1. #76
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    You dont have to explain that to me Bones, I was staying on topic. GW decided however to tell the forum my point of view on issues completely unrelated to this topic, as you have pointed out.

    Sorry that I even acknoledged his post, but I dont like someone speaking for me and I decided to point that out.

    Sure, he could have PMed me from the start. He did not, he posted here in a public forum, putting words in my mouth.
    Last edited by SamsonFCDES; 01-05-2004 at 01:35 PM.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    Originally posted by Bones42
    and what does all this have to do with a fight in a NY firehouse?
    You guys want to argue, PM each other. Leave the rest of us out of it.
    It has everything to do with blaming the victim in this case. I did not put words in anyone's mouth. It is intersting that in 2700 or so posts, I have been accused of many things, but not that.

    I also did not put words in your mouth about the rape victim thing. I have edited that post to make it clearer.

    Victims are NEVER to blame.
    Last edited by GeorgeWendtCFI; 01-05-2004 at 02:34 PM.

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI


    It has everything to do with blaming the victim in this case. I did not put words in anyone's mouth. It is intersting that in 2700 or so posts, I have been accused of many things, but not that.

    I also did not put words in your mouth about the rape victim thing. I have edited that post to make it clearer.

    Victims are NEVER to blame.
    I looked here a second ago and you were saying something to the effect that you were not going to hyjack the thread...

    A second later you edit the post and there you go again.


    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    From the NY Times, reprinted on Firehouse.com.

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=46&id=23947

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MICHELLE O'DONNELL
    Reprinted with Permission, The New York Times


    First came the teasing: one man made a crack about another's sexual orientation. Others may have laughed. The target of the teasing responded with a taunt, a firefighter familiar with the case said, and then, in a flash, a metal chair sailed through the air, shattering bones in the teased man's face and partly severing his nose.

    In that horrifying instant last Wednesday, a verbal fight swiftly escalated into violence in a Staten Island firehouse, officials say, leaving one firefighter on a respirator in a hospital and another under arrest, his career in peril. While the details are still under investigation and more charges, against firefighters accused of covering up the incident, are possible, the fight has opened a window of sorts on New York City's firehouse culture, including certain aspects that may have combined to disastrous effect.

    Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said last week that the fight at least partially stemmed from the close confines of firehouse living, where shared meals and sleeping quarters can lead to a boiling over of sibling-like relationships fueled by constant ribbing and full of all the tensions, personal feuds and intense competition of any family ties. To be sure, razzing is as much a part of firehouse life as communal meals and the shattering peal of alarm bells. But what set the Staten Island incident apart, surprising even longtime firefighters, was that it culminated in violence.

    Other factors may have exacerbated the tense exchange between Firefighter Robert Walsh, who was injured, and Firefighter Michael R. Silvestri, who was arrested, including alcohol and a dispute over taking advantage of colleagues, which is considered taboo, firefighters and fire officials say.

    Part of the mystique of firefighters is their seeming ability to remain forever young and daring. But as admirable as those traits can be, this youthfulness can at times translate into what the outside world might consider adolescent behavior. The endless flow of taunts can seem vicious and cruel. Those who have lived in and studied the world of firefighters — which remains overwhelmingly male — say there are good reasons why such an atmosphere is cultivated. After all, who but someone with a teenage boy's daring sense of immortality would willingly run into a burning building to save someone's life?

    "Everybody verbally abuses young firefighters," said Vincent Dunn, a retired deputy chief, who added that even longtime firefighters do not outgrow the sport of razzing. "Nobody wants physical violence — that's a no-no. But there's a lot of verbal abuse. It's like society."

    In firehouses across the city, firefighters say they use taunts to build camaraderie. The idea, firefighters say, is to find a colleague's greatest weakness and taunt him — or her — about it over and over again until it no longer wounds the person's pride. That colleague will be a stronger individual at a moment of crisis, firefighters say.

