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  1. #1
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    Angry Alan Baird... A Friend not a killer!!!

    For all of you that feel the need to bang a guy when he's down... I've know Al Baird for several years now and the first thing that strikes you is his warm and well mannered charisma. All that post messages charging for criminal action beware! Remember the next time you forget to look over your shoulder before switching lanes... or move a victom improperly because you may be the next great American charged for manslaughter for an accident! Then I want you to come back here and tell me how you deserve to be prosecuted for your "Criminal" accident. A country that lets O.J. Simpson walk from a clear cut murder wants to prosecute a man who wants nothing more than to help people in a volunteer system without any reward.

    "Baird himself was in tears as the judge read off the charges against him. His wife Tracey..also a volunteer firefighter, was stunned.
    Baird's father wondered outloud in the courtroom where all the news media was when his son carried a woman from her burning home in Westmoreland..a rescue the younger Baird won an award for in 1995."

    Straight from the local new stations websight a quote that shows Al's dedication to volunteer firefighting. I'm shocked that a brotherhood so tight as firefighters would allow for this outrageous prosecution proceed forward without public outrage in Al's defense! I am disgusted that any firefighter would allow a brother to be prosecuted maliciously.

    I will stand by my friend and weep for the family of the lost firefighter but never let this great country destroy a man for the sake of blam for an accident!

    Butch Boris
    Butch Boris


  2. #2
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    Well said. I agree totally.
    Accidents happen especially in this type of job.
    Yes, things could have been done differently, but
    who hasn't done something wrong, I truly hope he
    is aquitted of this. No one deserves to go to jail
    because of an accident.

  3. #3
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    Your suppport for your friend is admirable. He needs it right now. Please don't abandon him in his time of need.

    However, you are apparently blinded to the fact that this was more than an accident. This was an act that has been committed before and will be committed again unless the ire service is given a wake up call. Fire fighting is dangerous and often unpredictable. But there are volums of standards for how we conduct training so that it is not. When training is conducted in a reckless and negligent manner, someone has to be held accountable..especially when the death of an innocent person results.

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    True there was negligance involved, and yes
    someone should be punished, but I am guilty of
    accidents just like everyone else. Unfortunately
    someone was killed as a result. But, I believe jail
    time is a little much. But, as of now I don't know
    all of the details.

  5. #5
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    George is correct.


    The standards have been in place for a long time. Had the department followed the standards and an accident resulted, then your friend would not be in this situation. However, no standards were followed and a tragic death claimed the life of a brother. When you slip on a title, such as company officer, training officer, and so on you also take on the responsibilty. You are not what your title says unless you meet the obligations of that position. If you choose to take it and don't discharge your duties in a safe manner, especially a training officer, then you are open for punishment. The "no knowledge of NFPA standards" is inexcusable.

    I personally am very angry with the Fire Chief. He is, in my opinion, guilty of the unspeakable.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    I second George's thoughts...your friend needs your support.

    But support isn't making excuses, and dismissing this incident as an accident. It wasn't.

    Guess what, if I forget to look over my shoulder while driving and kill someone, I'm guilty of a crime no matter how charismatic my personality or how good my previous driving record was.

    This incident was not an accident, anymore than driving recklessly is an accident or driving on bald tires in a snow storm is an accident. Yeah, you may get away with it. Most of the time you'll get away with it. Sometimes you'll kill somebody.

    The example of moving a patient the wrong way is a good one for you to bring up, although it doesn't help your cause.

    If you move the patient wrong, maybe your at fault. It takes a lot to rise to the level of gross negligence.

    But you didn't CAUSE that patient to be injured. You may not have treated them well and aggravated the injuries, but you didn't cause the accident that injured them. From everything reported in the press and here, Al Baird lit the fire that caused these deaths.

    This was not an accident. A tragedy, yes. An accident, no.

    Have compassion, show leinency. But don't fail to hold people accountable for their actions.

  7. #7
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Al Baird deserves the support of his friends and family in this time of crisis, hoever, the cause of this crisis was totally preventable. I agree with George Wendt and Dalmatian 90.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  8. #8
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    I agree. Your friend and his family need all the suppport they can get right now. I also agree that your analagies will do nothing to change minds.

