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  1. #61
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Funkyfire:
    Good to hear from you. It's been awhile. Hope everything is going well for you.
    I'm a little confused over why Kimball was given immunity. Obviously, the prosecution made the deal with Kimball in exchange for testimony. Kimball didn't have a whole lot to say. So why the immunity? That's a strange one, that is. As for sfdlt5; he is having an awful time with articulating his thoughts. They are sometimes very confusing. I incorrectly thought that he was defending Baird in his first post. I stand corrected, but he did say that thing about "blaiming yourself is human not murder". I still don't understand that one. If you are in his corner, that's good enough for me. I will weigh my responses to him in the future.
    FFsta.2:
    My only point in regards to Walsh is that he testified that the Lairdsville SCBAs were not in compliance with federal regulations and as such, should have been taken out of service. I don't know what his credentials are; I only know that he addressed the issue of the SCBAs and that is what I spoke to.
    Kimball sought immunity to save his ***. Holmes stated that there was acrimony with Lairdsville. He mentioned it to set up his defense that THEY were not keeping HIM informed if there were any problems.
    I am not making this stuff up. I am passing along my own opinions, because for right now, that is all we have. What I report in the way of the trial is what I have gained from the testimony and from Lairdsville: What Went Wrong? Most of what was stated in that article was from Baird.
    But, you can have all of the policies and programs that one man can write, but if they are not followed, they are not worth the paper they are printed on. That's the other thing that OSHA takes a very dim view on; if you violate your own policies, you're in deep doodoo, too.
    There's a whole buttload of CYA going on right now with Lairdsville. I suppose that it is to be expected.
    I will be glad when the trial and sentencing is over, because the outcome is going to change the way things are done. And that won't be all bad.
    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.


  2. #62
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    Default hey Chief

    Well, to be honest i was kind of trying to stay out of the discussions here for a while, but things it jsut seems to be the same old discussion being rehashed over and over again, and i don't much care for the personal attacks on those posting either. everyone here should be allowed to voice there opinions, yes there is room for constructive critisism, but not attacking someones character. As for the trial, i am really waiting for the defense witnesses this week, should make for some interesting discussions. ONe thing that was pointed out and really has struck me as odd....sfdlt5 actually led into it on one of the other topics.....Where was the incident command on this scene, If baird is the or one of the ignition officers then he can't be command, someone else must have been. Now if he was playing the role of both, then he should fry because command should have never been in the building lighting the fire, command should have been outside and well commanding. From what i have gathered lately a main contributing factor here may have been the fact that there was infighting between the three depts in the district when they should have been working together as one, they were not, they were freelancing there operations, there training, and hurting the volunteer fire service.

  3. #63
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    Question

    HMMMMMMMMMM! Let me think here for a minute on how to explain my staitment of "Its only human to blaim yourself". OK I got it. Your pager goes off in the middle of the night, its a lets say ems call. You are not an EMT but you are trained in CPR. For some reason you decide to take your time cause it was kind of late. You drop your keys trying to unlock your car door. Now you know the house is only about a block away and you are the closest one to the scene but you decided to take your time anyways. YOu get there and it is a code 99 lets say. Patient not breathing. You begin CPR on the 2yr old hoping and praying that the tiny child will take a breath on there own. Well needless to say the child passes away. WEhat is one of your first thaughts when you find out. "Its my fault I took my time and I dropped my keys". I should have been there faster and maybe it would have made a difference. That is my oint you almost always blaim yourself. Sorry for the length , but I couldnt figure out how to explain it.
    Everything that I post is my opinion only, none of this should be taken as fact.

  4. #64
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    If baird is the or one of the ignition officers then he can't be command, someone else must have been.
    Funkyfire13:
    Your statement that I quoted above illustrates the crux of the whole fiasco that has come be synonomous with the name Lairdsville. They apparently didn't have any rules to put any structure to running the evolutions, saying they didn't know anything about NFPA, and that they didn't have to follow it anyway since New York wasn't an "NFPA State".

