02-17-2002, 12:37 AM #1
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
The rally cry is "People will stop volunteering", so infact the scare line is set!
This is the biggest crock I've heard in some time. The tragedy in Lairdsville should invoke the feelings of the intelligent populous to get involved. The real truth of the matter is there is a huge need for people with common sense to be a part of potential life and death situations. By this i am not saying that there are no highly intelligent personnel in important positions in the Westmoreland fire district.
In fact there are many.
Unfortunately they cannot hold the hands of all of the individuals that make life altering, idiotic, on the spot decisions .
02-17-2002, 07:39 PM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
- central NY
How right u are, and it is not just the westmoreland fire district, the majority of fire districts that are goverend by fire commisioners in oneida county are in the same situation. while the members and officers try their best to improve there dept, through training, updating equiptment, and better PR. THe commisioners continue to sit on there donkey butts and worry about raising tax dollars that have been the same for over 10 years, wake up people, there are big problems that need to be addresed. The fleecing and money laundering of these elected officials that many people do not even know exist has to stop and give way to a body that is willing to work with and better the volunteer fire depts that that are under there jurisdiction.
02-17-2002, 09:04 PM #3
- Join Date
- Feb 2001
- Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!
I was going to ask you to go a little deeper and then, Funkyfire13 responded. You lost me. Who is holding who's hand? Intelligent populous?
Funkyfire13: Fleecing and money laundering? Donkey butts?
Golden: I take it that this is somehow associated with the Alan Baird incident? The need for people with common sense to be a part of potential life or death situations; I suppose that would be true in the absence of SOGs/SOPs. I would prefer that there is some certified training of some sort involved. My father had a knack for making good decisions based on common sense. He also worked in a scrap yard. Firefighters should have a little more going for them than common sense. Or were you referring to the fire commissioners? Thing is: I have been on these boards for more than a year now and I don't recall any overt concerns posted here from Lairdsville or Westmoreland Fire District. But since their tragedy, it has come out.
When someone tells me that it has been that way for years, it ticks me off because that says that you stood there with your hands in your pocket and turned a deaf ear because it wasn't directly affecting you-hypothetically speaking. I find that crazy because we are anal when it comes to holding people accountable. Almost to a fault. Why do some of you think that small departments in small fire districts can't change the way that you do your business? Why do you think that all's you have to do is threaten to quit or hold your breath or whatever it is that you have to do to scare the public and things will magically get better? Your business as a fire department is public business. The business of the fire commissioners is public business. Their meetings and yours are subject to the Open Meetings Act. If they are ignoring it, call the state's attorney. And especially if they are "fleecing and money-laundering"(Funkyfire13-tell me more on this). Some of you must forget that you also pay taxes(I know that is tough to remember when you're arguing with someone twice your age). To believe that you can't change the way it is or to believe that it won't do any good to even try is just wrong. Part of the problem is that you won't take the time and probably rely on your gift of common sense when you should be finding out when the meetings are, then going to the meetings, asking questions about your department finances, asking why there isn't a line item for training and equipment and while you at it , ask why you haven't seen a new truck in over thirty years. You may need to tell them that the traffic is spooking the horses! You have a right to know as a taxpayer AND as a firefighter. Get connected and then get others involved. Not everything has to be a battle. Open forum discussion is healthy. You know, with a moderator and everything. Have someone that both sides trust come in and hold the meeting. Establish guidelines so that it is a productive meeting. With the situation that is going on in Lairdsville; there is going to be plenty of butt flesh to go around, so you all are going to have to sit down with all the parties concerned and get to some understandings that will keep what little you will have left, in tact. At least you can build from it.
There is nothing wrong with trying to make your department and your fire district better. Some tactics are more effective than others. But if you have it in your blood, as many of us do, the last thing that you can do is to do nothing; to keep quiet; to go along; to quit. If all else fails, evaluate it and start again. If that doesn't work then go public. Bring in your families. That's when it is time to scare the public. This plan of action should be used absolutely and only as a very last resort. You can enlist the support of the public without scaring them. I think about when you go to the grade schools and tell the little kids not to be afraid of the fireman dressed up like a space man and fifteen years later, you are scaring the hell out of them. It just doesn't make sense. So if you can't keep it in the family; you know, between the firefighters and trustees, and resolve it for the good of the community, then use extreme caution when taking it to the general public. And don't forget the saying "Be careful what you wish for"?
