1. #1
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    Angry Stop hitting your self fireservice, stop hitting your self!

    This is just another case of why we need to do pyshcoligcal profiles!

    West Virginia Firefighter Accused of Arson

    ............

    Associated Press

    MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) -- A firefighter was charged with torching his mother's mobile home, saying he was upset over her sloppy housekeeping.

    William A. Feimster was charged with arson Tuesday after voluntarily going to the sheriff's department.

    Feimster's mother wasn't home during the Nov. 20 fire, which destroyed the mobile home.

    ``He said it was very sloppy and he didn't like it,'' Berkeley County sheriff's Sgt. Russell Shackelford said.

    Feimster, 25, told police he went there to get some videos to watch at work. Upset over the mess, he lit a roadside flare and put it in a kitchen garbage can, Shackelford said.

    He then drove back to a private ambulance company where he worked. When the call was dispatched, he went out to help fight the blaze, police said.

    Feimster, who also worked at South Berkeley Volunteer Fire Department, has been charged with embezzlement in an unrelated case. He faces a maximum of 20 years on the arson charge.

    He was held Wednesday on $60,000 bail.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Boy...burning down your mom's trailer is a little excessive for it being messy. I'd hate to see what he would do if she started dating outside the family.....

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    She might up set uncle dad........
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    oh... my GOD!

    The insanity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Always remember the CHARLESTON 9

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    I had thoughts similar to ff7134. It sounded pretty over-the-top for mom having a messy house.

    After reading the story a second time, I saw this little gem of information:

    Feimster, who also worked at South Berkeley Volunteer Fire Department, has been charged with embezzlement in an unrelated case
    Do you suppose evidence related to the embezzlement charge might have been stored at momma's place?

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    he went there to get some videos to watch at work.
    I wonder if he ever got a chance to watch his movies.
    He then drove back to a private ambulance company where he worked. When the call was dispatched, he went out to help fight the blaze, police said.
    So was he on duty with the ambulance company and they let him go home during his shift to get movies and also to run fire calls? Or was he hanging out at the Ambulance Co after hours.
    Feimster, who also worked at South Berkeley Volunteer Fire Department,
    And he had a second job as a firefighter that he will loose too. Working 2 jobs is stressful, I admit, but for goodness sake, don't burn down your familys houses over it.

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    So was he on duty with the ambulance company and they let him go home during his shift to get movies and also to run fire calls? Or was he hanging out at the Ambulance Co after hours.
    Sounds to me like the ambulance company he works for got dispatched to the Fire, as for the movies, it's a big no no at my ambulance job
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    Default the psycho

    I sent them a newstip about a arson/murder in downtown Charleston, but they would rather post stuff that makes our state look bad. I have no idea what the idiot was thinking.

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    Default Re: the psycho

    Originally posted by Jeff16
    I sent them a newstip about a arson/murder in downtown Charleston, but they would rather post stuff that makes our state look bad. I have no idea what the idiot was thinking.
    What are you talking about? Who did you send a tip in to? Are you talking about FH.com?

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    Man doesn't this firefighter have a conscience. This FF gives a bad name to FF's all over he world. They really need to start doing Phsyc. tests and Polygraph tests more often.

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    Poly What?
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    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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    I have given up tslking about this subject. Basically, most volunteer fire fighters do not care. Period. Most fire service organizations do not care. Period. I, now officially, do not care either.

    BTW, in NJ, polygraphs are illegal in things like pre-employment or pre-appointment screening. A person who tries to force someone to take one could actually be charged with a crime.

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    Basically, most volunteer fire fighters do not care. Period. Most fire service organizations do not care.
    Sorry, George, but you are dead wrong there. How can you group everyone into one category like that. You are way off base on this one.......

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    Originally posted by firenresq77


    Sorry, George, but you are dead wrong there. How can you group everyone into one category like that. You are way off base on this one.......
    I certainly can.

    My agency has arrested 34 volunteer fire fighters in the past 20 years for arson-related charges. I have worked on most of those cases. I know form whence I speak.

    If everybody cares so much, why has no substantial step been taken to put measures in place to combat the problem? No national fire organization has spoken out about it. The only document that comes from the USFA is a document describing how bad theproblem is. I KNOW how bad the problem is. What are we going to do to stop it?

    If everybody cares so much, why is the chief qualification for membership in most volunteer fire departments a pulse? Maybe in your corner of the world, you have a good screening system, but in MOST departments, there are absolutely zero controls in effect to weed out undesirable candidates.

    If everybody cares so much, why isn't the matter being studied? The groundwork has been laid. A study by FBI profiler Tim Huff in 1994, published in the IAFC journal, basically found that most of the FF arsonists could be weeded out. Now why hasn't some national organization forced this issue through the Congressional Fire Service Caucus?

    I could go on, but you get the point. The fundamental reason is...nobody cares.

