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  1. #1
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    Default Firefighter arrested for hit and run

    Editor's note: Sorry for the incorrect initial titling. Upon my initial reading of the article, I drew the wrong conclusion. This is a very disturbing event and requires careful reading. I sincerely regret any misunderstandings that may have arisen.

    Police arrest firefighter in fatal accident

    By LAUREN MAYK

    11/29/02

    MANATEE COUNTY, FL -- A firefighter was arrested Thursday in connection with a fatal hit-and-run his department responded to earlier in the day.

    Florida Highway Patrol deputies arrested East Manatee Fire Rescue Station 4 Lt. Robert Briesacher after the body of 49-year-old William Mathers was found in a ditch along Morgan Johnson Road around 7 a.m.

    "It's pretty devastating to have this happen," Deputy Fire Chief Lee Whitehurst said. "Of course, it's not as devastating as (to) the victim's family."

    The FHP said Mathers was wearing blue jeans and a black shirt and walking south in the 1200 block of Morgan Johnson Road shortly after midnight. Briesacher, driving south in a 2002 Ford pickup, hit Mathers and knocked him into a ditch on the west side of the road.

    Briesacher, 30, was arrested around 10 a.m. at his Bradenton home for leaving the scene of a fatal accident. He was later suspended with pay from the fire department as authorities conduct an investigation.

    Briesacher remained at the Manatee County jail late Thursday. Police estimated there was $3,000 damage to the truck he was driving.

    Mathers' family gathered at his Bradenton home Thursday night, but had no comment.

    Briesacher began as a volunteer with the department and was hired full-time four years ago. In October, he was promoted to lieutenant at the new Lakewood Ranch fire station.

    Whitehurst said Briesacher has one minor disciplinary action on his record after failing to obey an order from a supervisor earlier this year.

    Story from [url]http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?Site=SH&Date=20021129&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=211290507&Ref=AR&Profile=1007&SectionCat=BUSINESS[/url
    Last edited by Firebug030; 12-09-2002 at 09:52 PM.


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    This man should meet the same fate as Alan Baird. This is inexcusable!!!

    A professional would have stopped to help, then again, a professional wouldn't have hit the victim in the first place.

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    P.S. The way I read it, they weren't responding when the hit and run happened. The department responded to the hit and run.

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    Default CORRECTION

    THE TITLE OF THIS POST WAS HIGHLY MISLEADING.

    THE INDIVIDUAL WAS **NOT** RESPONDING AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT.

    WEBTEAM

  5. #5
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    cdevoe:

    "A professional would have stopped to help, then again, a professional wouldn't have hit the victim in the first place."

    So a half-*** volunteer with low standards WOULD HAVE hit him? "Sorry I hit him, but I'm not a professional."
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
    --General James Mattis, USMC


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    I was in Manatee County visiting family at the time of the accident. The news reported that he had multiple other traffic violations before this incident. He was involved in 8 prior accidents, also he had 2 open container violations. I got this story from http://www.baynews9.com/Search.cfm?
    storyid=9515&action=story&contentid=36. They have a few other violations that he has on his record.

    Briesacher has a history of traffic violations, according to Manatee County court records. Records indicate Briesacher paid $73 in fines for careless driving in 1993 and $83 for a similar charge six years later. He paid $48 in fines for failing to report an accident in 1993.
    William Mathers, 49, died in the accident.
    The most serious charge, according to court records, came in 1998 when Briesacher pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, a second-degree misdemeanor.

    Though the damage totaled less than $50, Briesacher was sentenced to six months probation, ordered to pay $156 in fines and ordered to work 25 hours of public service.

    His probation ended in 1999.

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    EastKyFF Wrote:
    So a half-*** volunteer with low standards WOULD HAVE hit him? "Sorry I hit him, but I'm not a professional."
    You said that not me. I was merely reffering to how a professional should act. For some reason, you wish to make it paid vs volunteer issue. I made it a Professional vs Amateur issue.

    It's just my belief that the term Professional is overused in this profession. One does not take a couple of classes, pass an exam, and become a professional overnight. It takes years of hard work, dedication, education, and practice, to become an expert in the field and thus a professional.

