1. #1
    Early Adopter
    cozmosis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,925

    Question Firefighter or not?

    Most of us remember hearing about the 14-year-old junior firefighter who was killed while riding his bike on the way to a call last spring. It seems that the local and state authorities awarded LODD benefits to his family. The federal government, however, does not recognize him as a firefighter.

    delcotimes.com - The Chris Kangas Story

    Personally, I was torn at first. He was a junior firefighter. However, from all accounts he was a responsible and enthusiastic member of the fire department. Even at his young age, he was dedicated to serving his community. That's a firefighter.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

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

    Default

    A 14 YOA boy should never, ever be put in a position where he would risk his life. OSHA doesn't allow a child to work with dangerous things like power tools and power equipment. In most states this child would not be allowed to work a cash register at Burger King past a certain hour. We should NEVER place a child, a couple of years into puberty, in a life-threatening position.

    The PSOB is designed to assist the families of public safety professionals, sworn to protect life and property, in the event of an untimely death or injury. I do not believe that the people who wrote the legislation ever had the intent that this money would be given to the families of young boys who were hit by a car when they wer rifing a bike to a fire.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    RescuHoppy7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Owego,NY USA
    Posts
    362

    Default

    The PSOB is designed to assist the families of public safety professionals, sworn to protect life and property, in the event of an untimely death or injury. I do not believe that the people who wrote the legislation ever had the intent that this money would be given to the families of young boys who were hit by a car when they wer rifing a bike to a fire.
    While they never intended it to happen it did happen, and now a family and our brothers and sisters in the Brookhaven Fire Department have lost of their own yes ONE OF THEIR OWN, it shouldn't matter if he was 14 or 41 he was doing something everyone of us do everyday, protect and serve our community, granted he was 14 and could not do much but he was willing to learn and love helping his community like everyone of us do, I started out the same way as him riding my bike to a fire call as a Jr. Firefighter, did I consider myself a Firefighter YES, to me it was just an extensive training period before I could go interior, I think we should look past all the political mumble jumble and focus on what is the imoprtant thing that a member of our firefighting brotherhood was killed while responding to a call, had he been just 4 years older there would be no problem but suddenly because of his age there is a problem, in my opinion that is wrong, he was sworn as a firefighter in the Brookhaven Fire Department (Firehouse.com article), Please keep Chris and all our fellow brothers and sisters who have made the supreme sacrifice in your hearts,prayers and memories
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    I dont think anyone here could agree it is a tradgedy that this occurred. And I am not at all sure of the training required in Pennsylvania, however, it appears he wasnt (nor due to his age could he be) a FULLY trained firefighter. I agree with George from the standpoint that he shouldnt have been placed in a position that put him in harms way. While I am sad it happened, and concur that the Junior program there sound well organized and active, I dont feel you can compare that to the FULLY certified adult FF.

    Coz, good thread I was just stopping in here to post this myself when I saw you beat me to it.
    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

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,684

    Default

    focus on what is the imoprtant thing that a member of our firefighting brotherhood was killed while responding to a call
    Absoulutely, focus on the loss of a life, focus on the parents loss of a child, focus on a company that lost a member.

    Do not worry about a memorial placque somewhere, do not worry about a dollar amount going to the family.

    I have lost fellow firefighters and we have placques for them. Looking at a placque does not in any way, shape, or form, mean squat when I see that member's father walking down the street knowing he has no son.

    Focus on what is important.

    It was a terrible tragedy. I also started as a Junior riding a bike.
    "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?

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    238

    Default

    i belive the the family should get all of the bennifets that a regular ff gets, if that ff passes away. this case is not much different from the one that happened in wyoming. with the explorer that died in the appuratus crash. he was responding to the call in his pv, he is not old enough to drive so his bike would be his pv. other ff that have died in a traffic accident got the full lodd bennifets. this is no different.
    IF YOU FOLLOW ALL OF THE RULES YOU MISS ALL OF THE FUN.

    Moose (Post 2028 Vice President/ Command Officer)Explorer Highland Twp. Fire/Rescue Dept.

    Any Questions Contact Me At Moose20282@yahoo.com

    These Are My Opinions, Not that of My Dept. or Any other Orgnazition I Belong to.