    There is, for example, the firefighter who once worked as a manager at Bloomingdale's before joining the department. His colleagues learned of his former job and, for more than a decade, the only personal pronouns they have used to refer to him have been "she" and "her."

    Another firefighter, teased by his colleagues about having a small skull, once found a photo of his head nestled in a pea pod on the label of a can of peas. And a short firefighter was given a child's oxford shirt when he passed the lieutenant's test.

    "One thing in the firehouse is that they love anyone who has the ability to make them laugh," said Mr. Dunn. That person is held in high esteem in the firehouse, he said.

    A firefighter at a firehouse in Astoria, Queens, yesterday explained it this way: "To be picked on is to be liked. It's like being out with friends. You have to be a sport about it. If you can't take it, don't give the heat."

    A firefighter familiar with the Staten Island fight said that Firefighter Silvestri was known to call Firefighter Walsh by homosexual slurs, as he allegedly did last Wednesday evening. Using taunts to emphasize seniority could have been a factor, the firefighter said. Firefighter Silvestri, 41, had 15 years with the department, while Firefighter Walsh, 40, had just 8.

    "It's just a way of ranking each other," the firefighter said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the investigation. "It's just one more way to get at one another."

    To defend himself, the firefighter said, Firefighter Walsh mentioned that Firefighter Silvestri had arranged for a junior firefighter to work his regular shift on Thanksgiving Day, then came in to work on overtime pay. According to the firefighter, Firefighter Walsh had mentioned that subject more than a few times since Thanksgiving. Alleging that a firefighter is taking advantage of his colleagues in making the system work to his own benefit is a sore subject in any firehouse, and the firefighter said that Firefighter Walsh's references to this galled Firefighter Silvestri.

    In firehouse culture, people who work the system to their advantage are all too familiar, just as any family knows who it is that never washes the dishes or carries out the trash. (Firefighters even have a name for these types: "square-rooters.")

    Usually, these disputes are resolved without violence. "If a guy comes in and he doesn't do the right thing, that's where some of the needling comes in," said a firefighter in Jackson Heights, Queens. "Hopefully, he'll get the idea and set things right."

    "If you got a problem, all you need to do is mention it at the dinner table," the Jackson Heights firefighter said, a reference to the large kitchen table where anywhere from 6 to 20 firefighters take their three meals a day. "You get all the advice you need. It's firehouse therapy."

    Officials are investigating whether alcohol played a role in the fight. A blood sample taken from Firefighter Walsh that night at Staten Island University Hospital revealed trace amounts of alcohol, but it has not been determined when the alcohol was consumed; one fire official said it could have been consumed even a day earlier. No other firefighters were tested for alcohol, and when senior members of the department and police arrived at the firehouse, after midnight, there was no evidence of drinking, officials said.

    For a 138-year-old department, the prohibition against drinking came relatively recently. Drinking in some firehouses was common before 1970, Mr. Dunn said. It began to drop off as firefighters moved to the suburbs in the late 1960's, Mr. Dunn said, and drives home demanded sobriety. Shortly after the autopsy of a Bronx firefighter who fell off a fire engine in 1969 showed evidence of alcohol in his blood, Mr. Dunn said, the department banned alcohol from firehouses and prohibited firefighters from drinking while on duty.

    Yesterday, the Staten Island district attorney, Daniel M. Donovan Jr., was sworn in to office, hours after discussing the case by phone with Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Both officials said that the investigation was continuing, and that it remained to be seen whether other firefighters accused of participating in a cover-up of the incident would face criminal charges. One fire official has said it was likely that other firefighters who were present would face administrative charges.

    Janon Fisher and Jason George contributed reporting for this article.
    Last edited by SamsonFCDES; 01-05-2004 at 03:41 PM.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    Ding!

    To your corners boys.

    I wonder how the author of this follow-up article would describe your behavior?

