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  1. #21
    Forum Member StayBack500FT's Avatar
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    Default Re: CRIMINAL????

    Originally posted by stroutkristen
    I'm sorry....I don't mean to be a "smart ***" but doesn't "criminal" relate to the Penal Code not NFPA Standards? So........I guess.....not?

    Yes, but if you are negligent according to those standards and someone dies because of those negligent actions...well...then...it's criminal.




    Temptaker -- I agree totally. Until these departments are provided for, what happens if there is an accident? Can we seek justice using NFPA standards as our guide? Can common sense allow us to deviate or has there been a precedent set here? What is fair, legal game?


    martinm I agree, this particular incident must never be allowed to occur again...but what do we now do with other non-compliant behavior when it comes to the courtroom?
    Last edited by StayBack500FT; 05-29-2002 at 09:03 AM.
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  2. #22
    Forum Member StayBack500FT's Avatar
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    Default Re: CRIMINAL????

    Last edited by StayBack500FT; 05-29-2002 at 09:01 AM.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

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  3. #23
    Forum Member StayBack500FT's Avatar
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    DUH!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, I didn't know the first post went through.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

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  4. #24
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    Default Thoughts (long)

    1. I think that many people have a general misunderstanding of what the NFPA is and what it can do and can't do. Although many of us are members of the technical committees and understand the way the system works, it is apparent that many have no clue.

    First, the NFPA is a BUSINESS, National Fire Protection Association Inc. In the 2002 NFPA Directory, it states "The mission of the NFPA, which was organized in 1896, is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically based consensus codes and standards, research, training and education."

    "NFPA is an independent, voluntary-membership, nonprofit (tax-exempt) organization. A board of directors has general charge of the affairs of the association, which has a staff of 203 professional men and women plus 128 support personnel".

    The Articles of Organization state: "The Association is a membership corporation not organized for the purposes of realizing pecuniary profit or gain to it's members, but the Association may pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and may indemnify the directors, officers, employees and agents of the Association ..."

    This corporation makes money by selling the documents it writes, selling subscriptions to it's periodicals, selling memberships to the organization, selling seats at seminars, and selling other products produced by the NFPA. No where has it ever said that it is a philanthropic organization. The people who work there do not work for free. They do not recieve external funding.

    I say this because on another thread, people are saying that the NFPA has a moral obligation to provide FD's with free service. This is a ridiulous idea. The NFPA provides a myriad of services for the fire service that require financial commitment. It is only right to expect the people who benefit from the materials to pay for them. Would you work for free at this level?

    Secondly, the NFPA publishes many types of documents under the umbrella of the National Fire Codes. There are codes, standards, guides and receommended practices. Only codes and standards are published in a format that can be adapted as law. However, the other documents are frequently adapted by reference in other regulations. Certainly not all codes et al are applicable to every FD. There will only be a very few applicable to all.

    The NFPA is not a governing body. As such, they cannot promulgate law. It is up to the various governing bodies to do that. Where the NFPA document is adapted as law, then it has the power to be enforced. When it is not, it is but one standard that a person can be judged against when they commit a potentially criminal act. NFPA 1403 is so frequently cited in the Lairdsville case because it is, as far as I know, the only standard on live fire training out there.

    2. Is any state an "NFPA State"? If not, can we please stop saying that.

    3. Of course Lairdsville will happen again. How many times has it happened since Boulder and Milford? The fire service establishment in general doesn't care. The same way it doesn't care about fire fighter LODD, or fire fighter arson. If they did, organizations like the USFA and the NVFC would be jumping on this bad boy. But they aren't, and they don't.

    4. The FIREAct Grant program is misguided. Why shouldn't we first take care of those rural departments who are wearing raincoats and aluminum helmets, then take care of the urban departments in tremendous finanical trouble, then deal with the other FD's. I listened to some people talk about how their departments had to try and try and try to come up with an idea to apply for funds for, becuase they had everything. If we don't get the tools to those in rural US, is it right to pay for things like health clib memberships under the guise of a physical fitness program? It doesn't make sense.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Temptaker's Avatar
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    I'm sorry....I don't mean to be a "smart ***" but doesn't "criminal" relate to the Penal Code not NFPA Standards? So........I guess.....not?
    In addition to stayback's comment...