    I have heard the same cries and seen the same stunned looks after testifying in cases involving dangerous driving causing death, or impaired driving. "But it was just a horrible accident" "They didn't mean to kill anyone" are commonly heard statements. Would you be so vehemently defending someone who had plowed down a 19 year old on a bike while dialing a number on a cell phone or changing the radio station? Very doubtful. So why should it be an acceptable "accident" just because it was firefighters involved?

    Your mention of moving a patient can be directly paralleled to this case but not in support of your claims. Standards exist for almost every aspect of patient care. These standards are issued through either the American Medical Association, or your individual state agencies, as well as enhanced standards, if applicable through your employer. Should you deviate from these standards then you WILL need to defend yourself in the event of a lawsuit or investigation into your care. Unless you have an extremely valid reason for this deviation, chances are you will be found negligent. If on the other hand, you followed these standards to the letter or to the best of your ability under the circumstances, then litigation is less likely to be successful.

    I think bboris, what it boils down to is that we as a "brotherhood" are tired of firefighters dying when that death could have been easily prevented. In this day and age, the excuses we are hearing aren't worth the newsprint they are printed on. Do I think that Mr. Baird is alone accountable? No, I personally feel every Officer that was present at this tragedy should be justifying their actions. If wrongdoing, negligence or reckless behaviour is found to have contributed to a death of a firefighter, then those responsible should be held accountable. Maybe this is the impetus needed to push Councils, Commissions, and whatever other agency you have that oversees Fire Services in each area to take responsiblity for ensuring that adequate training, equipment etc is a priority.

    Until we demand accountability, these types of incidents will continue, and brothers and sisters around the world will continue to die. I feel for the accused, but that pity does not extend to excusing what happened strictly because of who or what he is.

  9. #9
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    This was an act that has been committed before and will be committed again unless the fire service is given a wake up call.
    So are you saying that the entire faults of fire service should rest on this one individual. A convenient scapegaot for all those on their high horses. How about focusing all this energy to hang this fellow into something worthwhile: like maybe making the NFPA into something more than a waste of paper. Until it has some enforcement ability, not just a recommendation, how can the fire service tote it as gospel? Don't get me wrong, the NFPA is way it should be done, but...
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
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  10. #10
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    Exclamation Slow down.

    As I understand it, he has been charged, not convicted. By all means, stand by your freind, he will need you now more than ever. But no guilt has been assigned, and no sentence rendered. Let the judicial system work, bring all of the facts to light, and let 12 good men and women decide the outcome.

    That said, let's look at this from a different perspective. If a chief made a bad call at a fire scene, a LODD occurred, and the administration tried to do a coverup. How many people, including yourself, would be howling for blood? Look at the tragic situation in Oregon with the wildland FFs killed last year. What needs to happen, is to air out the facts. If we try to cover up what happened, we lose our credibility with the public, and more importantly, with ourselves.

    Well said, George and Ladycapn. I, too, feel for the accused and his family. But let's also consider the feelings of the family who lost a young man just entering the prime of his life. I know if it was my family, and I saw the local FFs rushing to defend Baird, I would be very angry. What some defenders are saying smacks dangerously of a coverup, and that serves no one. What better forum is there than a court of law? If Baird is totally innocent of any wrongdoing, he will be cleared. If there is guilt, it will be assigned, and a punishment meted out. I also agree with ladycapn, that I think other officers present should be sitting with Baird in the courtroom. It truly was not just one officer present that day, and all should be held accountable for their actions, or lack thereof. Just my opinion.
    "Illigitimi Non Carborundum"

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  11. #11
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    Default Are you kidding me?

    I don't get you wrong. I see that you are an individual who is very ignorant of the NFPA and the way that government functions.

    The NFPA is a private, non-profit corporation. They have no authority whatsoever, and never will, to make anything mandatory. They publish consensus standards, much the same as any number of publishers of building and fire codes do.

    These standards do not and can not become mandatory until a governmental agency promulgates them into law. At the present time, many jurisdictions have adopted a wide range of NFPA standards as law, either directly or by reference. How about YOUR local governing body?

    Calling the NFPA a "waste of paper" does a gross injustice to a fine, committed organization who has a rich history of being on the front line to protect citizens and fire fighters alike from the dangers of fire.