  7. #7
    Truckie
    SPFDRum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    2,516

    Default

    Fire fighters are sworn in. If not, you are not a fire fighter, hence, not entitled to LODD death benifits. Sorry.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

  8. #8
    Early Adopter
    cozmosis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,925

    Default

    One issue for some is the junior FF's limited role on the fireground. However, from some articles, it seemed as though he was able to do everything but be an interior firefighter. This raises a good question. What about departments that "exterior" firefighters. They are doing essentially the same work as an explorer or junior. Should they get full benefits when they die in the line of duty?

    Bones- I don't understand you point of view. I agree that a plaque or award check to the family doesn't bring a loved one back... but certainly I think it's important to remember our fallen and to award some sort of compensation to the family that has suffered the loss.

  9. #9
    Early Adopter
    cozmosis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,925

    Default

    Originally posted by SPFDRum
    Fire fighters are sworn in. If not, you are not a fire fighter, hence, not entitled to LODD death benifits. Sorry.
    I've never actually taken any sort of oath at my present career job. I never had to raise either of my hands. I have not been sworn in in any sort of official way. What does that mean for me? If I die during my tour, does my family go without the benefits due to them?

    As for the technicalities, it sounds like this junior was a member in good standing of the fire department. What does that count for?

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    SamsonFCDES's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,708

    Default

    The kid was a firefighter, simple as that IMO. Give him, and his family, his due.

    I went to my first fire in 1988 at the age of 13 (almost 14) and I have been going ever since. It was the year that Yellowstone, along with many HUGE swaths of Montana wildlands, burned up in what was one of the most spectacular fire seasons on western wildfire history. A coal train was comeing down the track on July 4 near my hometown. It had mechanical difficulty and was ignighting wildfire on both sides of the tracks. Wind was steady a 20mph. The nearest town up the tracks gave out the distress call and had everything they could get rolling our way. Our VFD was haveing a July 4 picknick at the fire station, all of the firefighters were sent to the town up the tracks to help our since they were sourrounded by fire. Nobody new the train was still on the way, spreading fire at about 10 miles and hour as it limped along. They couldnt stop because nobody was in their dispatch office, holiday, and they didnt know if any other trains were on their track. They had to make it to my hometown to get onto a side rail where they could stop.

    They spread fire for 28 miles on both sides of the track. They were getting close to town, and so was the fire, but all of the units had been sent up to the next town since they called in for mutual aid. Myself and a lot of other guys and gals my age grabed what was left, shoves, pulaskies, gunny sakes and started putting in handline on the threatened side of town. It was awsome.

    It was the biggest fire I have ever seen develope in person, something like 200 brush trucks responded along with roughly 800 people. It called out every single VFD for 150 miles in every direction and from 2 states. And amazinely enought it was under control within 48 hours.

    Only a couple of very old out houses were lost, it could have been much worse.

    I would hope that if one of my youthfull fellow firefighters that took up arms that day and fought fire would have been considered fire fighters if a tragedy had occured.

    This young man deserves the same respect IMHO.
    Last edited by SamsonFCDES; 01-16-2004 at 02:59 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.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    450

    Default Plain and simple...

    I feel as this is cut and dry. Its not up to us to decide who is a fireman and who is not. Its up to the department as a whole and how they chose for him to be represented. And it should be noted that our junior members are sworn in. The only difference is they operate under a title called Limited Duty when they turn 16.

    In the fact of safety, we all take a risk of the loss of life and the risk of danger when we respond. Even though he was on a bike, its still a response in which he was entitled.

    So how does the department choose to represent him and title him? If they say firefighter, I will support that and I would fight to the end.
    Firefighter/EMT Mitch Cowen
    Hose Co. 1 1st Lieutenant
    Randolph Fire Co. Inc

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    326

    Default

    I don't see how he can be considered a true firefighter. He was 14 and a junior/explorer firefighter, trying to learn about the job. I don't know the whole situation, whether he was going to the station to get on a truck or not. Either way, itís a tragedy, but I don't see how it can be considered a line of duty death.

    I believe it takes more than just going down to the local fire station and joining to be considered a true firefighter. Itís almost like being a firefighter doesnít mean anything now days. To be a true firefighter, you must at least have the necessary state training! And of course to do that, you must be 18 years old.