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=46&id=23947

    Now this article is clearly conjecture and cannot possibly claim to answer the cause of the incident at this early date, but the arguements it makes regarding the culture of firehouses and the horseplay and teasing that goes on is probably not far from the truth. It is a brotherhood in every form, and sometimes that results in "sibling" spats. This one was taken much farther than normal, so I think the ultimate question is going to be if, and how, we must prevent this in the future.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    Thanks to Samson for posting that article. It is thought provoking.

    Is it a common experience for FF to be more prone to bickering and fighting in a slow house? OR in a busy house during a slow time? I have found it to be true in my experience.

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Thanks to Samson for posting that article. It is thought provoking.

    Is it a common experience for FF to be more prone to bickering and fighting in a slow house? OR in a busy house during a slow time? I have found it to be true in my experience.
    Perhaps that explains our interaction!

    Alchohol

    Assault

    Homophobia

    Sexual Harrasment

    Fill in the rest for me, would you GW?




    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    Originally posted by mcaldwell
    Ding!

    To your corners boys.

    I wonder how the author of this follow-up article would describe your behavior?

    HAH!!!

    I was faster, I posted first!!!

    You may be onto something there.

    Slowpoke.

    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    FFFred and MattyJ:
    You need to get on the phone to Vincent Dunn (you DO know Vincent Dunn, don't you?) and chastise him for speculating on the causes for this violent firehouse incident.
    It can't be any of his business. After all, he is a highly decorated and highly respected FDNY retiree. He wasn't there, so it's none of his business, right?
    And if you're keeping track, there have been no less than FIVE articles written about this incident to date.
    Oh and the DA is speculating that others will be charged. He hasn't got all of the facts, so he shouldn't even be commenting about it. DAs can be such busy bodies. Like a bunch of old ladies at a Sunday brunch, I swear.
    Please let me know when we have your permission to discuss this. Seriously; I'd like to know. I want to weigh in on a couple of points that have been made.
    CR
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    Default It can happen in our stations....

    While FDNY members are getting a little upset that we are discussing something that happened in Engine 151's house, there is the potential for it in every firehouse in the country, both career and call/volunteer.

    We tend to sit back and play "spectator" when two jakes have a beef with each other. There is a lot of good natured ribbing that goes on, but sometimes it crosses the line to become an argument.... and on occasion these arguments escalate into a potential for violence...andit's up to us to intervene and stop it before our brothers and sisters get hurt and have careers destroyed over "stupid things".


    I have had to play "referee" a few times in my career...not fun at all!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Well said Gonzo. It happened in one firehouse and was made public, it can happen anywhere.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Question What if?

    What if this had been a WWYD type thread? Would everyone be bashing each other when they should be concentrating on what could be learned or working together to bash mutts. I would not begin to pre-judge this situation from Michigan except to say that in my 31 years in the fire service I always relied on something that was stressed in my Army infantry officer candidate school:

    "An officer is responsible for everything his men do or fail to do."

    Sorry ladies but it was the 1960's.

    Let's everyone take a deep breath, stop the bashing and let the investigation go forward. Dirty linen is dirty linen and needs to be put forth for improvement in the future but jumping to conclusions will not help the cause. Obviously something went wrong but I don't have clue as to what until FDNY, police, DA, etc. complete their investigation.

    We should look at these things as challenges not problems.

    Stay safe,

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    In firehouses across the city, firefighters say they use taunts to build camaraderie. The idea, firefighters say, is to find a colleague's greatest weakness and taunt him — or her — about it over and over again until it no longer wounds the person's pride. That colleague will be a stronger individual at a moment of crisis, firefighters say.
    Interesting concept.....I was always under the impression that was called bullying

