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  1. #1
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Angry Disturbing Trend - MUTT x 4

    Most Upsetting Troubled Times!!!!!!!

    Arson probe under way

    Copyright 2002 The News and Observer
    The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC)...06/14/2002

    Jerry Allegood, Staff Writer

    ELIZABETHTOWN -- Four Bladen County firefighters have been
    charged with intentionally setting woods fires in a series of
    unrelated incidents over the past two years, officials for the
    state Division of Forest Resources said Thursday.

    The arrests stemmed from a two-year investigation that is
    continuing, said Ray Adcox, an investigator with the division. He
    said the incidents, involving members of several small fire
    departments in the county, were part of a disturbing national
    trend of firefighters who set fires.

    "It's a very sad thing," he said. "They (firefighters) are our
    American heroes right now."

    He said investigators were probing more cases involving
    firefighters, but specifics about such cases were not available.
    There was no indication that the Bladen County incidents were
    related, he said.

    Adcox said the firefighters who were later charged had helped
    extinguish the fires they set. All the blazes were relatively
    minor, he said, but presented the potential for more serious
    damage.

    In the most recent case, Sean Nelson Pullman, 23, of Hope
    Mills was charged with two counts of willfully setting fire to
    woodlands. Pullman, a member of the Tobermory Fire Department, is
    scheduled to appear in Bladen County District Court on June 25.

    A firefighter from the Kelly Fire Department, David Earl
    Burney, 28, of Kelly, pleaded guilty to willfully setting fire on
    International Paper Co. land in early March. Burney was sentenced
    to a year of supervised probation and ordered to pay court costs
    and restitution to the Kelly Fire Department and the N.C.
    Division of Forest Resources. He was also barred from serving
    with a fire department for two years.

    James Kristopher Jackson, 17, of Harrells in Sampson County, a
    member of the Baytree Fire Department, was found guilty last
    November of willfully setting fire to woodlands, the division
    said in a news release. He was ordered to pay court costs, have
    no contact with a prosecuting witness and not violate any state
    laws for two years.

    A member of the Tar Heel Fire Department, James Harold Cordle,
    23, of White Oak, was charged in June 2000 with willfully setting
    fire to woodlands. State officials said he pleaded guilty in
    district court, paid court costs and was placed on 18 months of
    probation. He was suspended from serving with any fire department
    during his probation.

    Division officials said the local departments had cooperated
    in the investigations. And they said the cases involving
    firefighters represented only a fraction of the volunteers who
    serve scores of small departments.

    David Jarman, fire chief for the forest division, said the
    problem of firefighters setting fires appears to be increasing
    across the Southeast. He said a study in South Carolina developed
    a profile that indicated the crime was most often committed by
    "the young, gung-ho type that drives the red truck with as many
    lights on it as he can get.

    "It seems to be excitement related," he said.

    Jarman said fires set by firefighters are still relatively
    rare. The division responded to 8,100 fires last year, he said,
    most of them caused by people burning trash or woodlands.

    Adcox said he had investigated many cases but couldn't explain
    why some firefighters set a blaze.

    "A soldier isn't much of a soldier without a battle to fight,"
    he said. "That's the best analogy I can give you."


    Wish there was some way to stop these guys from ever becoming firefighters but I know that's pretty much impossible. Ties in with the thread on background checks - although I don't think a background check would necessarily identify "firebug" behaviour as a child or young teen (if no charges were ever laid, no records existing, school pranks - that sort of thing)

    Do any of the forum regs know if firefighter arsonists (sorry to say those words together - JUST DOESN'T LOOK RIGHT) that have been charged in recent years are more apt to be volunteer or career FF?
    September 11th - Never Forget

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  2. #2
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    Real beauties!!! Should have their hands bashed in with tack hammers!
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    It is much more common to find volunteer firefighter-arsonists for several reasons.

    First, there is about three times more volunteers than career.

    Second, most of "thrill seeking" or "hero" (George Wendt can help me out if that's not the right term!) arsonists tend to be young late teen/early twenties. Most career firefighters don't receive their appointments to age 25 to 30 when they've out-grown that demographic.

    Third, most volunteer departments are not very selective in their appointments. Few do background checks, fewer still pyschological tests. Most career services in my area are a) highly competetive with more applicants than openings, b) conduct background checks, and c) many conduct pysch tests. Those three together tend to get you employees who are more, um, well adjusted. Also career departments often have a one year probationary period were you can be terminated for any reason including "we don't trust you" -- so even when someone slips through the hiring process, that's another out for the career service to weed out these people.

    Combine all those factors together, you probably see 10 to 20 volunteer firefighter-arsonists to each career firefighter-arsonists.

