Thread: Wetdown fun?

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default Wetdown fun?

    Mendham council to investigate fire department celebration

    Thursday, September 04, 2003

    BY KRISTEN ALLOWAY
    Star-Ledger Staff

    The Mendham Borough Council will investigate the wet-down celebration the fire department held this summer, when several pieces of equipment were destroyed and a firefighter from a neighboring town was injured, the mayor said yesterday.

    The council decided Tuesday night to hold hearings about the party and two volunteer firefighters who face being kicked out of the department.

    The wet-down in June was supposed to be a celebration. The fire department in the upscale community of 5,000 was rolling out two new pieces of equipment, and firefighters from other towns were invited for the festivities.

    "Things got out of hand," Mendham Mayor Richard Kraft said yesterday. "Wet-downs always are a little raucus. There's water being sprayed. ... The events of that evening went beyond reasonable. There should not be damage. There should not be personal injury."

    Mendham police investigated the party and charged two firefighters with disorderly persons offenses, Kraft said.

    Several fire department radios were destroyed and a fire jacket was burned, Kraft said. A firefighter from a neighboring department suffered a knee injury that required medical attention, Kraft said.

    The 55-member fire department last month decided not to expel the two firefighters from the squad or discipline them, Kraft said. The fire department's board of trustees -- made up mostly of retired fire chiefs -- disagreed and turned to the borough council.

    "Some feel nothing was being done. They felt the fire department should have acted and did not," Kraft said. "The bylaws said they dismiss them or discipline them, and they didn't do either."

    The borough council will seek an independent hearing officer who will weigh both sides and make a recommendation to the borough council, Kraft said.

    Fire Chief Joseph Eible could not be reached yesterday.

    Todd Schwartz, one of the firefighters being investigated, acknowledged he brought a smoke bomb to the party and lighted it as a prank.

    "It was not smart, and I took responsibility for it," said Schwartz, 35, who joined the department two years ago. "It's not like this is a stick of dynamite. Everyone was wearing firefighter equipment. ... Nobody said anything at the wet- down."

    Schwartz, who runs a marble and granite business in the borough, said the incident has been blown out of proportion by a few department members who have targeted him because he is the lone Jewish member of the squad.

    "From the day I joined the fire department, I've been given a hard time," Schwartz said. "Some members made it clear that they didn't want me around and took the opportunity to exploit something."

    Schwartz's disorderly persons charge was eventually downgraded to an ordinance violation, and he was fined $130, according to the municipal court.

    Kraft, a borough firefighter in the 1980s, called Schwartz's accusation of anti-Semitism "blatantly untrue."

    "I would strongly differ with that," the mayor said. "I think some people think that things that happened should never have happened, and the fire department did not act properly.

    "I know there are people who are kind of disgusted by the whole thing."

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,686

    Default

    George, any idea what they were doing to destroy several radios? I know our radios can take quite a beating during an actual fire and not get that damaged, so they must have doing something really bad. Based on this little article, me thinks there is a bit more to the story.

    It's too bad, a well run, organized, wet-down can be a great community thing.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    Can your radios withstand about 200 gallons of Class A foam sprayed into the cab?

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    EFD840's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Eclectic (no, NOT electric), Alabama
    Posts
    1,510

    Default

    200 Gallons!

    Forget the radios, did the truck survive? I can't see how anyone can justify pumping foam - or even just water - into the cab of a vehicle.

    Must be nice to have all that money to waste on foam and truck repairs!

    Might there have been alcohol involved?

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,686

    Default

    Can your radios withstand about 200 gallons of Class A foam sprayed into the cab?
    Whoa boy, better be some real good explanation for that one.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    Now ..................... THATS A PARTY !
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Division 24
    Posts
    4,360

    Default Come on now...

    Boys will be boys.

  8. #8
    dazed and confused
    Resq14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,993

    Default

    I only have one question...

    Was it a smoothbore or a combo?

    Oh, wait, I think that's already been discussed somewhere 'round these parts...
    God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
    Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
    Click this to search FH Forums!