    I don't think one can assume that he (Baird) wasn't the IC simply because he was apparently the ignition officer since he lit the fire that killed this young man. Maybe in our world, but according to the "Baird School of Live Fire Training", you can be anything and do anything you want since you've never heard of NFPA. If you get caught, claim that it's not your fault...your just a typically stupid volunteer. That excuses every moronic thing you've done.

    By what I've read, he was calling the shots. I still think that there are others just as responsible for this tragedy, but like the kids game, Baird just couldn't find a seat when the music stopped.
    Steve Gallagher
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  5. #65
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    I still think that there are others just as responsible for this tragedy, but like the kids game, Baird just couldn't find a seat when the music stopped.
    This is the best theory I've heard as to why Baird was the ONLY person charged in this mess. I'd like to hear the prosecution's reasons for granting Kimball immunity. What charges could he have faced and what information did he provide that the prosecution didn't already know or could have gotten on their own?
    _________DILLIGAF

  6. #66
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    Chief Reason

    Assistant Chief Walsh did not testify that district scba were out of regulation. The defense asked if the Westmoreland Fire Dist. was sited for any violations regarding air pacts. Chief Walshís response was "Yes several were sited because they did not contain the minimum air pressure of 2000 psi. One mask was sited for being dirty and I believe a pass device had a low battery. The Westmoreland Fire Dept. has Three technicians certified to work on the ISI Vikings and the remainder of the MSA are under contract for maintenance and certification.

    Granted, The violations should never have happened. These were also not serious violations. The serious violations were for not having training records to meet OSHA standards, accurate proof of fit test for Bradley Golden, proof of training on respiratory protection, hazardous communication, bloodbourn pathogens. Keep in mind these programs were in place but a training report was not made to show that personnel attended a class on them.

    I agree there is a lot of CYA going on. It's not right by any means.
    There is nothing I nor you can do about it. The judicial system is at work. I have no idea what the outcome will be. Interesting to say the least.

    QUESTION:

    How will the fire service react if there is a conviction?

    What will the fire service do if there is no conviction?

  7. #67
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    Default History

    Lets go back to 1995. Remember Chris from New Hartford Fire Dept. He was critically burn in a training accident not 5 miles from Lairdsville. This was conducted by NY State by a NY State Instructor that violated every live burn rule invented by its own New York State OFPC. Tom Wutz was quick to blame Chris. Talk about CYA. He spent 4 weeks in a burn bed in Syracuse. This is no less different than what happened in Lairdsville. Exactly the same mistakes made. In this case no investigations by a DA or anyone. Nor did we hear anyting from Tom Wutz once he learned that one of his own should have been held accountable. What does this tell you? Talk about immunity !!

  8. #68
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    FFsta.2:
    Thanks for the clarification, but perhaps, I confused you.
    First, the Uticah Observer Dispatch reported Robert Walsh, Westmoreland district safety officer, testified that the air packs used by Lairdsville firefighters were not up to federal standards.
    I stated, then as such, they should not have been in service. Obviously, a dirty mask can be cleaned and a battery in a PASS device can be replaced, but a bottle that is out-of-date on its hydrostatic testing, must be taken out of service until it passes the hydro. Wearers are to be medically cleared, fit tested and trained in the use and maintenance of the respirator, prior to their work assignment requiring the use of a respirator(SCBA). I realize that they may have had a respiratory protection program in place, but based on the findings that were disclosed in court, they were in violation of their own policy and here in Illinois, violating your own policies is worse than not having a policy at all.
    Steve Moran:
    Can you bring us up to speed on this case involving Chris of New Hartford Fire Department. My question is that, apparently, there was some questions about the state sponsored burn. If there were serious lapses, why didn't Chris or the New Hartford Fire Department press for some answers?
    Do you suppose your revelation about Wutz will make its way in to court?
    Now, the more obvious question; I noticed you have the last name of the defense counselor. Are you related? And I don't mean that as an insult.
    Monday will be interesting in court. Counsel for the defense has his work cut out for him, but if he can throw others into the mix and raise serious doubts that Baird acted alone, but in concert, then who knows?
    Because we have to remember that Bradley Golden died and Chris of New Hartford Fire Department lived and for me, that is a big difference between the two cases.
    If I don't balance my checkbook and get overdrawn, that is a mistake. If you ignore recognized, safe practice and cause the serious injury or death of a person, that is criminal. Period.
    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