    As an example for you: even though I am a trained nurse, in good standing with my board, if I responded to a call and operated outside of my scope of practice as a "first responder" I could be named in a lawsuit. Medically my training far surpases that of first responder, for department liability reasons I am not allowed to perform at a level higher than first responder, if I did could be pursued criminally not to mention in a civil suit. If I was driving down the road, saw an accident and responded, the liability lies directly at with me, therefore I could do ANYTHING that I have been trained to do without the risk of a lawsuit, if something happened to the patient it would not be considered criminal because I practiced within my scope of training.

    What does that have to do with NFPA.... the standards are set up to ensure a safe working environment within a dangerous profession. If you show up at a fire and you ARE NOT on duty, and something happens to get you killed, no one can be pursued criminally, even if NFPA was not followed, because the liability rests with you. If you show up and you are on duty, and something happens to get you killed which specifically relates to the lack of NFPA standards being followed, then criminal charges can be applied because the liability rests with the dept.

    You are correct that 'criminal' relates to the penal code. When actions or better stated inactions regarding predetermined standards are taken, results in the death of a member of the dept considered to be on duty, then the actions of the dept are criminal.

    I agree totally. Until these departments are provided for, what happens if there is an accident? Can we seek justice using NFPA standards as our guide? Can common sense allow us to deviate or has there been a precedent set here? What is fair, legal game?
    Stayback... and here lies the problem.... what to do UNTIL these smaller depts are brought up to national standard. Keep in mind I am thinking life over limb here...

    1st... I would say no interior attacks. (not for every dept, just those that KNOW their equipment is substandard) If you know your turnouts are substandard, your SCBA is questionable etc, then don't go inside. It's better to lose a building then to lose someone's life, or more than one life because RIT has to go in with the same substandard equipment.

    2nd... Do the preplans, know what you are going to before you ever have to go there.

    3rd... Get on city counsels case for funding

    4th... approach local business regarding sponsorship of the dept. ie. mechanical repairs to the rigs etc. (Not bubba's fix it...) go to a Vehicle dealer in a neighbouring city if you have to and talk to them about the dept, let them know about the lack of funding, and see if they would be willing to make the repairs to the vehicle. They can use it as a TAX right off... charitable donation and all that.

    5th... Small depts should approach the manufacturers of departmental gear to see if they can get sponsorship there.

    6th... Smaller depts should approach larger depts about having someone come out and do training evolutions with them. There is a group of fire fighters in Vancouver that do training for Vol depts here, run through the Justice Institute. The fire fighters go out to the Vol dept, spend the day, answer questions etc, before the evolution ever begins. They make sure they know who has what training, and how proficient they are at what they know before anything ever gets lit.

    7th... Maybe some of the people who work for both Career and Vol depts could approach their command officers (in both depts)and mention doing this type of training. I don't mean it as an insult to vol depts, only that there is more funding for career depts, the training if more readily available. I'm sure if NYC had been approached about doing this training evolution, at the very least they would have said DO NOT USE LIVE VICTIMS. There is nothing wrong with asking for help or the opinion of other people on the job.

    8th... If there is a vol dept that has the necessary training and they are situated near one which does not, then the two should work together until the second dept has it's members trained adequately.

    9th... Have smaller depts approached fire academy's or state certified training facilities for sponsorship of their 'volunteer' members?

    I have heard a lot of mention about how much money everything costs, but you would be suprised how many businesses would be willing to part with something if they think they can get a tax deduction or good publicity out of it.

    We have to think safety of members here, BEFORE safety of the public. You can't help someone if you can't help yourself.

    Justice using NFPA standards, unfortuneately we may have to. I would like to think that something like this would NEVER happen again, however I don't honestly believe there was enough publicity for that to happen. Who will inforce it? Is there a policing body in the states that is there to ensure NFPA is being followed? What happens when they come to a small dept that has umpteen violations, who do they fine? Personally I think it should fall in the lap of city counsel. If they want fire protection then they are going to have to go to bat for the dept., it doesn't fund itself.

    A considerable amount of NFPA is common sense, I still don't understand how anyone in their right mind could run an evolution like Lairdsville. Deviation within reason... ok... but who decides what is reasonable? Maybe the standards need to be looked at again, to be sure that a variety of senarios are taken into consideration. If that happens, then perhaps penalties should be put in place for deviation of the standards seperate from the criminal code. I don't mean a $500 fine or something like that. Suspensions, demotions etc, stuff that will get the command officers to wake up and take notice, that if they don't follow acceptable standards there are consequences.