  9. #9
    Sr. Information Officer
    NJFFSA16's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    25 NW of the GW
    Posts
    8,434

    Default

    Originally posted by EFD840
    Might there have been alcohol involved?
    Bingo! Ya think?

    I'm trying to recall all the wetdowns I've been to since 1968....and can not remember ANY where alcohol was not served. While steps are now taken to ensure there are designated drivers....the participants do sometimes get "carried away", sometimes in an ambulance.

    Wow....that foam does a number on electronics!
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Whoa boy, better be some real good explanation for that one.
    they were trying to have one of those european style foam dance parties, like on Ibiza.
    I'm the Midnight Skulker, HAHAHAHAHA

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    2 face hearing in wetdown horseplay

    By Zenaida Mendez, Daily Record

    MENDHAM - Two members of the borough fire department who were cited with disorderly persons complaints for their behavior at a "wetdown" event might face disciplinary action from borough officials.

    In June, the department held a celebration for the arrival of its new rescue truck and another piece of equipment, but the party allegedly got out of control.

    "Water is sprayed, people run the equipment, and they have a good time with it," Mayor Richard Kraft explained. "This situation, unfortunately, got out of hand. There was rowdiness and more intense activity than is to be expected."

    Several fire department radios were damaged, and a fire jacket was burned.

    Borough police subsequently investigated the celebration and cited two firefighters for disorderly persons offenses.

    Kraft declined to name the two firefighters, and township fire Chief Joe Eible could not be reached for comment.

    Councilman Gerard Dolan, Jr., also declined to speak on the matter.

    "We've been advised by counsel to say no comment," he said Thursday afternoon.

    Two former fire chiefs who still are active in the department declined to comment.

    Members of the fire department, which has approximately 60 active volunteers, decided not to expel or discipline the two firefighters. Members of the department's board of directors wanted the incident reviewed, so they turned to the borough's governing body for help.

    This week, the council decided to hold a hearing, to be chaired by an independent reviewer of the case, that will be held by the end of this month. No date for the hearing has yet been set.

    During that private, one-day hearing, the fire department members will be allowed to present their case, including evidence and witnesses to the incident, Kraft explained.

    The hearing will conclude with a determination as to whether the firefighters should be disciplined, expelled from the department or not be subject to any action taken.

    "We're doing it this way to protect the civil rights of the individuals and to be sure they're treated fairly," Kraft said, "that's there's no bias or failure to allow them the opportunity to present their own case."

    Kraft said that a hearing chairperson, who must have a legal background, has not yet been hired. He said the candidates being considered by the council include a retired state Superior Court judge.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    dfdNo9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    504

    Unhappy To bad

    There are always a few in the crowd that ruin it for the
    rest. I have been to many wet down over the last 15 years
    and some have been dry (no booze)and had a lot of fun. I still
    go to them. For me it a good way to see some old friend and
    check out some equipment that I may not get to see other wise.
    Gods Speed to our Troops!

    If you can't stand the heat, Get out of my way !!!
    MEMBER OF I.A.C.O.J.

  13. #13
    Sr. Information Officer
    NJFFSA16's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    25 NW of the GW
    Posts
    8,434

    Default

    There are wet wetdowns and dry wetdowns....and then there's Budd Lake wetdowns. OyVey...

    dfdNo9...Denville or Dover?

    NJ
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    47

    Default Hmmm...

    Not all NJ wetdowns are criminal matters. I stopped by the Roseland VFD wetdown for their new Pierce 1750gpm Engine (Engine 661) and it was quite enjoyable. No need for the boys in blue other than traffic control.

    I couldn't stay long though as wife and I had dinner plans to get away from the kids while grandma/grandpa watched them.