  9. #69
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    Question:

    If Baird told Golden he couldn't go in, and Golden was taken in without Bairds knowledge or permission in spite of that, would you still consider Baird responsible for Golden?
    Last edited by mongofire_99; 05-19-2002 at 10:03 PM.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

  10. #70
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    Lightbulb

    Well I was waiting to see this show up on here again. Steve is related to the defense attorny, actually brothers I believe. As for Chris the young man who got burned in thee training fire, I believe that is Steves son. This is probably going to play a big part in the defenses case. No, Chris didnt die, but he was seriously burned. The big question is why was there never a case of assault or anything braught against the state instructor in that case? Well I have to say I wish Chris luck in everything he does. He is lucky to be alive if I remember the story correctly. As for Oneida county, things are changeing very rapidly now. Had they been a little stricter before all this we wouldnt be rushing to catch up.
    Everything that I post is my opinion only, none of this should be taken as fact.

  11. #71
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Mongo:
    Yes; he still conducted himself in a very out-of-control and very unsafe manner. I don't care that Kimball was on-scene or that he did or didn't know who was upstairs. He did not provide for a safe means of egress.
    Just my opinion; I could be wrong.

  12. #72
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    FFsta.2

    How will the fire service react if there is a conviction?

    Those of us that have followed the case will say "I can't believe it" or "I knew it."

    Depending on your position you'll sorta celebrate (FLBT) or rant and rave for a few days.

    Nothing else will change.

    What will the fire service do if there is no conviction?

    Sadly, most of the fire service will never know.

    Chief Reason

    I've edited my post and added "for Golden." Don't know if it would change your answer but thought I'd let you know.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

  13. #73
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    mongo,

    I know that you have been in contact with Mr. Moran, and it would appear that you are trying to guide people to the possibility that possibly Crowman should be the one facing charges, and not Baird. Is this true or am I just overtired after a holiday weekend?

  14. #74
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Mongo:
    It doesn't change my answer. You have taken some exceptions to some of Adam Croman's actions. One of the peculiar things I read was that Croman threw a mattress down to Baird or as he said in court, that he was "ordered" by Baird to throw it down to him; like they had this no bullsh*t chain of command. He did it after he started his fire in the barrel. So he sorta-kinda knew that Baird was starting a fire downstairs as well? It would seem that way. Baird was asked about laddering windows, but he nixed it, so I assume that he was in command? It would seem so.
    sfdlt5: I was asking about the last name of Moran, because I truly didn't know. But Steve came out strong, so I suspected it. I am sorry to hear about Chris, but it would seem that something could have been done in 1995. But we are talking about the fire service, so perhaps not.
    Mongo; do you suppose they will call Croman back to the stand on a re-direct? There are some questions. Now that the jury has gotten over the shock of seeing his hands, maybe they can look at what his role was that day? We'll see.
    As far as the majority of the fire service not knowing about this case; on my own department, only 3 guys had a working knowledge of this tragic event. And they are a pretty well informed department.
    You could be right.
    Stay safe.

  15. #75
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    LadyCapn

    Fair question. But I make up my own mind and some things thus far ain't adding up...

