called men striking against their community and top it off sending out messages asking for near by towns not to assist, is absolute assnine, these men need to get out of this business, they truly give it a bad name!
06-24-2000, 01:37 PM #12Capt. SkippyFirehouse.com Guest
I have read all the other posts, and as the story unfolds, it has the appearance to me that the firefighters in this case may very well be in the wrong. I knew this when I posted above.
My problem with the mayor's post is that he has a job to do in Donora, not on this web page! His efforts should be concentrated there, not here. I loathe politicians to begin with, particuliarly those who make a career out of being one. This man has been mayor for 7 years and a council member for 18 years. Hmmm, seems like a career politician doesn't he?
I don't deny his right to post opinions here in relation to firefighting as he has spent 45 years on the job, but he came here with a political motive, to drum up support for his political situation, as evidence by his posting using the title of Mayor.
As others have already posted, I am sure that there is more to this story than we will ever know. Personal experience has shown that egos play a big part in these matters on both sides. There are usually many hidden agendas.
John Lignelli's post served no purpose other than what I previously stated, to drum up sympathy for a political situation. It's an old tactic called "circling the wagons" especially if "public opinion" is already leaning in your direction.
Do not get me wrong, by my statements I am not endorsing what the Donora Ten have done. I think there is a time and place for radical action to a radical situation - without that we would not have this great country to live in. However, based on what has been revealed in these forums, this would appear to not be one of those times. I can not pass final judgement on these men though without first walking in their shoes.
I would hope that all parties involved would set their egos aside, and open the lines of comunication between them. Ultimately, it doesn't matter who is wrong or right, the citizens of the community will suffer a reduced level of service or a lack there of.
Unfortunately, the citizens rarely take the time to educate themselves on the issues and then take an active role in getting the government (in this case, the Fire Department and the Council) back on track to providing what the citizens want in the way of government services through their tax dollars. This is what the Founding Fathers intended almost 224 years ago.
Time will tell though...
Remember - Safety is a way of Life!
07-09-2000, 07:40 PM #13Fireguy57Firehouse.com Guest
I am not sure I can agree with "volunteer" firefighter going on strike. Why do something that will hurt your community. I'm sure there was another way to go about the boat dispute. County, or goverment grants, maybe? Or discussed it with the council, like "This is what we have, This is what we need, or in a situation of this nature" That usually works for us. They shouldn't have gone on strike, that makes you look bad in front of the community. Especially volunteers, that's like saying "we are here if you need us, but were just not going to help".
I prefer not being called a brother, not to be ignorant. But you obviously have opinions I don't agree with, and possibly I'm not alone!
This is in not way related to the Sullivan County Fire Dept. Or our members.
07-09-2000, 08:35 PM #14E229LtFirehouse.com Guest
I'm glad to see the council insured the boat and equally glad to see (The real firefighters remained vigilant). Here is a clip from Donora's local paper dated 7\8\00:
<< An elderly Donora woman was pulled from the Monongahela River Thursday after she jumped from the Donora-Webster Bridge.
Louise Stack, 78, was flown by helicopter to Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, after Donora firefighters rescued her, said Karen Polkabla, the borough's council president who oversees the police department. However, the hospital had no record of treating Stack, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The firefighters took Stack to a ramp along the Westmoreland County side of the river in Webster after she jumped from the span about 1 p.m., said a spokesman for Rostraver Township Fire Department.>>
to the real firefighters of Donora...WELL DONE!!!
[This message has been edited by E229lt (edited July 09, 2000).]
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