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    I agree with George on this. We had a terrible problem here in South Carolina with the firefighter arson issue.

    The South Carolina Forestry Commission began a study of firefighter arson in 1993. They wanted to know how often firefighter related arson was occurring in the state. It was discovered that 33 volunteer firefighters had been charged with the crime of arson with that number rising to 47 the in 1994. Through their research, the SCFC soon developed a profile on the firefighter arsonist. This study revealed that on average the firefighter arsonist was a white male ranging in age from 17 to 25. He was of average to above average intelligence with possibly a less than stellar educational history. Most of the cases were young men with low self esteem that had little association with anything other than the fire service.

    Around the same time the Federal Bureau of Investigation developed their own independent profile for the firefighter arsonist. The FBI study varied slightly however for the most part was eerily similar.

    Criminal Arson Profiler Timothy Huff spent years tracking firefighter arsonist incidents. He studied 25 cases of firefighter arsonists and found that the primary motive was excitement. This was especially true in the younger firefighters of the investigation. It was found that of 182 fires investigated, 75 firefighters were involved! Most of these fires were field fires, grass fires and all around nuisance incidents. It was noted that some did eventually “graduate” to structures with some devastating results.

    In 1996, after the study, awareness training was taught by the South Carolina State Arson Investigators Association. The word on the street was “do the crime, prepare to do the time”. It was apparent that they meant business. That same year known cases of firefighter arson was reduced dramatically to 3 from the 30 cases in 1995. Since 1990, 150 firefighters have been arrested in South Carolina for the crime of Arson.

    Just this week a former volunteer was sentenced to 12 years for starting a fire in 2001 near Myrtle Beach where his assistant chief died of a heart attack.

    We started a firefighter registration program here that basically does background checks on all firefighers coming in or switching departments. The law reads as follows (pay attention to the bold text down in the text)

    TITLE 40. PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
    CHAPTER 80. EMPLOYMENT AND REGISTRATION OF FIREFIGHTERS
    SECTION 40-80-10. Short title, definitions. [SC ST SEC 40-80-10]


    (A) This chapter may be cited as the "South Carolina Firefighters Employment and Registration Act".

    (B) For purposes of this chapter:

    (1) "Employer" means any fire department or other entity which puts an individual or employee in service as a firefighter or assigns any person to work or to official duties as a firefighter whether or not the firefighter receives financial compensation.

    (2) "Employment date" means the date the fire chief certifies the firefighter is trained and prepared to perform firefighting duties.

    (3) "Fire chief" means the highest ranking officer or official in charge of a fire department, whether or not called by some other title.

    (4) "Fire department" means any organization providing rescue, fire suppression, and related activities including any public or government sponsored organizations engaged in rescue, fire suppression, and related activities.

    (5) "Firefighter" means any person, male or female, paid or unpaid, who engages in rescue, fire suppression, or related activities under the supervision of a fire chief or fire department.

    (6) "Firefighting duties" means duties relating to rescue, fire suppression, public safety, and related activities as assigned by a fire chief.

    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.


    SECTION 40-80-30. Registration, maintenance and availability of information. [SC ST SEC 40-80-30]

    (A) No later than sixty days after the start of his employment date as a paid or volunteer firefighter, each firefighter must be registered with the Office of the State Fire Marshal by his fire chief or other employer. The criminal background check required by Section 40-80-20 must be conducted before registration.

    (B) The Office of the State Fire Marshal must maintain a file on each registered firefighter in this State, that includes all information required to be kept by this chapter, and must assign a firefighter identification number to each registered firefighter which corresponds with the firefighter's social security number.

    (C) Upon request the information in the file of an individual firefighter may be released in its entirety to a potential employer as defined in this chapter and may be used as a basis for employment. The requesting department or employer must maintain this information in a confidential manner.

    (D) Any registered firefighter may at any time request and obtain a copy of his or her file. The fee for a copy of a firefighter's file is five dollars payable to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

    SECTION 40-80-40. Background and registration requirements; federal employees excepted; firefighters serving more than one department; reinstatement. [SC ST SEC 40-80-40]

    (A) No person may be allowed to perform firefighting duties with a public fire department, organization, or employer of a county, municipality, special purpose district, or other political subdivision in this State on or after July 1, 2001, without first undergoing a criminal background check as required by Section 40-80-20 and being recommended for registration pursuant to Section 40-80-50.

    (B) A firefighter employed by the United States Government and working in the course and scope of his official duties as a federal employee is not required to be registered under this chapter.

    (C) A firefighter who works for or serves more than one fire department must be registered by each department.

    (D) A firefighter previously registered with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, but not actively engaged with a fire department or as a firefighter for a period of six months, must apply for registration and must submit a criminal records check as required by Section 40-80-20. Firefighters that are being reinstated to their last registered department within a period of not more than three years are exempted from the provisions contained in this section.