    Baird's third statement: "Q: You didnít know Golden was upstairs?
    A: No, because firefighter Croman came downstairs looking for firefighter Golden. Adam came to me and asked if I had seen Brad. I told Adam no as far as I know heís not doing this training this time and if he needed a second person that I would take his spot up there. Adam stated that they were all set."

    http://www.uticaod.com/news/lairdsville1.htm

    coward, I mean Croman testified "We got to the hall area and sort of just nudged each other to try to get downstairs." http://www.firehouse.com/training/ne...16_Ptrial.html

    Things from cowards testimony, as reported, don't add up with common sense and logic. "As the three firefighters tried to crawl backward down a burning staircase to escape the inferno surrounding them, Croman realized he couldnít make it down that way alive." http://www.firehouse.com/training/ne...16_Ptrial.html

    If there were three firefighters crawling down a single flight of stairs, one of them had to be near the bottom, and remember, one of them was not breathing air off his SCBA (Golden). Yet Golden and Morris were found in the room they were left in. To be quite honest, if croman's testimony is true, I'm baffled as to why they didn't find Golden on the stairs as he was not breathing from his SCBA. After all, it was so untennable that croman had to run out on them...

    These and other things are troubling to me. I believe Baird has some responsibility and have said so many times both here and to Moran in emails. At the very least, croman and kimball should also be prosecuted and recieve the same fate as Baird.

    However, if, and I mean if, someone 'snuck' Golden in without Bairds knowledge, someone needs to do some jail time.

    Chief Reason

    do you suppose they will call Croman back to the stand on a re-direct?

    I have no idea. But I'd like to see the transcript of his testimony to see what questions were asked and how he answered. Yeah, I'd like to see everyones, but especially his.

    Now that the jury has gotten over the shock of seeing his hands, maybe they can look at what his role was that day?

    Great move by the prosecution. Almost as good as cochran telling oj to go ahead and "try" to put them gloves on while wearing vinyl gloves underneath.
    Last edited by mongofire_99; 05-19-2002 at 11:20 PM.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

  16. #76
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    Default Responsibility?

    Funkyfire,
    Negligence is something for a civil trial court not Criminal. Did the ignorance and negligence of the fire officers in Westmoreland and Lairdsville rise to a criminal level? I don't think so, but I'm interested in what happens after the criminal trial. I don't think that all of the fire officers from Westmorland or Lairdsville will be completely off the hook. Depending on the structure of the Department and the Administration including the Fire Commissioners, there maybe a very large price to pay.

    Mongo,
    I agree that if Baird told Golden that he shouldn't be involved and someone else took him in, then two questions should be asked:
    1. Who provided Brad Golden with the SCBA?
    2. Why prior to lighting the couch, didn't Baird make sure of the whereabouts of Brad Golden?

    Training a rookie is about, "yo boot, I want you on my butt the whole time. If I don't see you there everytime I turn around, when we get back to the station your butt is mine." When Brad Golden showed up when they called back to the station for "victims", Baird should have sent Brad Golden back to the station or given him the "stay on my butt" speech.

    Yes Mongo, Baird was still responsible for Brad Golden.

    I have said on this and other web sites that certification and training is the key to making sure that this doesn't happen again. In some states the authority to determine what level of training is required by all fire fighters and fire officers is at the state level. In some states like PA they do not have such authority at the present time. Public safety is a function of the local jurisdictions. For those who have set standards, some will argue that this limits those who would become volunteers. These same people see this as a problem. I see this as a challenge and a benefit. Those who are unwilling to spend the time training and obtaining certifications should not be admitted since our mission involves decisions that involve life and death of civilians and brothers alike. We need to make sure that this is clear up front during a pre-entrance interview to all prospective volunteers. To place the lives of others in the hands of untrained/uncertified officers will lead to tragedies like Lairdsville. These lessons are not new, as George Wendt and others have pointed out. In NJ, they at least set minimum training and certification standards, for all.

    Mr. Steve Moran,
    I am very sorry to hear that a relative of yours was injured in a training accident. The fact that it happened in a State Sponsored training evolution and no-one was apparently held accountable makes it even that more tragic. It does not however release Mr. Baird of his responsibilities to act in a manner consistent with the criminal code in New York State. There is also a difference in a case where death has resulted as opposed to injury despite the painful and difficult nature of burns.