  13. #13
    Truckie
    SPFDRum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    2,516

    Default

    Hopefully George can swing in and maybe give some insight on child labor laws.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    RescuHoppy7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Owego,NY USA
    Posts
    362

    Default

    OK now it's time to vent and to stand up for a fellow brother

    1.
    Fire fighters are sworn in. If not, you are not a fire fighter, hence, not entitled to LODD death benifits. Sorry.
    If you take the time to read the article you'd see that he was in fact sworn in as a member of his Fire Department SORRY!!!

    2.
    I don't see how he can be considered a true firefighter. He was 14 and a junior/explorer firefighter, trying to learn about the job. I don't know the whole situation, whether he was going to the station to get on a truck or not. Either way, itís a tragedy, but I don't see how it can be considered a line of duty death.
    Ok so your telling me that the Lairdsville FF who died just two weeks into being a firefighter didn't deserve all his benefits? Or the Miami Firefighter who died during his Probie School didn't deserve benefits?????? Many people have died "learning about the job" but no one bitched when it came time to give their family benefits but now they wanna cry foul because of his age to me that is total and complete BS


    I believe it takes more than just going down to the local fire station and joining to be considered a true firefighter. Itís almost like being a firefighter doesnít mean anything now days. To be a true firefighter, you must at least have the necessary state training! And of course to do that, you must be 18 years old.
    Wrong Buddy!!! I took my NYS Basic Firefighter class @ age 17, It does take more than just running down to the fire hall to be considered a firefighter, but this kid did attend trainings and calls it wasn't like he just walked around with a T-Shirt and gear saying he was a firefighter, and also I've been to some places where they can't afford to send there guys through every State course and do alot of in house training, does that mean there any less qualified or any less able than someone who has gone through a slew of classes??? I've met firefighters with all sorts of certificates and fire class patches and they were as clueless as a rock when it came to descion time... Again trying to get to the point that some people want to skip around and try to deny A FELLOW BROTHER WAS KILLED PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HIS AGE SHOULD NOT MATTER, HE DIED DOING WHAT EVERYONE OF US DOES EVERYDAY PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITIES!!!!!!


    Now my opinion... This young man was killed responding to a call, if he were 89 and a member of the Fire Police and he suffered a heart attack hey no question!! He gets everything, yet Fire Police don't go interior, they don't pull hose so why are they deserving of a LODD Benefit and having there name on the wall in Emittsburg? Simple because of there age, I think it's a serious age discrimination problem when a young age is killed and we are failing to give him the formal recognition that he deserves, The MUTTS in DC need to pull their head out of their @$$ and help our brother, You constantly see LODD's where the person was in training or went home after a shift and had a heart attack but no one questions them, no one drags there loved ones through this battle to get there loved honored, this FIREFIGHTER Chris Kangas died responding to a call, died acting as any of us would if a call came in, died doing something we do almost everyday and that is answering the alarm, Now it's our turn to show that we will and must honor our fallen brother by supporting his department and his family in their journey
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    326

    Default

    Nice rant, RescuHoppy7, but I still don't think a 14 year old junior should be considered a true firefighter and get LODD benefits. Like I said before, it's a tragedy for sure, and it sounded like he was on his way to becoming a firefighter, in the upcoming years.

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    Mike,
    With all due respect in all the examples above .............they were ADULTS.........not a HS age person that wants to become a FF. I was around the station when I was a minor and rode my bike there too, but in no way was I a "member".............I was lucky. Sad yes,very much so, entitled to LODD, no.
    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

  17. #17
    Early Adopter
    cozmosis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,925

    Default

    Originally posted by Weruj1
    With all due respect in all the examples above ... they were ADULTS... not a HS age person that wants to become a FF. I was around the station when I was a minor and rode my bike there too, but in no way was I a "member"... I was lucky. Sad yes,very much so, entitled to LODD, no.
    Your experience isn't like that of others. From everything I've read, this kid was a member in good standing of the fire department. What does that entitle him to?

    I think any argument based on age is without merit. Sure, we can discuss labor laws and what juniors should be allowed to do. But determination of benefits for events that have already occurred should be based on merit, not age. As I've said before, what about exterior firefighters. They are essentially the same as juniors in some departments. Yet, they are entitled to benefits. Why?