    I do think there has been a precident set here, it is not a pleasant one, unfortuneately it may have been necessary. Maybe if they realize there are criminal consequences to their actions more consideration for the safety of members will taken.

    What is fair legal game, that is interesting. If you were my commanding officer, and you told me to go into a fire building without SCBA, I'd tell you to **** up a rope. For the sake of argument we'll say I went in instead. If I end up with burns to my lungs, it is no ones fault but my own, because I went in KNOWING that I should be wearing an SCBA. If you don't throw ladders up, when they should be there, and I go in and get trapped because I have no means of escape, it then becomes your fault. It all depends on the knowledge and experience of the people involved. You being outside of the structure have a better overview of the situation then I do. If you realize that it is a real cooker and aren't comfortable being in the command position then you better call dispatch and have a higher ranking officer sent down to take over, because ultimately you will be the one responsible for the safety of me and anyone else attending the structure. Back to what's fair game... if you know to do it and you don't do it, then it is fair game.

  6. #26
    StroutKristen
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    Lightbulb EDUCATION HELPS

    THANK YOU FOR SAYING WHAT I WANTED TO SAY IN AN EDUCATED WAY!!! AT LEAST THE PART ABOUT NFPA AND IT'S GOVERNING ABILITIES!!!

  7. #27
    Forum Member StayBack500FT's Avatar
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    Temptaker -- There is a lot of truth to what you say. I mean for most it is unthinkable to go back to exterior, surround and drown firefighting; but if your community cannot supply you with gear and equipment that meets NFPA guidelines what can they expect?

    Mr. Wendt -- Thanks for the further insight into the NFPA and it's role. You're right, many people (me included) aren't completely up to speed on how the NFPA is structured.



    Another question......Shouldn't the headlines on the home page of Firehouse.com read as follows: "Brothers and Sisters expected to do the job with sub-standard gear and equipment" or "Outrage that the lack of funding and disregard for safety prompts firefighters march on Washington" or "Insurance companies demand our nations Bravest be properly protected!"

    I saw the outrage at Lairdsville played out before me...why aren't these issues met with the same intensity? Explain to me how letting people do this job without proper protection is any less irresponsible than Mr. Baird's actions.
    Last edited by StayBack500FT; 05-29-2002 at 10:54 AM.
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  8. #28
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    George, thank you for the deeper info on the NFPA and their "Not Governing" abilities. Being still kinda wet behind the ears, I know a little about what the NFPA means, having started to do reading on that subject, but as has been said before, there are volumes and volumes of information there. One thing I do know for sure though, is how and where to look to find the NFPA, that was the easy part.

    As for following the code, my dept does its level best to adhere to them as best as possible. Some things just don't apply, because we have no call for it, such as hi-rise rescue, we don't have any buildings higher than two stories in our district. (Thank you Rural Communities. )

    When talking about funding etc to increase the level of "professional" training (I mean classroom/academy level training), I could go into a long tirade on that subject but this is not the place to chew down people that I have personally never met. Here I am speaking about our Regional Governing body, who seem to be more interested in looking out for themselves than the 6 volunteer depts that they "administer". In short, we aren't likely to receive funding from there any time soon. I think that is all that need be said there. Imagination and in some cases direct experience for some of you, will fill in the blanks on that one. Suffice to say that it would be wonderful to be able to take the required amount of time off away from work and family to do the training, and to know that when I came away with the "official certification", I would feel that I have done something good to improve myself and the service that I can provide. However, that is not to say that my dept does the best it can with the tools available. A couple of us have had the opportunity to attend academy level training and they bring back lots of good info, and we try to incorporate that information into our procedures, where possible.

    When we are called, we do our job to the best of our ability and capability and we do it with professionalism at all times.
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 05-29-2002 at 02:54 PM.
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  9. #29
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    STAY BACK... I like NFPA standards!! When the big boys try to meet standards -- we poor rural depts MIGHT get some hand-me-downs to replace the raincoats

  10. #30
    Forum Member StayBack500FT's Avatar
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    O.K....Now I'm a deaf, big dog.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

    I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

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  11. #31
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    Hey Stayback

    I checked out those NFPA web sites.

    If you got a few of their manuals bound together I reckon you would have enough for one wheel chock.

    Kinda nice to have the regs right at hand on the scene.


  12. #32
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Start at page one, progress to page two, etc etc.

  13. #33
    StroutKristen
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    Talking YOU ARE A LIFESAVER

    THANK YOU!!!

