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Thread: Bairds sentence

  1. #21
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Baird sentenced to 5 years probation
    July 8, 2002

    By KELLY HASSETT
    Observer-Dispatch

    UTICA - Former Lairdsville firefighter Alan G. Baird III was sentenced to five years probation Monday, the first 75 days of which he'll serve in jail, for the Sept. 25 training death of 19-year-old Bradley Golden.

    Baird also is prohibited from working for or having contact with any fire department and must serve 100 hours of community service, according to Oneida County Court Judge Michael L. Dwyer.

    There you are, boys and girls. That is what a life is worth in Lairdsville.
    But wait; he is now a convicted felon. If he was an avid hunter, he can never legally own a gun, again. He can no longer vote in elections. He will always have to answer "yes" to the question; "have you ever been convicted of a felony?" He can never be a firefighter again; my personal favorite. AND, now that the criminal trial is over, the civil trial can begin. For everyone, including myself, this is where the others will have to ante up. No immunity; civil liability for everyone!
    Sure, I wanted to see more jail time; who didn't? But think of the possibilities! And I see positive signs that NYS is getting it together for state mandated training requirements.
    How many of you emailed the prosecutor and told him that a sentencing stipulation should be that Alan Baird III should never be a firefighter again? I did. I figured; why give this guy another chance to kill someone. Hats off to the judge!
    Jail time sends a strong message. Five years probation is lengthy. 100 hours of community service will get a lot of unsightly weeds pulled. Never again a firefighter-priceless. Is Christine Golden is satisfied with the sentence? I hope to hear from her. If she and the Golden family are satisfied, then I guess we should be also.
    Thunderhorse: you took a swipe at volunteers; I won't dignify it with a response, BUT with only (2) posts under your belt, I would choose your words more carefully. The butt you bite may be your own.
    Anyone got the link to the transcript of today's proceedings?
    I'm feeling a little giddy. Ah, what the heck; Guinness for everyone!
    Oh, and where the heck is MONGO?
    Be safe.
    Last edited by ChiefReason; 07-08-2002 at 07:57 PM.


  2. #22
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Chief Reason....

    I am slipping....I missed the comment thunderhorse made about volunteers... thanks for pointing it out.

    As usual you are full of good points. I never thought of the gun thing or the elections or any of that stuff.

    The point that hit me the most was...Is the Golden family satisfied? And...if so...I guess we need to be also.

    As usual..your wisdom is appreciated and respected.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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  3. #23
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Captstanm1:
    Stop; you're embarassing me. Thanks for the comments. I think that I was trying to console myself in knowing that he will lose other civil liberties now that he is a convicted felon.
    I wish I could get my hands on the transcripts of the impact statements. And I'd like to hear what Old Al had to say. You know; did he finally admit his crime? But I can wait till tomorrow.
    Yea, thunderhorse tried to get that vollie/career thing going. Didn't bite, though. I think I am learning to control my anger a little better. Must be the crust.
    Take care, Cap and if you hear from Mongo, tell him I miss hearing from him. And JTL, too. And Motown. And BucksEngine. Hey, Tillerdog!
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  4. #24
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    I hate to cast a dark cloud here, but the AP report in the local paper says, " Dwyer (the judge) also ordered Baird to perform 100 hours of community service and barred him from any involvement with any fire departments for THE DURATION OF HIS PROBATION." I don't read that as forever barred from the fire service! Anybody else out there have the transcript of the sentencing?

  5. #25
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post Here is the AP wire story