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    Forum Member Firegod343's Avatar
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    Cool From the "I ain't good at no English" file......

    Originally posted by cdevoe


    It's just my belief that the term Professional is overused in this profession.
    ??What??

    You're like a bad episode of The Twilight Zone

    FG
    IACOJ.... "Carpe Elkhartem"
    (Seize the Nozzle)


    "Victorious warriors win first,
    and then go to war,
    while defeated warriors go to war first,
    and then seek to win."

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  9. #9
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    Just referring to your logic from the beer ban thread, cdevoe. That train of thought states that professionals should be expected to do better than volunteers, which leads me to conclude that it's OK for a volunteer to run over somebody, but not a professional.

    That's all I'll say about that here.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
    --General James Mattis, USMC


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    Ahhh, I never said that "...professionals should be expected to do better than volunteers..." What I have said is that the paid guys should do a better job than the volunteers.

    Being a professional has nothing to do with whether you get paid or not. It's all about your knowledge of the job and how you do the job.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by cdevoe
    Ahhh, I never said that "...professionals should be expected to do better than volunteers..." What I have said is that the paid guys should do a better job than the volunteers.

    Being a professional has nothing to do with whether you get paid or not. It's all about your knowledge of the job and how you do the job.
    Exactly - which is why this is not an issue of paid vs. volunteer. There are paid departments in my area which see a lot less fire than some volunteer departments, both here and in other areas of the country. Being a professional has NOTHING to do with a paycheck. It's an attitude and aptitude.

    The guy that left the scene of a fatal accident is a paid firefighter. Does that automatically make him professional? Of course not, just as being a volunteer automatically makes you unprofessional.

    Let's not turn this into one of those stupid, boring paid vs. vollie fights.

    One other thing - while I can agree with your definition of professional, how is this sentence - "...professionals should be expected to do better than volunteers..." different than this one - "...paid guys should do a better job than the volunteers." I'm just asking for clarification. These two sentences seem pretty interchangable to me.
    Last edited by BucksEng91; 12-02-2002 at 05:09 PM.
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    It's just my belief that the term Professional is overused in this profession. One does not take a couple of classes, pass an exam, and become a professional overnight. It takes years of hard work, dedication, education, and practice, to become an expert in the field and thus a professional.
    How many beer boy? 5?

    As far as this fire fighter who has been chargedin this incident...let's remember, he is innocent until proven guilty.

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    cdevoe & EastKyFF,

    You two better knock it off before the webteam gets in here. This isn't a career/vollie issue so let it drop. This is a matter of a hit and run... Who cares what the guy did for a living? He hit somebody and took off. Just like every other lowlife that does it every day. It doesnt' matter if he's a volunteer or a doctor or the President of the USA. Anyone could have done it.
    Life is only temporary, but freedom goes on forever. God bless those who gave all.

  14. #14
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    Default Stick to the topic, you twit!

    cdevoe:
    You just had to get this one off-topic also, didn't you?
    Go back to the Home page, click on "new thread" and type to your little heart's content about what a "professional" is or isn't. Otherwise, leave your condolences here for the family of the victim and pray that this isn't yet another black eye on our nation's fire service. Let's hope that they found a deer or wild boar in the same general area as the victim. The post-9/11 luster is rapidly wearing off.
    cdevoe; you still here?

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    When I was still in school, many, many moons ago, the high school principle got drunk one night and hit another drunk walking alongside the road. It was also a hit and run "accident". The fact that he was a principle should say no more about the education system than this gentleman hitting a person and taking off should say about the fire service. He was not on duty, and was not responding to a call. If you are an unsafe driver, what does it really matter what you do for a living? I just hope I never meet up with you along the road. Yes I have to agree that he is innocent until proven guilty, and I honestly hope that he didn't do this. Though the evidence seems pretty good that he did. I also don't think that he should get any special consideration because he is a firefighter. The fire service had nothing to do with this incident. Now as far as some people making this into a career vs. volunteer issue, get over it! Not every posting has to be a battle ground for this nor should there even be a battle. Proffesionalism has nothing to do with getting paid, and has everything to do with how you conduct yourself when you are in the public eye. And gentlemen, even in these forums you are in the public eye, so you should conduct yourselves accordingly. In short, this is a tragic event that never should have happened and I hope that justice is served swiftly. And that we should all remember, what we do, whether on or off duty reflects on the fire service as a whole. God bless and stay safe.
    Randall E. Guntrum FF/E.M.T.
    Last edited by Gooch26; 02-02-2008 at 03:20 AM.
    If lights, sirens, and air horns do not attract the attention of a driver, he or she is too drunk to be assisted by a paint scheme.