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    I would imagine if everyone involved could do things differently in this unfortunate incident,they would have . Work place violence is never acceptable. Ribbing and ball busting IS a natural part of firehouse life. It HAS changed over the years and I find I do less and less goofing around then in years past. Like drinking in the firehouse (which like it or not WAS acceptable at one time) the days of wholesale practical jokes and other hi jinxs are going the way of riding standing up and 3/4 boots. I dont know how many of you have spent any amount of time in an URBAN firehouse. I was exposed to it fairly young and it was like entering a different dimension. I spent time in a firehouse that had no couch or even soft chairs. The Captain of the house said "soft chairs make soft men"... I can see exactly how this would happen and also can almost feel the remorse from EVERYONE involved...Even though I DONT know what exactly happend or the players involved, but the victim appears to have tried to cover for his attacker...That shows that even when you cant stand someone at the firehouse, you will try and protect them when the chips are down..At least thats the way it used to be. It is a real shame this happend and lets be thankful there isnt more of it. How many of you out there in cyberland ever took a swing at or had to get in the middle of a fight? I bet more then will admit it...

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    Originally posted by LadyCapn


    Interesting concept.....I was always under the impression that was called bullying
    In my opinion it is.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    How many of you out there in cyberland ever took a swing at or had to get in the middle of a fight? I bet more then will admit it...
    Do you mean a fire department related fight?

    In any case, yes, I have been sucker punched trying break up a fight that was fire department related. I have also been in more then my fair share of fights that were non department related.

    If I have learned one thing after all of that it is...

    Fighting sucks.

    Sparing and such can be fun and good exercise, but a real fight, that just sucks.

    You mentioned Urban departments in your post, but I think this stuff happens everywhere. It happened in my rural department which is far FAR from urban in every sence. Nobody was swinging improvised weapons and only feelings where realy hurt, but it was a fire department fight none the less.

    Ribbing, hazeing, bullying, what ever you want to call it. I dont buy into the claim that it builds charactger, courage, and comrodery.

    I have seen its truely ugly side.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    I'll ask you a question, If this had occured at a public works garage or any other place of work do you think it would have made the paper as an article on the 5th page...let alone the entire front page spread?
    Ok Fred, I will answer your question. (despite the fact you chose not to answer mine)

    Of course it would not have been as big a story if it happened at another place of work.
    I get tired of hearing complaints that "the media just wants to sell papers."

    Of course they do. That is why they print the damn things.

    You see, street sweepers, delivery truck drivers, garbage haulers, etc. do not have the same public image firefighters do. Does the press put street sweepers on the front page when they do agreat job cleaning the streets? Of course not. Do firefighters get the front page when rescues are made etc? You bet.

    We can't have it both ways.

    You don't want this stuff in the papers? Don't buy the papers. If the public didn't want to read it, it wouldn't be in there.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

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    Hello,

    If anyone is interested there is a number of televison clips available for watching at www.ny1.com

    The televison news is saying that these two fireman could be in more trouble because they both work in New York but live in New Jersey. The news is saying this is a violation of State and city laws.

    Thanks,

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    JANUARY 05TH, 2004

    Six Staten Island firefighters, including a captain, were reassigned to desk duty Monday in connection with the New Year’s Eve fight inside a firehouse that left one firefighter in a coma.

    Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta announced today that the firefighters are reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation.

    The reassigned firefighters are Captain Terrance Sweeney, Lieutenant Raymond Kane and Firefighter Joseph Spitalieri of Ladder 76, Lieutenant Daniel Kenny and Firefighter David Johnsen of Engine 151, and Lieutenant Gregory McFarland of Battalion 32.

    Firefighter Robert Walsh remains in a medically-induced coma with facial fractures. Police say Michael Silvestri hit Walsh in the face with a metal chair at Engine Company 151 in Tottenville last Wednesday.

    Fire officials want to know what sparked the violence, and whether anyone in the firehouse tried to cover up circumstances surrounding the fight.

    According to published reports, Captain Terrence Sweeney told doctors that Walsh fell down the stairs and wrote that in the firehouse logbook. The fight was also not reported to police for nearly nine hours, reportedly giving firefighters time to clean up.

    Scoppetta says four different agencies are investigating the fight, but he says the Department of Investigation is taking the lead.

    The FDNY is also investigating whether both Walsh and Silvestri violated department residency rules by living in New Jersey.

    Silvestri has been arrested and charged with assault, and remains free on bail. He has also been suspended without pay.



