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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    Angry Smoke and Mirrors: Stop calling firefighters "heroes."

    --removed--
    Last edited by sconfire; 11-07-2003 at 01:43 PM.
    Always remember the CHARLESTON 9

    Captain Grant Mishoe, Curator of History
    North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum
    "You'll never know where you're going until you remember where you came from"
    www.legacyofheroes.org
    www.firehistory.org
    www.sconfire.com


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber Engine58's Avatar
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    Default WOW

    I have a few choice words for him but I dont want to get thrown off the forums....that's just ridiculous, sounds likee someone is jealous.
    Andrew
    Firefighter/EMT
    New Jersey

  3. #3
    HNFC FF/President mdoddsjffhnfc's Avatar
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    lets give the writer of that article some turnouts, an SCBA, and a hoseline. put him through a live training evolution in a burn building. See how he reacts. He has to understand that even though some departments may not get alot of runs per shift, who knows if a firefighter will return to station after that 1 call. People who aren't in that situation don't understand what it's like (hell, i may not even understand fully, i'm just a Jr. FF) but its some scary stuff.

    ya may want to rethink what ya said mr. article writer.
    Firefighter, Volunteering since Oct 2001

    CCFA 05-04, best overall class for 2005
    "GOOD GAME!"

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    He's welcome to climb a mile in my boots.

  5. #5
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    Angry

    I have read these forums for years but after reading this I decided it was time to join and post a message!

    This is his email. Let him know what you think!!!!

    doug@aseasonoffire.com

  6. #6
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Thats total BS !!!!!!!!!!!!
    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
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    While a few big-city fire stations may have four, five, six calls, or more during a shift,
    Tell him to talk to my EMT instructor on Providence Rescue 4.... not uncommon for him to make 17 runs in a 14-hour overnight shift.

    I think we have a word for him, and it begins with M.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    CB the whole thing stinks of where the ______s do business and almost hardly worth replying to it is so crappy.
    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

  9. #9
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Someone that stupid is not even worth my time e-mailing. He wrote that for one of two reasons...

    1. He is possibly the stupidest person alive and actually believes what he wrote.

    2. He is possibly the stupidest person alive and only did for publicity even though he knows he is wrong.

    Notice the two factors that are constants
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  10. #10
    Forum Member PFire23's Avatar
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    Originally posted by nmfire
    Someone that stupid is not even worth my time e-mailing. He wrote that for one of two reasons...

    1. He is possibly the stupidest person alive and actually believes what he wrote.

    2. He is possibly the stupidest person alive and only did for publicity even though he knows he is wrong.

    Notice the two factors that are constants
    orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, he really wanted to be a firefighter and couldn't make the cut so he became a journalistic bastahd instead
    To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

    IACOJ-WOT proud

    GO WHITE SOX!!!!!

  11. #11
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    This sounds like a guy who tried to get hired and couldn't, or a guy whose first girl friend ended up marrying a fireman.

  12. #12
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    Default Idiot

    What a flipping Jackass.
    “Just when you think something is made to be Idiot Proof. They go a head and make a better Idiot”

  13. #13
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    just

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Anyone's village missing an idiot? I think we've found one.
    ullrichk
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    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  15. #15
    Member Mongoose772's Avatar
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    Brothers & Sisters:

    Before this thread devolves into a mass of angry firefighters chanting a crazed mob-mentality mantra of “DEATH TO SPORTS ILLUSTRATED” or some other passion driven slogan…lets take a long minute to read exactly what has been written.

    Yes, his prose is inflammatory, but there is a significant amount of truth in what he writes.

    Now before you denounce me as a heretic and bring out the tar, feathers and tie me to the stake…let me say that I, like many of you, am a career fireman. I have spent the entirety of my adult life working for a municipal, unionized fire service. I am proud to be a firefighter, and have never been embarrassed when I have told someone what I do for a living. I may not make as much money or drive a new H2, but I sincerely believe I am a valuable part society and make a positive impact in my community. When attacked, that genuine pride can make me become part of the angry mob as easily as many of you, and I have in times past. But when we see a spade, let’s call it a spade.

    Take out the sarcastic egocentricity of this guy’s article, and just look at the plain statements. He writes,

    1. “Firefighting is a cushy job.” (Ok, that’s inflammatory, no doubt), however I DO only work 7 or 8 shifts per month! I DO work a second full time job AND find time to run my own small business! Even though I work for a fairly busy department, personally responding to more than 1000 calls annually, I DO typically manage to sleep 5-7 hours per shift! (Not to mention, I do give tours, BBQ burgers, and I WAS in our local calendar last year!) Hey, this IS a good gig. I don’t deny it. I often tell people I don’t get paid for what I DO, do, I get paid for what I CAN do. And that’s no dodo.

    2. “Firefighting isn’t that dangerous.” That’s pretty true too. His statistical references are right on. Most of the brothers dying ARE from heart attacks or motor vehicle collisions responding to an incident. I often tell those firehouse tour goers, with the right combination of training and equipment firefighting is as safe as many other industrial professions.