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    "...professionals should be expected to do better than volunteers..." different than this one - "...paid guys should do a better job than the volunteers."
    Clarification as requested.

    Professionals can be both paid and unpaid. Therefore, you can have Volunteers who are professionals. Hence the phrase "professionals should be expected to do better than volunteers" makes no sense because the Volunteer and the Professional could be the same person.

    The other phrase, "paid guys should do a better job than the volunteers" talks to two distinct groups of people. The paid guys are people who make the Fire Service their jobs. They devote their entire work day to the profession. The volunteer typically has a full time job (or career), and does the volunteer work on a part time basis. As a side note, the paid guy also has this same chunk of time to devote to his service as the vollie. The paid guy, by the very nature of the business, has more time to devote to the profession than the volunteer.

    Sorry Chief, I guess I did get off topic a little. However, I believe there is a certain perception of EMT/Fire Fighters that we are there to help 24 X 7. Just because the time clock is punched and I am off duty, doesn't mean I'm no longer an EMT/FF.

    When someone who is supposed to help people in these situations chooses to ignore the problem we have a serious problem. If the fellow had robbed a bank that would have nothing to do with the fire service. However, as an EMT/FF he had a duty to act.

  17. #17
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    Let me clarify my postings...

    Tongue firmly planted in cheek; I was making a point about cdevoe's standards for volunteers.

    In another thread, cdevoe has insisted (for 20 pages) that it's OK when he goes to calls after drinking, because he's "just a volunteer." By that logic, if the accused in this thread had been a vol, he should not have been expected to report it because our expectations of vols should be lower.

    Obviously I am being quite sarcastic, to make a point.

    I am a volunteer, as proud of it as I can be. And that pride makes me stay after cdevoe for his illogically lower standards for vols.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
    --General James Mattis, USMC


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    What's funny to me is

    "Briesacher has been in eight automobile accidents, according to Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle records. He has been cited for careless driving three times, as recently as 1999.

    And Briesacher has had two tickets for having an open container of alcohol in his car, in 1993 and 1999.

    When Briesacher was hired in 1998, the fire department checked his driving record for the previous three years."

    Hmm..


    Also funny is the statement, "Dodge described the lieutenant as a good employee, except for a suspension without pay in August for speaking improperly to a subordinate after a written reprimand."

    Kind of ties in with the thread "Firefighter Jobs in Florida".
    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

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    Wink

    Wow, my brain hurts after reading all of that!
    Some of you guys must be tired after trying to balance that vol vs. paid "chip" on your shoulder.
    How did we get from a FIREFIGHTER that royally screwed up (vol. or paid does not matter) back to the good ole fight of who is better or not.
    When you leave the scene of an injury accident...THAT YOU CAUSED...you cease to be a professional...you have "shirked" your duties and responsibilities...and let the WHOLE fire service down...VOL. or PAID!



    EVERYONE BE SAFE

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    By that logic, if the accused in this thread had been a vol, he should not have been expected to report it because our expectations of vols should be lower
    Yes it is true I hold the paid guys to a higher standard. I also believe that there is a minimum standard. Leaving the scene of accident falls below the acceptable level.

    Many volunteers rich the same standard as the paid guys, many even reach the level of professional (paid and volunteer alike). Many more volunteers do the best they can. 99.98% take pride in their work and work very hard it. But do to time limitations, many volunteers meet the bare minimum, they simply don't have the resources available to reach the higher standard. I see no chips and actually would like to work with the paid departments at drills and such. Unfortunately, the paid departments can't be bothered. I know in our area there is some animosity, although it seems the upper echelons are finally trying to overcome this. Hopefully, we can eventually all work together.

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