    Wow......... I tried to watch the video, but I was having some issues with my connection, so it wasn't very smooth. I did however see a picture in there of Walsh......... I can say nothing but, WOW. I hope you get better, brother.........

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    Originally posted by caffder
    Hello,

    If anyone is interested there is a number of televison clips available for watching at www.ny1.com

    The televison news is saying that these two fireman could be in more trouble because they both work in New York but live in New Jersey. The news is saying this is a violation of State and city laws.

    Thanks,
    This is a HUGE pandora's box that affects not only FDNY but NYPD as well.

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    You know what Cheif Reason, the difference between Dunn and you (and Im sure not the only difference) is he actually worked in the FDNY. You sure do have one sarcastic and condesending attitude. I dont know who you are (and dont really care) but you've got one hell of a sarcastic and condesending attitude. Go ahead and continue to speculate, repeat the news media ( we all know they're so acurate ), and give us your opinion from wherever you are, but Im done with this and you.

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    MattyJ wrote:
    You sure do have one sarcastic and condesending attitude. I dont know who you are (and dont really care) but you've got one hell of a sarcastic and condesending attitude.
    That's part of my charm.
    Look; you came into this thread and told fellow firefighters that they were wrong for discussing a very serious incident and that it was none of their business and you didn't expect someone to respond to that? You want to squelch the free exchange of ideas, but yet, you are offended by sarcasm? Excuse my sarcasm, but that's funny.
    Because I am offended by those who believe in quelling freedom of speech. And I am amazed at how you and others derail the press as liars and fabricators of news when you don't like what you read, but will cut out an article favorable to the cause and add it to a scrapbook.
    Sorry you don't like me, but it never would have worked. I won't discourage you or encourage you to express your thoughts. That's your decision.
    And for the record, I wasn't condescending. Sarcastic; yes. Condescending; nope. I respect everyone's opinion, even if I don't agree with them.
    Stay safe.
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    Yes, people, please don't speculate there was violence in a FDNY house, don't speculate a guy got hit in the face with a chair, don't speculate that 6 guys are on temporary desk duty, none of it's true. A guy fell down the stairs and 6 others are on vacation.



    On a serious note - about the residency thing...is that checked on at all by the department or only at time of hiring and then it's an honor system? Just curious.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Default Re: It can happen in our stations....

    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo

    I have had to play "referee" a few times in my career...not fun at all!
    Forgive me for backing up on this thread, but I think CaptainGonzo really got to the heart of the matter here. The reason we didn't read about the incidents in his firehouse is that he DID step in and play referee.

    Based only on the information that is available to date, it would seem that much blame can also be laid on the officers. There were probably several stages at which this incident could have been defused:

    1: Many days/weeks/months ago by setting the tone for when "chop-busting" and "good natured ribbing" crossed the line to harassment/bullying.

    2: Before the chair was swung (Realistically this might not be possible, depending on how things actually went down."

    3: After the damage was done, but before the "cover-up". Had an officer or officers said "The buck stops here" there would be one, maybe two ruined careers instead of potentially eight or more.

    I hope firefighter Walsh recovers quickly.
    ullrichk
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    Hello

    "NEW YORK TIMES: A Firehouse Culture Where Taunts and Teasing Flourish"

    Are these fire fighters out of there minds? They are asking for law suits? We live in a different world. If they are still doing that; they are either still kids or living in the past. I did read somewhere that there is only one women fire fighter in the NYFD. Does anyone have any insite to there culture? The NYFD Culture. Because, I think it is different than the rest of the USA. Where I am located we have about 15% women fire fighters and our Chief is a woman. I point that out because sexual harrasment law suits in this state are very common. I think where I am; fire fighters are better listers than talkers. How can anyone have any respect for any firefighter or anyone that talks trash???? I would like to hear anyones insite to the NYFD. Is this culture?????

    Thanks,
    Last edited by caffder; 01-08-2004 at 09:29 PM.

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