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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    Angry Firefighter Accused of Starting House Fire

    Another goofball...

    Firefighter Accused of Starting House Fire
    http://www.kark.com/news/default.asp...ownews&id=1327
    (Air Date: 1/4/2004)
    A McAlmont volunteer firefighter rushed to the scene of a house fire, officials say they later learned that Jeffery Murray may have started the blaze.

    The fire destroye one abandoned home on Buford Road in the McAlmont Community and ruined another .

    Firefighters arrived at the house about midnight Friday.

    By 3:00 Saturday morning, Pulaski County Sheriff`s deputies arrested 19-year old Jeffery Murray and charged him with two counts of arson.

    The McAlmont fire chief says Murray had only been with the department since October and was stil on a probationary period.

    Chief Ed Kinsey says when they questioned him, Murray admitted to starting the fire with a friend, and told deputies that the gas can and lighter fluid were in the trunk of his car.

    He says he did it just to watch it burn. The confession didn`t come until after Murray helped other firefighters put out the flame.

    "We sent him over there with one of the hose, he put that grass out to keep that house from burning. He was up here on the porch before it collapsed, helping shoot water into the house," said Kinsey.

    He says he suspected Murray because neighbors reported seeing a car like his speeding away from the area and he was the first person to arrive at the fire station nearby.

    Neighbors say the house had been abandoned for about three years. Another house immediately next door was also ruined by the fire, and probably a total loss, Kinsey says.

    The three people living there made it out safely. There home sustained about $30,000 damage, and was not insured.

    The Sheriff`s department says they are still investigating and collecting evidence.

    Another arrest could come soon. Murray could not be reached for comment.
    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
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Angry

    How many times must this happen?

    When will we ever learn?

    When will the NVFC get it's cranium out of it's rectum and recognize the problem and do something about it?

    Maybe if all fire departments did psychological evaluation to weed out the potential arsonists, this would not continue to happen.

    Maybe there wouldn't be a problem if the judicial system had the testicular fortitude to slap these little pups with heavy fines and prison terms.

    We can dream, can't we?
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 01-05-2004 at 09:45 AM.
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  3. #3
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    Default

    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    How many times must this happen?

    When will we ever learn?

    When will the NVFC get it's cranium out of it's rectum and recognize the problem and do something about it?

    Maybe if all fire departments did psychological evaluation to weed out the potential arsonists, this would not continue to happen.

    Maybe there wouldn't be a problem if the judicial system had the testicular fortitude to slap these little pups with heavy fines and prison terms.

    We can dream, can't we?
    I gave up on this one, Gonzo. They put out a paper in conjunction with the USFA telling people how bad the problem is. That was their solution. I volunteered to help them do whatever was necessary. They have basically sat back and have done nothing since that white paper was released.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Default A question for the Palmetto state

    Didn't South Carolina institute a statewide program to screen volunteers a few years ago?

    I seem to remember that it was very successful early on, has that success continued or are the occurences of FF arson increasing as the new wears off the program?

  5. #5
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    Yes, they did. And DE started to teach a short block of instruction in their FF1 classes.

    These are the kinds of pro-active measures that will make a difference.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    Default

    I posted the below information in a previous thread. We have implemented the FF registration act. I do not know the exact numbers but it is my understanding the the numbers of FF arsonists have drop off significantly.

    **************
    In South Carolina we have recently addressed this matter. A bill "S390" was passed into law. The law may be read in its complete form at this link: SC Firefighter Employment and Registration Act

    There are several links to more information on this page.

    The main part on "offenses committed" and "records check" reads...

    TITLE 40.
    PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
    CHAPTER 80.
    EMPLOYMENT AND REGISTRATION OF FIREFIGHTERS
    SECTION 40-80-20.
    Criminal records check required for employment.
    [SC ST SEC 40-80-20]

    (A)(1) Prior to employment of any firefighter, paid or volunteer, the fire chief or other employer must ensure that each prospective firefighter undergoes a criminal records check conducted by a law enforcement agency.