    I will post my thoughts as time allows, however, here is the complete AP story re: Baird.
    --------------------------------------------------
    UTICA, N.Y. (AP) - A former volunteer deputy fire chief was
    sentenced Monday to 75 days in jail for his role in a rookie
    firefighter's death during a "live fire" training exercise last
    fall.
    Alan Baird III, 30, of Westmoreland, was given five years'
    probation by Oneida County Judge Michael Dwyer, who ordered Baird
    to serve the first 75 days in the county jail.
    Dwyer also ordered Baird to perform 100 hours of community
    service and barred him from involvement with any fire departments
    during his probation.
    Baird, a 12-year member of the Lairdsville Fire Department, was
    convicted in May of criminally negligent homicide in the death of
    19-year-old Bradley Golden.
    Golden was trapped on the second floor of a vacant house when a
    fire during a Sept. 25 training session went out of control.
    Another firefighter and a second trainee survived but suffered
    severe burns.
    Dwyer, who said he had never seen so much interest created by a
    case in his 22 years on the bench, criticized Baird for not being a
    leader on that tragic fall night.
    "This was not an accident. An accident is something
    unavoidable," Dwyer said. "This was a series of bad decisions
    that you should not have made."
    Baird, who had stood motionless as two members of Golden's
    family asked for the maximum penalty in emotion-packed addresses,
    openly sobbed when it was his turn to speak.
    "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about
    Bradley and what happened that night," said Baird, a father of two
    young children. "If there was a way I could change it, I would."
    Jurors decided Baird acted recklessly in lighting the fire in a
    first-floor sofa bed while Golden was in the second-floor bedroom
    posing as one of the victims. The fire quickly burned out of
    control and blocked all exits out of the 100-year-old farmhouse 88
    miles northwest of Albany.
    "You were there. You should have known better," Dwyer said.
    Golden's stepsister, Amberley Roberts, who asked Dwyer to impose
    the maximum sentence of four years in prison, said the family was
    comfortable with the outcome.
    "I really liked what he (Dwyer) had to say," Roberts said.
    "We had hoped for more, but we're satisfied."
    Before his trial, Baird rejected an offer to plead guilty to
    criminally negligent homicide in exchange for six months in county
    jail and five years' probation. Jurors acquitted Baird of the more
    serious charge of second-degree manslaughter and a charge of
    second-degree assault.
    While testifying in May, Baird choked back tears and said he was
    not solely to blame for Golden's death.
    Baird told jurors he had refused to allow Golden to pose as a
    victim in the training drill, since the teen had been training only
    three weeks and was not yet certified. It was only after the fire
    flamed out of control that Baird learned that Golden and two others
    were inside the vacant building.
    Baird admitted setting a fire in a first floor stairwell but
    blamed other senior officials on the scene for allowing Golden to
    go into the house. However, he admitted the exercise was poorly
    planned.
    During the five-day trial, Assistant District Attorney Michael
    Coluzza called nearly two dozen witnesses to build his case that
    Baird, then the assistant fire chief, planned the exercise without
    consulting others and without adequate safety precautions.
    Outside in the morning sunshine after his son's sentencing,
    Baird's father was disillusioned.
    "This was traumatic. It has shaken me to the bone," Alan Baird
    II said. "Jail time serves no purpose whatsoever."
    "There are no winners in this situation," said Bill Vineall,
    former fire chief in nearby Sherrill who was in the packed
    courtroom. "No matter what side you're on, there is plenty of
    blame to go around."

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
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  6. #26
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Default I'm going to wait to hear more......

    Originally posted by Chief Reason
    He can never be a firefighter again; my personal favorite.
    There seems to be a slight discrepancy on this issue. The Associated Press copy states that...
    Dwyer also ordered Baird to perform 100 hours of community
    service and barred him from involvement with any fire departments
    during his probation.
    If this is true....It would seem that after five years...this felon would be able to serve as a firefighter again.

    I'm disappointed by the sentence, thinking it would have been much harsher. I am awaiting further details, like a transcript, before I comment further.
    Last edited by NJFFSA16; 07-09-2002 at 07:44 AM.
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  7. #27
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    He's lucky that all he got was 75 days in jail, it could have been much worse.
    As far as adopting NFPA standards in New York state and Oneida County,
    be careful what you wish for. There is a lot more to the standards than just what is written in them about conducting live burns.

  8. #28
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    As far as adopting NFPA standards in New York state and Oneida County, be careful what you wish for. There is a lot more to the standards than just what is written in them about conducting live burns
    and this is a bad thing...how?

  9. #29
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    Two things before I move on:

    First-

    "There are no winners in this situation," said Bill Vineall, "No matter what side you're on there's plenty of blame to go around"
    Huh? How is the Golden family to blame? Something tells me that this statement was taken out of context, because I don't see how the victim or his family is to blame for any of this.