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    Coz,
    I dont know.........we dont have inside and outside guys, we have explorers who know what they can and cant do.........so I dont know the final answer about outside guys, but at 14 there is no way, and I will preface that with I dont know any Pennsylvania laws, but have heard that they have no minimum FF training standards and I know they allow kids to take an EMT class at age 16 I believe. Now switch up and if this was a 16 y/o (future EMT)who was running on a unit that was soon to be certified or in class and I say hook him up as they are certified and of age to using their training.
    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

  19. #19
    Truckie
    SPFDRum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    2,516

    Default

    Who is the Authority having Juristiction?
    Yes, much to RecuHoppy's dismay, I did read the entire article:

    Like all senior and juniors, Kangas had a beeper, a membership card and a full set of turnout gear. He was also a member of the Relief Association and, according to Grant, among its membership requirements is to be a member of good standing of the fire department.
    The article also stated this;

    Justice Departmentís Bureau of Justice Assistance decision, which determined Kangas was not a public safety officer as required and defined under the federal Public Safety Officersí Benefits Act.
    In its findings, the feds determined Kangas "was not a public safety officer with the Brookhaven Fire Co. No. 1 in an official capacity as a firefighter ..Apprentice (volunteer firefighter) Kangas was a trainee but did not possess authority to act as an official firefighter."
    It reads to me that this organization has the final say on who is or isn't a firefighter and who does or does not recieve LODD benifits. What is their criteria for determining if in individual is a firefighter- that being one entitle to LODD benifits? I'm fairly certain that, along with minimum qualifications, there is an age limit.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

  20. #20
    Forum Member
    emtbff927's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    central Texas
    Posts
    331

    Default

    A FELLOW BROTHER WAS KILLED PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HIS AGE SHOULD NOT MATTER, HE DIED DOING WHAT EVERYONE OF US DOES EVERYDAY PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITIES!!!!!!
    amen!

    On a fire scene there are many different responsibilities for firefighters. A firefighter is not just someone who goes in on a hose line. Firefighters come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. This young man took on the responsibility to volunteer for and be a member of the fire department. Different departments set their policies based on what they approve to be the qualifications for a firefighter position. In this situation it depended on what they considered what a firefighter was when they gave the family the money. He was a member of a fire department, attended trainings, was active, and who was responding to a fire to help put it out. Sounds like a firefighter to me.

  21. #21
    Forum Member
    firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    5,213

    Default

    Sorry, but IMO, he wasn't a firefighter. He was 14. I agree with the ruling.

    What are the minimum training requirements to be a FF in PA? I know in OH, it's the FFIA, 18 yrs old, High school diploma.........

  22. #22
    MembersZone Subscriber
    mohican's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    850

    Default

    When you set up Junior Firefighters, whether they are Explorers or otherwise, you need to create guidlines for what they can do.

    That being said, the article in the link said that he was struck by a car on the way to the fire. He wasn't on the fire scene, don't try to indict the FD, or lessen what he did.

  23. #23
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Duffman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Chicago area
    Posts
    780

    Default

    Minors have no place responding to emergencies. Period.

    Bye the way....

    One issue for some is the junior FF's limited role on the fireground. However, from some articles, it seemed as though he was able to do everything but be an interior firefighter. This raises a good question. What about departments that "exterior" firefighters. They are doing essentially the same work as an explorer or junior. Should they get full benefits when they die in the line of duty?
    I have never understood the concept of "interior v. exterior" firefighters. I wouldn't want a bunch of people on my department who were only "exterior" firefighters.

    Yes Mr. Johnson, the ABC fire department was on scene, but your child died because no interior firefighters were on the first engine to arrive.

    But Mr. Smith, the ABC fire department took 15 minutes to get to the scene of your fire because they had to wait for interior firefighters.


    What a joke.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

    IACOJ

  24. #24
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    All over the east coast
    Posts
    250

    Default

    Duffman,
    what the F are you talking about... you're telling me that everyone in your Fire Dept. is trained to be an interior FF as soon as they join. There is usually a period from when someone joins the FD until they aquire the appropriate training to go inside... so everyone that doesn't have interior experience shouldn't get benefits because they're not a "real" firefighter. that's a bunch of BS. The kid was a member of the Fire Dept. and responding to a call. period. the end.

  25. #25
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Houston area
    Posts
    96

    Default

    Originally posted by firenresq77
    Sorry, but IMO, he wasn't a firefighter. He was 14. I agree with the ruling.

    If he scrubbed the toilets, swept the floor or helped was the truck HE WAS A FIREFIGHTER in my eyes.

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