    3. “Firefighters are adrenalin junkies.” I don’t agree with that. While many volunteer departments are plagued with “jolly whackers” that still think William Shatner made a big comeback on Rescue 911…the reality is that to most professional firefighters, this is just a job. Certainly we experience a sympathetic adrenalin response when we have “the big one”, but we control that natural excitement with a calculated, well-practiced, professional response. I respect fire and other hazardous environments, and don’t let the machismo of the moment to allow myself to be injured or worse.

    4. “Firefighters are a well propagandized special interest group” I am proud to be part of my local and international union of professional firefighters. But they DO wield the firefighter banner as a political sword to further their own agendas. The IAFF is very political. I get the campaign letters in the mail all the time. Don’t you? We do push our own interests, just like everyone else! We do use our popularity with the public to achieve our own ends. Hey, it was a contract year this year, don't think for one minute we don't use our good public image to negotiate with management. It's about the only tool we have! I'm glad everyone loves us!! Aren't you?

    Am I a hero? I am a hero. I am a hero to my children. Sometimes I've been a hero to my neighbors children. And on a rare occasion I've been a hero to just some faceless person on the street. I’m glad for that. Don’t we make a lot better role model than some dimwitted NBA or NFL star butt boy is going to write about next week? I’m not happy an article like this was written, but I’m enough of a realist to know that he’s not just a guy who “didn’t get hired”. He did some homework. He got a good portion of it right. His motivations do not seem well meaning, but we can't deny that there is truth to what he says. Think about it.

    Fraternally your brother,

    Dan-
    International Association of Firefighters
    100% Union Firehouse
    Last edited by Mongoose772; 11-01-2003 at 09:46 PM.
    You could learn alot from a dummy

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Mongoose772
    Brothers & Sisters:

    Yes, his prose is inflammatory, but there is a significant amount of truth in what he writes.


    But his arguments don't hold water. Just insert the word "volunteer" before the word "firefighter" and you'll see what I mean.

    Perhaps he'd like to engage in a rational argument. We could talk about latent vs. realized demand for fire protection, injury rates vs. other industries, rather than fatality rates. And how many cardiac events are actually dehydration-related, and not the result of being out of shape? But he never goes there.

    Yes, the word hero is quite tired. There are too many people out there (in every profession, including ours) whose sad, pathetic lives can only be made bearable if they can cloak themselves in superlatives which they have not earned. His beef should be with those who have limited vocabularies, not those of us who work for a living.

    FWIW, I only wish to be a hero to my own children, and I do that by being who I am, not because of what I do for a living.
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  17. #17
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    While there may be some factual information in this article...the conclusions do not necessarily follow.

    No fireman I've ever met call himself or any of the guys they work with heroes. I know I don't consider myself one. And I certainly don't have a cushy job...in fact one reason I am a fireman (and I imagine most of you is I didn't want a cushy job sitting behind a desk like Mr. Gantenbein. Many guys I work with used to have "cushy" jobs in corporate america.

    The title of hero has been bestowed upon us by the public and newspaper writers since our earliest days when even the largest cities were protected by volunteer fire companies.

    Just the same the public has also adorned sports stars and others as heroes. I don't think that many of them (remember Charles Barkley) want to be viewed as roll models or heroes as well.
    However it isn't up to them...it is up to the public perception as to who is and who isn't a hero. As unfortunate as it is there are some neighborhoods in my city where many residents who don't view police officers as positive roll models or even friends. They are not heroes and they are not necessarily looked well upon. And as sad as it is this situation isn't common to my city.

    I'm sure the police don't like being viewed as the enemy as it only makes their job tougher...however it isn't up to them, it is the civilians and media who make such labels.

    It is obvious that this writer has poorly researched his subject and for some reason decided to address his inadequacies and insecurities as a man by insulting and disparaging men who everyday are motivated by duty, honor and tradition to meet any challenge that might be thrown at them that tour. Regardless if it be a child or a pompous, arrogant and ignorant M***.

    FTM-PTB

  18. #18
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    This is a copy of the email I sent to both, the author of the article and the publisher.

    Mr. Gantenbein and the Staff of Sports Illustrated:

    My name is Shane A. I am writing this email to inform you of how disappointed I am in the article "Smoke and Mirrors: Stop calling firefighters "heros." I am a firefighter/EMT in the town of E. Hampton, CT. My career also lies within the Emergency Medical Services. I spend the majority of my life dedicated to working on the streets of Hartford, CT, working closely with the fire and police departments in the city. Mr. Gantenbein has written an article that is truely offensive to those involved in the emergency services, in particular, those in the fire service.

    Mr. Gantenbein claims that firefighters have a "cushy job." Apparently Mr. Gantenbein has never spent a 24 hour shift riding along with an Engine Company in a busy city service. The 24 hour shift that many fire departments run are not just sitting back washing trucks and cooking burgers. Fire departments have had constantly expanding roles including search and rescue (which is one of the most exhausting calls to ever go on), responding to EMS calls as first responders (or transport services for Fire Dept. based EMS), Motor Vehicle accidents, public safety education and fire inspections. The actual numbers of true fire emergencies has declined due to better building codes and fire prevention systems, but the need for response still exists in great demand.