  12. #12
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    Yes and no George, my post was was more or less a poke to get flamed, especially by you. You answered my question very well, thank you. No, my organization has completely adopted all the standards in the NFPA, and I am glad they did. Yes, my statement is a great injustice to the NFPA, and for what it stands for, making your answer all that more important. There would be a lot of dead firefighters and civilians if it WASN'T for the NFPA, that's not the point I was making...
    When I said you answered my question you said:
    These standards do not and can not become mandatory until a governmental agency promulgates them into law.
    ...that is what I am getting at. We, the fire service, have, in my opinion, the most intelligent group of people to come together for one cause in a very long time. With that talent, and the recent events, how can we as a whole get these standards adopted from top to bottom in every community, parrish, and state? These are OUR standards, directed to us, by us, to totally neglect them is criminal. I do agree he was negligent in his duties, as well as all involved. There is a price to pay for that. On your other posting, you brought up 3 other cases with the same bottom line, failure to follow the standards. I think we would be hard pressed to find a fatality or gross injury on a training evolution that followed 1403. All this underscores the importance of following these standards. Thanks Mr. Wendt...
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
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  13. #13
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    latigo, You made a good point at the end of your post,where are the other chief officers involved in this exercise.Unless Mr.Baird was acting alone without input from the other Chief officers, there should be some shared negligence.Maybe bboris could shed some light on this subject.Sounds like Mr.Baird is the sacraficial lamb. Chewy
    Lead,Follow or Get out of the way.

  14. #14
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    Angry WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    Thank you Mike W for you may be the only one that can see the forest from the trees in this case. I am not a fire fighter but have many among me that are. I do not study the training exercise rules by which these exercises need to follow however I do agree there should be rules governing these activies! Having said that to stop you the "brotherhood" from attacking me the "outsider" for not knowing all your "rules & standards", I believe those that think Al needs prosecuted are still wrapped up in this... "I'm a firefighter!" cloud that is a terrific yet sometimes leads firefighter to find no fault in themselves. All of you who disagree surely would never have done something this "wrong". But the truth is none of you live in Lairdsville nor do you understand the nature of this small town. I ask how many of you that are so shocked that a tradegy could have occurred are from much larger facilities, are paid!, and have all the necessary professional training needed handed to you! Are you not aware of the dangers of firefighting when you are born into this brotherhood? Is safety for yourself some how transfered to others when you join? I certainly feel great sorrow for the family of the fallen FIREFIGHTER Bradley Golden but you assume the risk for the adventure. I guess I will never know all the facts for I am not that naive to think I will but as I understand Bradley Golden suffered smoke inhalation causing his death however he had an oxygen tank with him!? Is that not a device to promote clean breathing in a fire and smoke infested building? Well I guess I am to naive for this forum for I support an innocent man and a quest for justice and the right means to correct erroneous mistakes and accidents not Criminal proceedings for a scapegoat or witchhunts!

    God Bless Bradley Golden
    God Bless Alan Baird and may the Lord continue to support him!

    Butch Boris
    Butch Boris

  15. #15
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    Default In Short - Clueless

    All of you who disagree surely would never have done something this "wrong". But the truth is none of you live in Lairdsville nor do you understand the nature of this small town. I ask how many of you that are so shocked that a tradegy could have occurred are from much larger facilities, are paid!, and have all the necessary professional training needed handed to you! Are you not aware of the dangers of firefighting when you are born into this brotherhood? Is safety for yourself some how transfered to others when you join? I certainly feel great sorrow for the family of the fallen FIREFIGHTER Bradley Golden but you assume the risk for the adventure.
    I think that the brothers on here are aware of the NFPA provisions and it has nothing to do with large paid urban departments. There are towns SMALLER than Lairdsville, with less money, but they do not sacrifice a brother because of their circumstances. They learn, by any means necessary.

    Are we aware of the dangers? Well Elmo, let me be the first to tell you that no brother or sister needs to be lectured too about danger by someone who has never stepped foot down the path! Just say thank you for the job they do. Yes, danger is part of the profession. Getting killed due to the incompetence or negligence of others is not part of the "Brotherhood".

    As for adventure, this is not a ride at Great Adventure or Disneyworld. This is a dangerous undertaking.

    I try and not get personal but I am seething in anger and hope that you one day will not have to suffer what the young brother suffered due to the negligence of the man you purport to defend.

    Thats right, you never will. This is an A-B conversation, C your way out before you upset people that know you.