    (2) The cost of the criminal records check must not exceed eight dollars.

    (3) A criminal records check is not required for a firefighter employed as of June 30, 2001, if the firefighter is employed with the same fire department that he was employed with on June 30, 2001. Upon separation from the fire department that he was employed with on June 30, 2001, a firefighter must comply with the provisions of Section 40-80-40.

    (B)(1) After June 30, 2001, a person must not perform firefighting duties in South Carolina if the person has been convicted of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to:

    (a) a felony;

    (b) arson or any other offense provided in Article 3, Chapter 11, Title 16; or

    (c) an offense involving a controlled substance as provided for in Chapter 53, Title 44.

    (2) The prohibition in item (1) of this subsection applies for a period of ten years after the conviction or plea of guilty or nolo contendere.

    After the expiration of the ten-year period, it is within a fire chief's or other employer's discretion to determine whether or not to allow a person with a criminal record to perform firefighting duties.
    ***********

    I hopes this helps.
    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

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    Default

    Here is the link to the previous thread link with more information from other states.
    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

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    Default Firefighter Arson... why?

    I wrote this article for a regional publication. It is not much but it does have some information that may be useful. You can see it HERE
    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

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber truck6alpha's Avatar
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    Default

    ...and as good of a law as it is (and has been), it still isn't able to catch the ones that haven't been caught prior to application. Now, of course, once these losers make themselves known by doing something stupid, we can keep them out of the fire service.

    I just can't believe that other states haven't followed suit.
    Michael "Mick" Mayers
    Acting Director, Urban Search and Rescue
    South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force
    www.sctf1.sc.gov

  10. #10
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    Default

    Originally posted by truck6alpha
    ...and as good of a law as it is (and has been), it still isn't able to catch the ones that haven't been caught prior to application. Now, of course, once these losers make themselves known by doing something stupid, we can keep them out of the fire service.

    I just can't believe that other states haven't followed suit.
    Yeah, but you know what? At least this issue has been brought to the forefront in SC. You guys have demonstrated that you are not squeemish about attacking this problem head-on. That attitude will also serve as a deterent. This is a good thing.

  11. #11
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    Default

    Background checks are a must, for any serious department. However, no matter what, some fruit-loop is going slip by sooner or later.

  12. #12
    Forum Member PAVolunteer's Avatar
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    Default

    A 19 year old, with no experience in the fire service ... who has only been on a department 6 months ... how do you weed this one out before he starts a fire? Will psychological evaluations prior to becoming a member stop this (I don't know, I'm asking)?

    Furthermore ... how do you go about having a psychological evaluation done? Does a volunteer department have to hire an outside agency? Does this outside agency HAVE to provide the results (presumably, covered by patient/doctor confidentiality) to the FD?

    Obviously, we do not do psychological evaluations prior to acceptance as a probationary member. We do background checks, references, etc. But there's no doubt, that w/ no prior record, one could easily slip through.

    Stay Safe

  13. #13
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    Default

    Originally posted by PAVolunteer
    A 19 year old, with no experience in the fire service ... who has only been on a department 6 months ... how do you weed this one out before he starts a fire? Will psychological evaluations prior to becoming a member stop this (I don't know, I'm asking)?

    Furthermore ... how do you go about having a psychological evaluation done? Does a volunteer department have to hire an outside agency? Does this outside agency HAVE to provide the results (presumably, covered by patient/doctor confidentiality) to the FD?

    Obviously, we do not do psychological evaluations prior to acceptance as a probationary member. We do background checks, references, etc. But there's no doubt, that w/ no prior record, one could easily slip through.

    Stay Safe
    The only study that has been done on this subject, as far as I know, has been by FBI Forensic Profiler (retired) Tim Huff. It was published in the IAFC publication in about 1995. His conclusion was that in over 90% of the cases, a comprehensive psych exam would definitely weed these people out.

    As far as your other questions...you got me how to do it in PA.

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