    Whether or not Mr. Baird is guilty, I will wait until the defense has its turn to present its case.

  17. #77
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    Default Re: Responsibility?

    Originally posted by amfm
    Did the ignorance and negligence of the fire officers in Westmoreland and Lairdsville rise to a criminal level? I don't think so, but I'm interested in what happens after the criminal trial.

    I have to say yes it did. When Baird made the decision to make the situation "more intense", he crossed the line into a criminal act. In my eyes he may has well of said, "Let's cook 'em". (No disrespect intended toward the victims)
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

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  18. #78
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    Default We agree

    StayBack,
    I wasn't referring to Baird. I was referring to the other officers from Lairdsville and Westmoreland, including the Fire Commissioners. Did the lack of training, which apparently was somewhat the responsibililty of the Fire Commissioners, and the other fire officers, help lead to the sorry events that we now know as Lairdsville? I say yes. Was it such that criminally negligent charges could be brought? I don't know that. I don't have enough information to make that decision.

    Were they liable. Yes. Is that a decision to be made in a criminal trial. Only if the District Attorney for Onieda County has decided to do so by bringing the facts to a Grand Jury and letting them decide to send down indictments.

    Even when this criminal trial is over, there is going to be a lot more that will play out in the months and years to come.

  19. #79
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    With the defense resting it's case today, let's go back to Lairdsville: What Went Wrong? and see what differs from the interviews to the courtroom testimony.
    According to Benjamin Morris, he stated in his interview that he never made it back to his feet. He frantically searched for a way out of the smoke-filled room. He couldn't see Golden. He couldn't see anything. He groped for a door, a window, a hand to guide him. He remembers making it to the front wall of the room. His bell went off. He panicked, banged on the walls a couple of times, then fell backwards. He blacked out.
    Morris thought that only the fire in the barrel on the second floor would be set.
    Morris stated in his interview that he and Golden weren't told of their roles as victims until they arrived at the farmhouse.
    In his court testimony, he stayed pretty true to his pre-trial statements. He testified that Croman left him and Golden in the room, came back about five minutes later and said "come on guys, we got to go, let's go. As the firefighters tried to escape, they lost contact with each other. Morris stated "I never made it to my feet. The room filled with smoke. I was confused. I didn't know what was going on." Morris said he panicked and became disoriented. Extreme heat prevented him from making it to the blazing stairway. He lost consciousness and remembers waking up in the grass in the front yard. Morris was asked who was in charge at the drill scene. Morris stated "As far as I knew, it was Lairdsville's practice. The highest-ranking officer was in charge," Morris said in reference to Baird. Morris testified Adam Croman was acting as safety officer.
    Adam Croman declined to be interviewed, but according to his father, Adam told him that he sought to help the others before leaping out the window. "He told me he pushed them toward the stairs and he jumped out the window with a full pack on," Chief Lance Croman said of his son. "For some reason we don't know, the other two didn't make it out."
    According to Adam Croman's testimony, he was asked by his father to participate as an advisor in a rapid intervention exercise. Adam Croman said he was told a burn barrel was to be used in a "smoke-only" exercise. Morris and Golden were positioned lying down in a bedroom to simulate downed firefighters and Croman was to light the barrel in another room. Baird stood near the sofa by the foot of the stairs. "All I saw was one foot and one hand going down and then I saw an orange glow, that's all I saw." Baird "then commanded me to give him the mattress". "That's when I saw flames licking from the first level to the ceiling of the second level". According to Croman, he took Morris and Golden to a second-floor window, but the flames and thick black smoke from the first-floor fire "were licking up at us". "We got to the hall area and sort of just nudged each other to try to get downstairs." As the three firefighters tried to crawl backward down a burning staircase to escape the inferno surrounding them, Croman realized he couldn't make it down that way alive. Moments later, Croman testified he lost contact with Morris and Golden. "You go from human to survival mode. You can't explain it. We were all just panicking. We didn't know what to do," Croman testified. He added: "It got intense. I just bolted out. We were all yelling for each other. To this day, I can still hear screaming. It was mind-boggling." Croman found the burn barrel room and crawled until he felt cardboard over a window. Croman jumped out a second-floor window. Croman told Moran he agreed only to act in a "safety" function on the second floor.