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    I've only been to wetdowns that have had alcohol served, but never have any of them gotten out of hand like here. i've participated in water fights, and with the exception of the occasional innocent bystander getting soaked, there was no problems or incidents.
    Can your radios withstand about 200 gallons of Class A foam sprayed into the cab?
    if someone intentionally sprayed 200 gallons of foam into the cab, then they should be thrown out of the dept. I don't care how much they have had to drink, that's just stupid. but don't let their stupidity cast a shadow on the 99% of other wetdowns where everyone just has a good time.

    my only question is, if this all started from a water fight, how did a fire jacket get burned?
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    my only question is, if this all started from a water fight, how did a fire jacket get burned?
    Smoke grenade thrown into the cab of the engine.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    George,
    How do you know all this ? or are you just BS ing us ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    Originally posted by Weruj1
    George,
    How do you know all this ? or are you just BS ing us ?
    Do your homework, dude.

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber
    EFD840's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Eclectic (no, NOT electric), Alabama
    Posts
    1,510

    Default Now I'm really confused...

    Smoke grenade thrown into the cab of the engine
    George, since you called it a smoke grenade, I'm assuming we aren't talking about a simple little crabapple sized fireworks bomb. Did it damage the truck? It got hot enough to burn a turnout coat, to me that sounds like more than enough heat to melt wiring and ignite vehicle seats. Even if it didn't cause any obvious damage, the heat, smoke, water, and foam exposure means you can certainly say bye-bye warranty if the truck involved was the new one.

    Did the guys with the 200 gallons of foam know about the smoke grenade? They may have simply been trying to suppress what they thought was (and may have been) a real fire.

    This doesn't sound like simple horseplay that got out of control. My department is far, far, far from being a model of discipline and good behavior but I guarantee you that if anyone threw a smoke grenade in one of our vehicles there would be no discussion about their future with the department. It is amazing that the members didn't see any need to discipline those involved. How do you justify any request for support or funding when you allow your members to wantonly damage and destroy equipment without facing the consequences.

    I say "bravo" to the commissioners that had the courage to do the right thing.

    George, you're killin' me with these little tidbits of information . I tried to "do my homework" but I came up with two answers. My first choice made me think I could read the full story in the court transcripts, but then I visited Mapquest and came up with another possibility.

    I can't get over the thought that someone would trash their equipment in the name 'fun' and get away with it. Then again, maybe I'm just nosy but I sure would like to know what happened that isn't in the news story and what these folks were thinking. If you can post it, would you fill in the blanks?

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    1. Smoke grenade landed in the jacket and started a fire that was extinguished early. The only damage to the vehicle was a slight burn on the seat and a smoke stained window.

    2. These were two different pieces of apparatus.

    3. The whole story has not come out yet. It is contained solely in police reports and fire chief's letters.

  21. #21
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,686

    Default

    My guess:

    company A's guy throws smoke bomb in company B's truck.
    company B puts out smoke bomb.
    company B decides to get some paybacks/revenge on company A by using 200gals foam in company A's cab.

    Also betting some pushing/shoving/fighting involved. Oh yeah, maybe a little alcohol and members under age of 30. Might also have some "my truck is prettier than your truck" going on too.

    just a guess.

  22. #22
    Forum Member
    Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    George,
    I was just a wonderin..............thanks
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  23. #23
    Forum Member
    Tooanfrom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    whangaparaoa peninsular, north island
    Posts
    488

    Question "Wetdown"--explain,please.

    Having never heard of a "Wetdown" could somebody please tell me what it entails? Is it a Volly activity only or do your career guys do it too? It would appear to be a "American" thing--your enlightenment will be apreciated.
    "If you thought it was hard getting into the job--wait until you have to hang the "fire gear"up and walk away!"
    Harry Lauder 1981.Me on the left!

  24. #24
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,686

    Default

    From what I was told....traditionally, a new apparatus was celebrated by surrounding communities. Part of the ceremony involved spraying water on the vehicle for good luck (guess it had something to do with washing away bad spirits?).

    Some "wetdowns" are simply a big party, some are more of a judging contest for parade pieces, some are more like a carnival, and most are a mix of all of the above. In my area, FD's have them and also EMS Squads have them. Never been to one to celebrate a new police car...

    They are more common in volunteer agencies, but I have been to a few at paid departments.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register