    Second-

    As far as adopting NFPA standards in New York state and Oneida County,
    be careful what you wish for. There is a lot more to the standards than just what is written in them about conducting live burns.

    It's just this type of mentality that is keeping the fire service back. I guess you don't agree with making things safer and more professional. Ahhhh- I'm wasting my breath here anymore- it's the same thing from the same people over and over. Good luck everyone- I can't take this thread anymore....
    Michael "Mick" Mayers
    Acting Director, Urban Search and Rescue
    South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force
    www.sctf1.sc.gov

  10. #30
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by FFMike9
    He's lucky that all he got was 75 days in jail, it could have been much worse.
    As far as adopting NFPA standards in New York state and Oneida County,
    be careful what you wish for. There is a lot more to the standards than just what is written in them about conducting live burns.
    He must be lamenting the fact that under the NFPA 1403 guidelines for live burns....

    "the good old boy, we've always done it this way, big city firefighters don't know how we operate, let's show these rookies some real fire" mentality will be banned....

    and that's a good thing!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 07-09-2002 at 11:47 AM.
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  11. #31
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    Like so many of us, I have been following on this one (well since I got home from fighting the "Big Fight" in the Arabian Gulf).

    I will admit to being more than a little dismayed in some respects regarding the sentencing. Being an Army Geek, I have seen two different standards of "jail time". There is the Military version, where 75 days in the "can" is a long long haul, and anyone who has done time there knows this better than I hope ever to know. The civilian version typically includes regular television, outside visitors and a list of other amenities that the Army just doesn't recognize.

    Something else that I picked up on when I read the FH.com report on the Homepage:

    "Alan Baird III, 30, of Westmoreland, was given five years'
    probation by Oneida County Judge Michael Dwyer, who ordered Baird
    to serve the first 75 days in the county jail.
    Dwyer also ordered Baird to perform 100 hours of community
    service and barred him from involvement with any fire departments
    during his probation.


    "Barred him from involvement with any fire departments DURING HIS PROBABTION." I guess that means he can re-apply at the end of his term...?? But will he?

    And lastly, "You were there. You should have known better," Dwyer said. Golden's stepsister, Amberley Roberts, who asked Dwyer to impose the maximum sentence of four years in prison, said the family was comfortable with the outcome. "I really liked what he (Dwyer) had to say," Roberts said. "We had hoped for more, but we're satisfied." For the rest of us, I guess this is the answer from the Family about their satisfaction regarding the outcome. I would like to hear from Christine or anyone else from the Golden Family to hear their version of events, and how they feel as a group about the outcome. Based on the above statement from Amberley, if the Family accepts this verdict and punishment, then like it or not, the rest of us should stand in support to their thoughts and feelings on this one. We don't have to like it, we just have to accept it.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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  12. #32
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Question Satisfaction

    If the family of Firefighter Golden is satisfied then as the wise Chief Reason said, "We must be also."

    That does not have to mean that we agree with it.

    But, we need to move on and hope and pray that this is a lesson that will be learned across the nation and throughout the world. What is the lesson? Well, it would seem to me that the lesson is that training is important, standards for officers is important, proper technique is important in training, following accepted standards is important. All of these are paramount in the crusade to eliminate firefighter deaths in the world. To conduct impromptu, off the cuff live burns with inexperienced people in key positions and using live "victims" (Firefighter Golden was indeed a true victim) and untrained personnel in inappropriate positions is unacceptable. We count only the fatalities nationwide. What would the number be in the world?

    I challenge everyone on this forum to never forget this incident, just as we will never forget 09-11. Any death is tragic and one that occurs under these conditions is outrageous.

    So...Yes...we all agree that we disagree with the sentence. But what can we do? The Golden's are at peace with it (or so it seems) so we must be too. Now we need to educate everyone so this does not repeat. I am sure the potential for it to happen again is out there daily.

    Next we need to be concerned that the Governor may take the petition we hear about and do something with it. We can only hope he files it in the round file. For him to grant the petition is a slap in the face of all firefighters and a poor tribute to those 343 brothers from 09-11 that he seemed so genuinely concerned about.