    Alan Baird in his interview with the Uticah Observer Dispatch stated that he thought everyone upstairs knew what was going on because they had radios.
    Well, we have been through Baird's stuff numerous times.
    Here's my question: Why the big, big difference in the two stories between Adam Croman and Benjamin Morris. Croman looking to get a Medal of Valor out of this? Baird says that there were radios, but no one has said that they tried to get anyone on a radio. If the fire broke as aggressively as Baird says, why wasn't he calling the second floor, telling them to get the hell out. He stated that he didn't ladder the windows for safety because they were too small, but Adam Croman managed to bail out of one, didn't he? In Baird's interview, he stated that he, Spaven, Croman and Kimball stood on the steps and went through the exercise, so why all of the confusion?
    Then in court, Baird said that the exercise was poorly planned and they made it up as they went along. How much could you make up as you went along when the accounts say that five minutes after he lit the couch, all hell broke loose. There wasn't time to "make it up as you go along". At that point, they were in the rescue mode and the training exercise ceased to be!
    For my money, Benjamin Morris is the most credible witness of them all. Granted, he has every right to be bitter, but he comes the closet to sticking to his story. And HE says that Baird was in charge. Everyone said that Baird was in charge, except Baird. Now, without making an unfounded accusation here, it would appear that the Cromans and Kimball have rehearsed to corroborate testimony. They have been measured in their testimony. I believe that Croman is lying out of both sides of his mouth. He says that they panicked and didn't know what they were doing, but yet, gives a detailed account of his "heroics". I have said all along that Baird and others were responsible and it isn't more glaring in Croman's case. Blood is thicker than water, so Dad is going with the son. But where is any reference to any radio traffic? Where is "I radioed......"?
    If they had radios, why were they all yelling, according to Croman?
    All others believed that the burn barrel was to be used, but Baird, the guy who planned the exercise said that the barrel was not to be used for that exercise. So he had planned all along to light the couch? He stated that he made it up as he went along. So how could anyone else know his plans and why was everyone else so clear on the idea that a burn barrel was to be used? Baird said in testimony "The whole plan was poorly planned. It was made up as WE went along." He said that he told Golden that he could not participate and went so far as to say that he should have gone upstairs to find out who was up there. Why? He supposedly had a radio. He could have radioed "Adam, who is up there?" Adam could have radioed back, "I thought that we were only lighting the burn barrel?" To which Baird could have radioed, "Get out now; the fire just went up the wall." But apparently, no one knew how to use their radios either.
    Why wasn't Gary Spaven called to testify? And why would his wife? I won't even comment on that.
    I also noticed that there is a whole lot of people covering Kimball's ***. Good ole boy, perhaps?
    Well, lads and laddies, it has been interesting, but the best is yet to come. I can already smell an appeal, because Baird wants to be exonerated and that is just not going to happen. Croman believes that he is a hero. That, too, isn't going to happen. This fire department doesn't need a giant makeover; it needs a giant turnover. It is a nest of good ole boys and their boys and if they stay in, history will repeat itself in that fire district.
    I have been known to be right once in a while!
    Last edited by ChiefReason; 05-21-2002 at 11:24 PM.

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    Chief, I am not an overly religious person, but I'm telling you right now I want to shout HALLEILUYAH!!!!!!! (darn, don't think I spelled it right though)
    Excellent post and may I say I agree 100%!!!!
    Actually the radio issue was one that I raised quite some time ago. They all had radios, but did Baird ever think to warn them that all hell had broke loose? Apparently not.
    Lets' hope these ripples are felt all over North America

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