    The next point made in the article is that "Firefighting is not that dangerous." Safety equipment has improved greatly over the years, making the profession safer then years past. I believe that Mr. Gantenbein neglects to take into consideration the amount of emotional stress involved in having a profession where you must be 100% right, 100% of the time. The comment is made that most of the line of duty deaths that occur during an actual fire are those caused by "some unbelieveable screw-up in chain of command." On an emergency scene, things are far from being a well structured day at the office. There are countless variables, and conditions can change at any moment without warning. There's a saying within the fire service "Risk a little to save a little; Risk a lot to save a lot." Any firefighter knows that any call could be his/her last alarm. It's a risk they've made the decision to accept. It could be your family or loved one that gets saved because someone is willing to give their life to save that of you or your loved one. That's a rather generous commitment that most people would not be willing to provide.

    Following the sequence of the article, "firefighters are adrenaline junkies." To some extent this is very true. You have to be to do this kind of work. It certainly isn't done for the pay, since most civil service jobs don't pay very well, and the majority of the countries fire protection comes from volunteers like myself who do not get paid anything at all for our time and commitment. Firefighters take pride in being a part of what they do. Three major concepts in firefighting are: Life Safety (save any viable life), Incident Stabilization (prevent the incident from worsening), and Property Conservation (save the property in the best and most effecient way possible). These three commitments require a quick action that usually is well calculated and is also adrenaline based. If it weren't, we'd be doing more recoveries then rescues, and rebuilding more then reapiring structures.

    "Firefighters have excellent propaganda skills." That's a rather bold statement in itself. These firefighters have given their life in an attempt to help someone else. They didn't have to choose to do this. They chose it because of a love for what they do. No firefighter wants to have the long formal funeral as that means that they have answered their final call, it's a tradition. Does that mean that the military should not have their ceremonies for those who have given their all? After all, it's just the military "doing their thing."

    Your final statement being "Firefighters are just another special interest group." Another brave statement. We don't need to look very far in any field to find some organizations plagued with problems. The catholic church's with sexual offenders, school's with teacher's have sex with students or taking bribes for grades, major businesses with corupt CEO's. The list could go on and on. Yes, the fire service is heavily unionized in those department's that are paid. And yes, the union does look out for it's own. But if you're not looking out for yourself, who's going to look out for you? The fire service is a very tight brother/sisterhood. In a profession where you must trust each other and their decisions with your life, you learn to look out for each other. It's just the way it is.

    The only thing I have been able to summarize from this piece of literature is that Mr. Gantenbein has never spent any true time to see the inner workings of the emergency services before writing this article. Any time you want to spend a night discussing the trials and tribulations of being involved in a high risk, moderately paying job (if at all for some), that is highly stressful, I'd be happy to have the conversation with you. I'd be happy to tell you about how being involved in something as powerful as the fire service has affected my life in both the good and the bad. There's not a single person that can say that they're unaffected by what they see and have to do on a regular basis. I can sum it with this. Any day at work, I may get to see the miracles of life, or the tradgedies of distruction and death or pain and suffering. If it were such a stress free, easy job, I'm sure that many other people would participate to have this "hero" status that you're concerned with stripping from those who are willing to take the chance of giving everything to help someone they've never seen before. All to possibly get a thank you...If they are lucky enough to even get that.

    Shane A.
    CT State Cert. Firefighter I
    NREMT-Basic
    Paramedic Student

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    Excellent email Shane...
    Always remember the CHARLESTON 9

    Captain Grant Mishoe, Curator of History
    North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum
    "You'll never know where you're going until you remember where you came from"
    www.legacyofheroes.org
    www.firehistory.org
    www.sconfire.com

  20. #20
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    Mongoose, While I will agree somewhat with your point that there is some truth to what this guy wrote, it is the disrespectful tone of his article that I find so offensive. Not to mention his contempt for our ceremonies for our fallen brothers and his belief that we are all glory hounds. He is also completely forgetting about the volunteer segment of the fire service.

    BTW, It is the same disrespectful tone as this:

    Originally posted by Mongoose772


    3. “Firefighters are adrenalin junkies.” I don’t agree with that. While many volunteer departments are plagued with “jolly whackers” that still think William Shatner made a big comeback on Rescue 911…the reality is that to most professional firefighters, this is just a job.
    While I will be the first to admit that you will find these types of people in some Volunteer firehouses, I'd hardly call it a "plague." Just as there are many "professional" full-time firefighters on these forums and most likely even in your department that think this is more than "just a job."

    Thanks for dragging the old "paid vs. vollie" into something else where it has absolutely no place. I guess we don't really need this guy's help to make firefighters look bad, do we?

    BorderPatrol
    100% Volunteer Firehouse

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