    Lastly we can only hope that NO FIRE DEPARTMENT in their right mind will accept the idiot Alan Baird III in it's rank and file. To do so is to say that they condone his actions. Of course he will re-apply. As far as he is concerned he has done no wrong. I would wager that the Lairdsvill department (or so it seems) will take him back with open arms when his probation is over.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    BMI Investigator
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    I checked out the application for my FD resently, and found that that it asks nothing about "Have you ever been convicted of a feloney?" I was also told that the only criminal thing they can be given info on pertains to arson convictions. I would not be suprised if the Lairdsville FD took him back, as it seems that they supported him all along.

    Malahat Two-7 I cant say I know about a stay in the brig but i had a friend do time at a county facility. Here in Saratoga County, just north of Albany,NY, yes they have a community TV but it only got the local stations. The biggest thing they fight is boredom. As for visitors 1 hr 2 days a week. The only ones that I know could visit other times were his lawyer and his pastor.

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    Default Some Random Observations

    [list=1][*]Many of us challenged Laird's lawyer, Bob Moran, to explain why Laird would be better offf rejecting the plea bargain & going to trial. Well, Laird was convicted of what he would have pled to, but got a lesser sentence than the plea bargain. Guess Moran, despite the offensive things he said about volunteers, knows the local courts. @#$%![*]When will the rest of the bunch that contributed to this fatality be held accountable? The prosecutor hasn't said word one about this. The chief was even given immunity. This doesn't seem like justice. Maybe the civil process will do something, but I had hoped for more criminal charges.[*]We struggle with having sufficient training requirements for firefighters, esp. volunteers. But,there's no requirements for officers, at least in Ohio, beyond what a department may set. We're just not ensuring those of us who lead companies or run scenes are ready to do it safely. How are we going to fix that?[/list=1]
    Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.

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    Angry

    I think it's a sad day when we have firefighter's like ourselves bashing another brother firefighter. This was nothing more than an accident and someone was killed. That is a tragedy in it self no doubt, and all I have seen is why didn't he get more time or what a slap on the wrist? Do you really think that he intended this to happen? Do you think he will forget that someone died in a training he was conducting? How is this differant from anyone of us going into a burning structure looking for pets and having the roof cave in and killing a firefighter? Should we not be looking at ways to fix the problem instead of trying to justify a judges ruling?
    It is my belief that something went terribly wrong and cost a firefighter his life, but I will not pass judgment on someone who was training someone to save lives and an accident happened and cost a life. Why? Because we are going to be here doing the same thing again and again and again until someone thinks of a way to fix the problem. Mr. Baird was given a life sentence the minute Bradley Golden died. He has to live with that forever. These are my thoughts only.

  16. #36
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    This whole situation makes me sick to my stomach. It is clear that this officer had no grasp of his job or safety issues surrounding live burns. Regardless of career or volunteer, if you are going to promote, be appointed, or elected to an officer's position, putting others lives in your hands, you had better know the job and constantly attempt to grow with the position of responsibility, or accept not only personnal consequences, but consequences to the firefighters under your command. I hope if I ever make a decision that costly that it is my body that's dragged out rather than one of my own.
    Make your weaknesses your strengths

  17. #37
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    Default Warning...Gonzo's gone to rant mode again!

    Originally posted by Station 2 EFD
    I think it's a sad day when we have firefighter's like ourselves bashing another brother firefighter. This was nothing more than an accident and someone was killed. That is a tragedy in it self no doubt, and all I have seen is why didn't he get more time or what a slap on the wrist? Do you really think that he intended this to happen? Do you think he will forget that someone died in a training he was conducting? How is this differant from anyone of us going into a burning structure looking for pets and having the roof cave in and killing a firefighter? Should we not be looking at ways to fix the problem instead of trying to justify a judges ruling?
    It is my belief that something went terribly wrong and cost a firefighter his life, but I will not pass judgment on someone who was training someone to save lives and an accident happened and cost a life. Why? Because we are going to be here doing the same thing again and again and again until someone thinks of a way to fix the problem. Mr. Baird was given a life sentence the minute Bradley Golden died. He has to live with that forever. These are my thoughts only.
    Unbelieveable!