  14. #34
    Senior Member Temptaker's Avatar
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    George Wendt, CFI

    Thanks for the great post, your knowledge never ceases to amaze me.

    StayBack500FT

    The headlines should show the outrage of the profession. You are completely right, I don't think allowing anyone to go to a fire scene with substandard equipment is any less criminal then what Baird did... in fact it is probably more criminal.

    Myron Pierce

    I hope they fit

  15. #35
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Remember the firefighter in rural America...his picture posted on Firehouse.com for all to see? Checking for bombs in mailboxes, as I recall....and in an unacceptable turnout coat and gear?
    Did that photo cause concern in the firefighting community? Yes, of course it did. Did that firefighter receive NFPA approved turnout gear, as a result of that photo?

    I doubt it. He might have gotten a longer stick....but I'll bet you George's salary....he's still wearing the same old rubber coat.

    Question...would the bomb squad technician do the job without the approved gear?

    Question...would the SWAT team do their job without the proper gear?

    Why do rural firefighters do their job without the proper gear?
    Answer: Not enough deaths or injuries due to improper gear. We seem to be more reactive than proactive. That's the simple truth. Can anyone deny that....huh, anyone?
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  16. #36
    Forum Member StayBack500FT's Avatar
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    Originally posted by NJFFS_A16


    Why do rural firefighters do their job without the proper gear?
    Answer: Not enough deaths or injuries due to improper gear. We seem to be more reactive than proactive. That's the simple truth. Can anyone deny that....huh, anyone?

    This hits the nail on the head. It seems until Lairdsville, those training officers that melted your helmets down were viewed as pseudo-heroes to those of a Cletus persuasion...now when the same type of training officer gets someone killed he's crucified. (and rightly so)

    So sending guys and gals out in sub-standard gear is cool with everyone...UNTIL someone dies because of it. Then what will we say here? "What officer in his right mind sends underprotected firefighters into a burning building?" Or the old "NFPA says........"

    The outcry and screaming should be done now...if it isn't, some of the next blood spilled will be on our hands too. This "It's cool until someone dies" attitude should be changed. A bit harsh, but it's the way I think.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

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  17. #37
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    This will not be popular, but...

    Question...would the bomb squad technician do the job without the approved gear?

    Question...would the SWAT team do their job without the proper gear?


    Both teams have extremely dangerous jobs. I am confident that both teams would absolutley refuse to perform the dangerous tasks associated with their jobs if they were not supplied with the proper equipment.

    And that is exactly what any fire fighter, paid or career, rural or urban, should do if they are not provided with the tools to do their jobs safely.

    I know. Some of you will post and say that you would do the job in your underwear. The job is too important to refuse to do. If they don't give us the tools, we'll work unsafely.

    Well, I think you are stupid. Do the world a favor, and if you truly feel this way, don't get married and don't have kids.

    Instead, direct your indignation towards the powers that be and DEMAND the right equipment and then stand up for yourselves. Really do it. Refuse to put yourself in a situation that OSHA describes as IDLH (immediately dangerous to life and health). No other occupation or vocation is expected to do it, so why should fire fighters?

  18. #38
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    George.

    Or as I had it explained to me by a crusty,

    "Make a difference in your job, or get of my planet and leave the precious oxygen for those that will."

  19. #39
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    Kiwi, I am not sure if that comment is directed at me, but then again, most of the time I don't know what you are talking about.

    Let me be a little clearer. I am the supervisor of a unit that conducts investigations into Arson and Environmental Crimes. My guys are equipped with every piece of equipment and PPE that they need to do their jobs in compliance with OSHA standards, as well as the applicable NFPA standards. They are all trained to the Haz Mat Technician level and receive constant training in fire investigations. We operate at our scenes using ICS and follow all appropriate law enforcement protocols.

    My guys would have it no other way. I would have it no other way. How could I possibly ask them to go into a hazardous location without properly protecting them? If I was unable to make sure that they had all the tools and equipment they needed to operate safely, I would be the first to say that the job is not going to get done UNTIL you give us the tools.

    That's just the way it is. It's bad enough that fire fighters are asked to place themselves into jeopardy to save other people and their property. Should we really be asking (expecting) them to do it without the proper gear? No, we shouldn't.

  20. #40
    Forum Member StayBack500FT's Avatar
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    George, I couldn't say it any better.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

    I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

    E6511

    "Who's Who Among American Teachers" - 2005, 2006 Honoree

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