    SECTION 40-80-50. Office of the State Fire Marshall; records and registration. [SC ST SEC 40-80-50]

    Upon recommendation of a fire chief or other employer, the Office of the State Fire Marshal must register each firefighter subject to the provisions of Sections 40-80-30 and 40-80-40. The Office of the State Fire Marshal must maintain as minimum information on each firefighter the complete name, the date of birth, the social security number, the South Carolina driver's license number, the employer, and the date of employment or membership. The Office of the State Fire Marshal must notify the chief of the employing fire department or other employer of the registration. This notification may be transmitted electronically or in written form. The fire chief must utilize forms as required and provided by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

    SECTION 40-80-60. Notification of separation or becoming inactive. [SC ST SEC 40-80-60]

    If a firefighter becomes separated from employment or membership or becomes inactive, the fire chief or other employer within sixty days must notify the Office of the State Fire Marshal of the firefighter's separation or inactive status. Notification of separation of a firefighter from employment must be on a form as provided by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

    SECTION 40-80-70. State of emergency exception. [SC ST SEC 40-80-70]

    Notwithstanding another provision of law, the provisions contained in this chapter do not apply to individuals engaged in firefighting duties during a declared state of emergency.
    ****************

    Now this is certainly not a cure all, but it is a start. I would be interested to see what other state has done approach this growing problem.

    The fire service as a whole has let this one slide. No doubt about it, we have dropped the ball on this one. The good thing is we still have a chance to pick it up and run with it. Will it stop EVERY FF Arsonist... probably not. However it will certainly make someone think twice about doing it. We showed the results here in the first year.
    Always remember the CHARLESTON 9

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    I would be interested to see what other state has done approach this growing problem.
    Speaking for NJ, the state has done nothing.

    My company runs background checks, we do talk to references and family, we do not have psychological evaluations. It was our decision to create our process. We have had some discussion about the psyche evaluations, but I feel they will not be implemented anytime soon. And yes, we have had FF's involved with arson in the past.

    It is no fun being an officer and finding it's one of your own who is setting the fires.
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    I'm not saying there's not a problem. I was just saying that to say that MOST volunteer firefighters don't care and most fire service organizations don't care is like saying always and never in the fire service. When you compare the number of firefighters convicted of arson over any period of time to the total # of firefighters over that same period of time? Also, what's the percentage of fire departments that have had a problem with arsonists out of the total # of fire departments in the US over that same period?

    I'm not disagreeing about the problem. I'm just saying that you can't say that MOST of the people do not care. Maybe where you live it is like that, but what about the rest of the US, let alone the world.....

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    George is right--

    No one gives a doodle--which is why it continues--
    "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"

    --Thornton Wilder

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    When you compare the number of firefighters convicted of arson over any period of time to the total # of firefighters over that same period of time? Also, what's the percentage of fire departments that have had a problem with arsonists out of the total # of fire departments in the US over that same period?
    I know we do not live in a perfect world, but is not ONE to many? These $%^&^&!@#&*'s are setting fires. Plain and simple. This has been going on for years but nothing has been done about it. Now it seems that every other day the news is reporting another ********* setting fire to something. The numbers may not have changed a whole lot in the past 100 years... who knows. One thing is for sure that the news is reporting it more.

    It is our obligation as members of the fire service to weed these people out and push the law to put them in jail.

    I know you agree with most of what I am saying. I think what the meaning here is that the FIRE SERVICE AS A WHOLE shows very little interest if any in firefighter arsonists.

    Imagine if we (the fire service) put half the effort into addressing this problem as we put into getting funding from the goverment or raising money for the 9-11 343.

    I am not comparing these incidents by no means... I am merely stating the fact about channeling efforts on issues that need to be addressed like the two above.
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    Originally posted by firenresq77
    I'm not saying there's not a problem. I was just saying that to say that MOST volunteer firefighters don't care and most fire service organizations don't care is like saying always and never in the fire service. When you compare the number of firefighters convicted of arson over any period of time to the total # of firefighters over that same period of time? Also, what's the percentage of fire departments that have had a problem with arsonists out of the total # of fire departments in the US over that same period?

    I'm not disagreeing about the problem. I'm just saying that you can't say that MOST of the people do not care. Maybe where you live it is like that, but what about the rest of the US, let alone the world.....
    Please note: I did not say all; I did not say yours; I did not say always and I did not say never. I said most. And I stand by it. If it wasn't MOST, something would have been done by now.

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI


    Please note: I did not say all; I did not say yours; I did not say always and I did not say never. I said most. And I stand by it. If it wasn't MOST, something would have been done by now.
    I understand you did not say all. I understand you did not say mine. I understand you did not say always or never. I understand you say MOST.

    Like I said, show me the numbers that I asked for to support it...........

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