    Stay safe!!!!
    Last edited by JayTL; 02-11-2002 at 03:12 PM.

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    Boris, I strongly suggest that you pay close heed to what you are saying since you are digging yourself in deeper with each statement.

    First off.......as a non firefighter, you are not expected to know all the safety standards and requirements...........as an Officer and a Training Officer, Mr. Baird is..........the fact that he is pleading ignorance is ridiculous.

    Secondly........you accuse of of being "wrapped up in this firefighter thing" that "leads us to think we do nothing wrong".......excuse me, but this is the exact problem that we are discussing here and that got this thread going in the first place. Someone or some people screwed up and one person died, with two more seriously injured. Yet we are being asked to disregard it because "we're firefighters" ???????

    I can't speak for the USA, but I know that all Departments, volunteer or paid in my Province are expected to abide by the highest safety standards. If these standards aren't met, we must deal with OH&SA as well as our Provincial Fire Marshals Office.

    "Are you not aware of the dangers?" "Is safety for yourself somehow transfered to someone else?" When you are a brand new probie, yes your safety is directly the responsibility of the Officers on scene, as well as every other Firefighter on that incident. The victim may very well have had an air bottle, but do we know if he had run out of air? Do we know if he panicked and took it off? Do we know if he had been properly trained how to use it in the first place? Regardless, even if the victim had been a 20 year veteran, the Officers in charge of this event are still responsible for his safety.

    As for the adventure comment, I'm with Box on this one. Firefighting is not an "adventure". If that is the prevelant attitude within your Town's Department, then it was only a matter of time before this or something similar happened.
    Last edited by LadyCapn; 02-11-2002 at 02:43 PM.

  17. #17
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    Exclamation Bottom Line for Boris

    Boris, you may be a good friend, but you are obviously ignorant of the firefighting world. These rules are in place and have been for decades. They are available at little or no charge to everyone. Everyone from every size department is subject to them. My fire department is volunteer, covers an area roughly half the size of Lairdsville and still sees to it that we observe all safety measures AND that we educate ourselves as to what they are.

    Your friend may be a nice person, he may have had good intentions, but he was negligent, at the expense of a 19 year old that trusted him with his life. This was no small 'accident', it was an entirely preventable incident that your friend was RESPONSIBLE for preventing by the nature of his position.

    For him or any officer in his department to claim ignorance IS unexcuseable - the information was and is available to them. You only know what he tells you - try reading the other posts here that are filled with the FACTS about NFPA guidelines and recommendations from NIOSH after similar incidents - recommendations that were VERY VERY public and also available to everyone.

    Firefighters are a group that stick together on this kind of incident - if this was just a matter of opinion or a matter of paid vs. volunteer or big city vs. small town it might be different - but it isn't - it's a matter of safety and of established standards. If your friend gets off it will be a miracle, because the facts and the industry guidelines are against him - in very accessible black and white. The only remaining question in my mind is will he hang alone or will others also be held responsible.

    Tragedy YES
    Accident NO
    Susan Lounsbury
    Winston-Salem Rescue Squad
    Griffith Volunteer FD

  18. #18
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Perhaps I should count to ten...

    Nope, still angry. I don't think I've ever been angry before at a post here.

    Boris, wake up and smell the coffee and not your excuses.

    I ask how many of you that are so shocked that a tradegy could have occurred are from much larger facilities, are paid!,

    Volunteer, 15 years. Town of 7,000. I did my Firefighter I live fire training in an acquired structure in a town of 1,500. Probably not that much different than the Westmoreland area.

    and have all the necessary professional training needed handed to you!

    This is even more basic than training. You do not light a fire on the floor below someone.

    Are you not aware of the dangers of firefighting when you are born into this brotherhood?

    I wasn't born into the service. Don't try to tug on heartstrings -- brothers help each other, they don't make excuses and they don't cover up.

    I don't think most teens are aware of all the dangers in things they do. I know I wasn't...yeah, there was times I was nervous, and there's times I did stupid things too.

    Is safety for yourself some how transfered to others when you join?

    Not when you join. When you accept an order.

    Those teens who were killed and injured did not decide on their own to go up there -- someone told them to. As a grunt firefighter, often times even as a line officer, you can not see the big picture. You rely on those who gave you orders, you rely on those who are outside and are familiar with what you should be doing by standing orders, to see the big picture and get you out before the fire gets out of hand.