I would be surprised if someone WASN'T being held accountable in the Baird/Lairdsville incident. And I am not all that surprised that he is the only one. He is being portrayed as a scapegoat by some. As it is, he is the one accused of setting the fires. The fire department calls him a training officer. His buddy bboris calls him a "good person". The families of the victims are calling him a murderer. The district attorney is calling him a second degree manslaughterer. And if I know the trustees of his fire district, they are calling him to make sure that he has his own attorney. They won't provide one! The truth of the matter is that Lairdsville will still need a fire department. Lairdsville will still need firefighters. I know it's tough to wear that hat right now, but as is usually the case, you did a size up and the priorities changed. It might mean going door to door. In any event, there is damage to repair.
Did I make any sense here, Golden? If not, then never mind!
The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
02-18-2002, 07:27 AM #4
- Join Date
- Apr 2000
- Granby Center F.D. NY
I believe that Goldens post is stating that because of this incident that it will chase people away from volunteering...? I feel however it may wake more dept's up and make a Chiefs job or a Training Officers job more knowledge based and less "Good ole boy,Buddy" based. I have always said don't vote for me because you like me, vote for me because I'm qualified for the position. As far as common sense, its not a replacement for training. It's a plus for a Officer to have it with the training. We must remember that we are responsible for our actions and Volunteer dosent exclude us from the rules and responsibilities to the public we serve.
I may have missed the mark, but I said my peace.
02-18-2002, 02:38 PM #5
- Join Date
- Aug 2000
- Remsen, NY
Living in the same county as Lairdsville, I have heard the same comment from numerous people, about how this is going to scare away volunteers and kill the volunteer fire service.
My question is WHY? How is this going to scare away volunteers.
So far nobody has been able to give me a reason better than the comment "because".
Maybe "because" people are going to be afraid to be held accountable for their own actions. Maybe that's not such a bad thing.
I sure would like somebody to come up with a better reason than "because".
Just my 2 cents worth.
Last edited by FFMike9; 02-18-2002 at 02:43 PM.
02-18-2002, 10:19 PM #6
- Join Date
- Feb 2000
- Morris County NJ
Obvisouly I am not from the same county as where this happens but my personal opinion is that I think it will hurt Lairdsville FD in terms of getting volunteers in the next couple years and hear is why; a situation like what happend in Lairdsville gets labeled really quickly and people always remember the negatives. Even though no judgment has been, people are all ready pointing fingers and jumping to thier own conclusions as to what happend. Most of these conclusions are that there was a gross negligence and the officers of that fire company let a brand new member die. Now being in the fire service, most of us know that most situations are always not that cut and dry but the general public see what they read in the papers. Regardless of who is at fault, many of these potential volunteers are going to read about everything thats going on in Lairdsville and say to themselves, "geez,I don't want to be a part of that." before they know the whole story. Unfortunalty they are not going to take the time to learn about what really happend or who was at fault. they are going to say "screw it, I am gonna volunteer my time somewhere else." This is obvisouly my opinion but I think it is pretty accurate. Would you want to join a fire department who the press and many others are calling grossly negligent and has officers supposably let a firefighter die during a training drill and seriously injuried a couple others? Most people would not. I am in no way making a judgement on what happend; I don't know. I was not there. All I am doing is answering Mikes question. hope this helps.Brookside Engine Company, (NJ)-Captain
Morristown(NJ) Fire Department-FF
Mendham Township First Aid(NJ)-EMT- Officer
These views are my own and do not reflect those of these departments
02-19-2002, 10:17 AM #7
Everyone is concentrating on the TO being held accountable and charged with a crime will reduce volunteering. That isn't it. How about the kid who died? Don't you think the possibility of DEATH is going to have an impact? All the FFs that were hurt were young. Their peers are thinking "I'm not joining something that could get me killed, especially since they are putting unqualified people in charge of the training!" The manslaughter charge may dissuade FFs from seeking promotion, but I don't think it will prevent people from joining a dept.
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