    When are people who have not followed this incident and posting based on what they saw on the home page going to wake up and smell the coffee?
    Do your self a favor and click on the link from the home page of firehouse.com, which has the entire story of the incident, threads form the forums, the trial and the links to the local newspaper, the Utica Observer/Dispatch.

    This was no accident! This was no accident! This was no accident!
    It was a charlie foxtrot from the beginning, violating every safety rule in reference to live burn evolutions....Alan Baird a "Chief Officer with 12 years experience" had no plan for how the drill was to be run, no plan B if the scat hit the fan, live victims placed above a fire, a fire set on the first floor that blocked the only means of escape, no hose lines in place, no ground ladders for emergency egress and placing a probie with no training in SCBA and putting him in harm's way.

    Alan Baird's defense went from ignorance of the standards to not being able to afford a copy of the standards (a whopping $27!) to blaming others and ultimately blaming Bradley Golden for causing his own death.

    We are not "bashing a brother"....Alan Baird gave up his right to be called "brother" the moment he made the decision to light the fire on the couch that caused Brad Golden's death.

    You want to give Alan Baird sympathy. That's not going to fix the problem. Part of the problem would have been fixed if Baird got the maximum jail time..it would have sent a message.

    The problem will be fixed when those who take the title of training officer, Firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, District Chief, Battalion Chief, Assistant Chief, Deputy Chief and Chief of Department accept the responsibility for the safety of their personnel and follow the standards for live fire training. There are some things that are beyond anyone's control, but it is the responsibility of those in charge to make sure that they do their best to insure the safety of the personnel under their command!

    The problem will be fixed when a firefighter candidate passes a background check and a psychological profile and is accepted based on not who they know, how long they have lived in the community, where they are origianally from, race, gender or creed but by his/her qualifications to do the job.

    The problem will be fixed when the firefighter candidate as well as the entire department get the proper training for the job that they have to do and any situation that they may encounter as part of the job.

    The problem will be fixed by promoting the best qualified personnel to positions of responsibilty, based on testing, experience and education, not on relations and/or popularity.

    The problem will be solved when those charged with leading their departments and training their personnel follow the standards for live fire training to the letter.

    The problem will be solved when those who feel that this was an accident get their heads out of their rectums and realize just what happened in Lairdsville and join the rest of us to say this must never happen again!!!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 07-09-2002 at 08:48 PM.
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    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  18. #38
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    President Gonzo:
    Thanks for allowing me to save my breath! Amazing, isn't it? How these new posters will jump right in without searching for the facts?
    I got nauseated when I read Station 2 EFD's post.
    You covered well.
    Thank you.

  19. #39
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    Station 2 EFD, you fail to mention where you are from but I'm willing to bet it's in NY.

    "How is this differant from anyone of us going into a burning structure looking for pets and having the roof cave in and killing a firefighter? "

    First and foremost, if an Officer is sending firefighters into a structure in imminent danger of collapse to search for animals then I will be the first to scream for their head too

    To reiterate what Captain Gonzo, as well as everyone else with any sense has said THIS WAS NOT AN ACCIDENT!!!!!!!!!

    A court of law, a jury of his peers have convicted this man of CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE, not accidental death, not ooooooops I did a boo boo. How much clearer does it need to be made for you?

    Could it be that you fear the legal precedent that this sets? That the good ol' boys training club is being threatened by being held accountable? Get used to it, if we have our way it's going to happen more and more.

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    LadyCapn:
    Amen! What these newbies to these posts don't understand or are unwilling to accept is that this wasn't an accident but a CRIMINAL ACT.
    Oh, and I will throw my "I told you so" in here and say that I bet in a previous post that the ignorant mope would appeal. He is!
    Isn't the American judicial system great?
    If his sentence had been any lighter, he would have floated out of that courtroom! Yuck!
    And to the poster who said that Alan Baird got a life sentence when Bradley Golden died on Sept. 25th; just what did Bradley Golden get?
    I mean, besides the death sentence imposed by Alan Baird III?
    Alan Baird III may have been YOUR brother, but he certainly wasn't mine or anyone else who sees this tragedy for what it really is.
    Alan Baird III was not persecuted; he was prosecuted. Learn the difference. Know the difference.
    If I can be of further assistance, you know where to find me.
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