  4. #4
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    Dalmation- Good evaluation of it all. Any time a new volly applies, there should be a background and character checks. This might weed out some of the problem children! Also make probies aware that anytime there is a call BS or not that lives are in danger each time that truck responds. Driving to and from, both FF and civilian as well as dangers operating at the scene.
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Temptaker's Avatar
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    It saddens me everytime I read something like this. Arson is bad enough, but when that arson is committed by a member of the fire service is becomes dramatically worse.

    Personally I don't understand the mentality behind setting fires, I have read that arsonists like to watch their fires. I'm not sure how accurate that is, as I have never personally spoken to an arsonist. I'm sure if these guys went to their Capt and said something like, "We want to see the way this kind of fire burns", or "We need more training on fire behavior" then they could find a place that was SAFE for a fire to be set.

    Dalmatian90

    Very good description of the "why" behind it all.

  6. #6
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Thanks Dal, what you said makes alot of sense.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  7. #7
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post And furthermore

    There are some arsonists that experience sexual arousal while they watch the fire. Taking photos of the crowd at a series of suspected arson fires is a good way to check for repeat "viewers" at the scene and may provide clues to the arsonists identity.

    When I was department photographer, I shot many photos of the bystanders...in order to build a visual database for the investigators.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber truck6alpha's Avatar
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    As a result of that study (and I'm sure a few other issues) South Carolina requires ALL firefighters in the State to be registered with the Fire Marshal and criminal background checks are made. For once, we seem to be leading the nation on one issue...
    Michael "Mick" Mayers
    Acting Director, Urban Search and Rescue
    South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force
    www.sctf1.sc.gov

  9. #9
    Senior Member upinflames60's Avatar
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    i just cant understand why any "firefighter" would want to set woods on fire. i mean why in the hell would anyone want to purposely run through thick *** choking,eye watering smoke with an indian pack outting out a fire that they started?
    Burgess Wills
    Firefighter/EMT
    Windsor Vol. Fire Department
    Chuckatuck Vol. Fire Department

  10. #10
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    upinflames.

    Yes they do exist, and reading the above thoughts is an accurate way to get a handle on these people.

    There probably may be an un-registered viewer reading this thread who in time to come, will be nailed for this style of offense.

    Who is to say that an arsonist or three don't check up on what we are saying, bet your butt they do.

    Its just the way life goes.

    NO, I am not condoning this behaviour, that goes against my grain that much you will get splinters.

  11. #11
    Forum Member firemed9's Avatar
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    More firebugs in the fire service, thats all we need. Volunteer or career, its this type of firefighter that gives the fire service a bad name. Here we are trying to prevent fires, and fight the ones that do occur, and we have guys like this that are fighting us.
    Loo
    Lieutenant / EMT- Paramedic
    Protective Services Officer

  12. #12
    Senior Member Temptaker's Avatar
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    I don't know what is more disturbing the fact that these firefighters are setting fires, or the fact that they WILL be allowed to work as firefighters again.

    A firefighter from the Kelly Fire Department, David Earl
    Burney, 28, of Kelly, pleaded guilty to willfully setting fire on
    International Paper Co. land in early March. Burney was sentenced
    to a year of supervised probation and ordered to pay court costs
    and restitution to the Kelly Fire Department and the N.C.
    Division of Forest Resources. He was also barred from serving
    with a fire department for two years.
    A member of the Tar Heel Fire Department, James Harold Cordle,
    23, of White Oak, was charged in June 2000 with willfully setting
    fire to woodlands. State officials said he pleaded guilty in
    district court, paid court costs and was placed on 18 months of
    probation. He was suspended from serving with any fire department
    during his probation.
    I missed that these guys have not been banned from being firefighters the first time I read the article. I don't understand why the court would not stipulate that they are NOT to work as firefighters period.

  13. #13
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    didn't comment on that, cause I'm in a different country. Surely there can be a national register for this?

    Down here you get one charge like that it is goodbye forever.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    As a result of that study (and I'm sure a few other issues) South Carolina requires ALL firefighters in the State to be registered with the Fire Marshal and criminal background checks are made. For once, we seem to be leading the nation on one issue...
    To add to this...
    Chapter 80, Section 40-80-20
    (C) A person who is convicted, pleads guilty or no contest, or otherwise admits guilt, regardless of adjudication, to a felony, arson related crime, use of an illegal substance, or abuse of a controlled substance within the last ten years, shall not be allowed to perform firefighting duties in the State of South Carolina on or after July 1, 2001. After the expiration of the ten-year period, a fire chief has the option and discretion to determine whether or not to hire a person with a criminal record as a firefighter.

    You can view the entire law here:
    S390 SC State Legislature
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  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber truck6alpha's Avatar
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    Nicely done, Captain. I was too lazy to look it all up but I knew it was there.
    Michael "Mick" Mayers
    Acting Director, Urban Search and Rescue
    South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force
    www.sctf1.sc.gov

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