    If you go to where I tell you to go to, do what I tell you to do, then I am responsible for your safety.

    You have the right to refuse orders that are unsafe. I doubt those three teens had the experience, the maturity, and probably even the specific knowledge that they were being placed in extreme danger to even think of challenging a white hat and refusing the orders of a Chief officer. Don't even try to shift blame to them -- unless you can provide evidence they weren't following orders.

    I guess I will never know all the facts for I am not that naive to think I will but as I understand Bradley Golden suffered smoke inhalation causing his death however he had an oxygen tank with him!?

    There you go, trying to blame the victims. THIS IS WHY I AM SO GOD DAMNED ANGRY RIGHT NOW. If you are drunk, drive a car, and kill someone does it matter if they were or were not wearing a seatbelt? Does it matter if their airbag functioned or not? If you act recklessly, do not try to minimize your actions by saying something else failed.

    With a month of service, in a part-time organization, there is no way I'd be conviced Firefighter Golden had the experience and practice to be trusted with minimal supervision in an airpack. Air packs are meant to be used in IDLH environments -- Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health. You don't put someone who, at best, only learned the basics of donning one a month before into an IDLH environment, with limited supervision by other young members, above a fire.

    Well I guess I am to naive for this forum for I support an innocent man and a quest for justice and the right means to correct erroneous mistakes and accidents not Criminal proceedings for a scapegoat or witchhunts!
    You'll find a great cross-section of opinions on this board.

    One thing I've never found here though is sympathy for people looking to avoid responsibility.

    What happened in Lairdsville was not an accident. The outcome was predictable and easily preventable.

    Matt

  19. #19
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    Default Quoting Dal

    This is even more basic than training. You do not light a fire on the floor below someone.
    Could not agree more. I have asked my neighbors, none of whom are in the fire service, if they would light a fire underneath during a training evolution. They did not explain it very well, but each said NO!

    I wasn't born into the service. Don't try to tug on heartstrings -- brothers help each other, they don't make excuses and they don't cover up.
    I have been around the fire service since age 2 but I was not born into it. Save the drama for your mama Boris

    You have the right to refuse orders that are unsafe. I doubt those three teens had the experience, the maturity, and probably even the specific knowledge that they were being placed in extreme danger to even think of challenging a white hat and refusing the orders of a Chief officer
    One of the young firefighters father was the Chief, apparently standing right outside. Is that young man going to say "No, Dad, it just not safe"? Probably not. And the Chief should swing for this as well.




    With a month of service, in a part-time organization, there is no way I'd be conviced Firefighter Golden had the experience and practice to be trusted with minimal supervision in an airpack. Air packs are meant to be used in IDLH environments -- Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health. You don't put someone who, at best, only learned the basics of donning one a month before into an IDLH environment, with limited supervision by other young members, above a fire.
    And we debate as to the charges filed?


    Boris, go away.

  20. #20
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    An excerpt from BBoris...
    But the truth is none of you live in Lairdsville nor do you understand the nature of this small town.

    The people who post on these boards come from all walks of life, career and volunteer departments, from tiny hamlets to sprawling metropolitan areas. Firefighting is the same game, just change the names of the communities and the players.

    I ask how many of you that are so shocked that a tradegy could have occurred are from much larger facilities, are paid!

    Career or volunteer, it does not matter in this case.

    and have all the necessary professional training needed handed to you!

    The training is available for anyone who wants it, either through the Fire Department, the state and national Fire Academies and even on line from the Maryland Fire Rescue Institute, rapidintervention.com, Firehouse.com and a host of other fire related websites!

    Are you not aware of the dangers of firefighting when you are born into this brotherhood?

    Firefighters are not born, they are made...through proper training and leadership.

    Is safety for yourself some how transfered to others when you join?

    Firefighters look out for one another. Fire Officers are trusted with ensuring that the personnel under their command are working and training as safely as possible....and that did not happen here!

    I certainly feel great sorrow for the family of the fallen FIREFIGHTER Bradley Golden but you assume the risk for the adventure.

    This statement bothers me the most. Firefighting is an inherently dangerous profession. Firefighter Bradley Golden put his trust in Al Baird to provide safe training. That trust got him killed.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 02-12-2002 at 07:45 PM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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