Thread: wow........

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    Unhappy wow........

    ....I really hope there is a good explanation for this. Unbelievable.

    Restaurateur: Firefighters Stole Food During Ferris Evacuation
    Accused Firefighters Responded To Wrong Restaurant

    POSTED: 11:40 p.m. CDT August 27, 2004
    UPDATED: 12:03 a.m. CDT August 28, 2004


    Story by nbc5i.com

    FERRIS, Texas -- A restaurant owner in Ferris says firefighters broke into her taqueria during Thursday's explosion emergency and helped themselves to snacks and drinks. She says when she asked why, police officers threatened to throw her in jail.

    Hermelinda Munoz, the owner of the Buena Vista Grill, said that even if firefighters forced their way into the restaurant thinking there was an emergency, what they were doing when she arrived was not urgent.

    "They were in my business drinking my sodas," Munoz said. "And they weren't customers. They were Bristol volunteer firefighters."

    She said that some plates on a table provided evidence that the firefighters had eaten, too.

    "They were dispatched to a restaurant to make sure there were no flames or exposed flames in the restaurant," said Fire Chief John Edwards.

    Sherry Long, of the Ellis County Press, reported that the call was for Javier's Restaurant, a block away from Buena Vista Grill.

    Munoz arrived at the restaurant hours after firefighters chopped down the door.

    "They didn't come to do nothing," she said. "Don't turn off the gas, don't do nothing. Just come to my business and sit."

    Munoz, who must pay for a new door, said that when she challenged the firefighters, it nearly cost her her freedom.

    "They told me, 'Get out of here or I'm going to arrest you,'" she said.

    Edwards said that if his firefighters took anything from Munoz, that's a fire he'll personally put out.

    "That's not within the realm of our job to go in and help ourselves to whatever's available when we're in an emergency situation," he said. The owner did not file a police report but says she does want to be reimbursed for the cost of her door.



    Copyright 2004 by nbc5i.com.

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    Default Re: wow........

    Originally posted by SAFD46Truck
    "They told me, 'Get out of here or I'm going to arrest you,'" she said...The owner did not file a police report but says she does want to be reimbursed for the cost of her door.
    last I checked, firefighters don't have any authority anywhere to arrest someone. and she didn't file a police report? sounds kinda fishy to me.
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    Or maybe she is an immigrant business owner who was intimidated by firefighters whom she believed were supposed to protect her and her property, not go to the wrong address, destroy the door to her business, and help themselves to soda and food.

    Since we all say let's wait for the facts before we crucify firefighters for supposed wrong doing how about we wait and see who is telling the truth here. At the very least the fire department or the city owe this person for the damages sustained to her door.

    I would be interested in seeing a follow up to this story and finding out the whole truth. If it's true it is another in a series of black eyes for the fire service and the business owner is due payment for damages and food eaten. If it is false then the business owner should be held accountable.

    FyredUp

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    I would like to hope that if this story is indeed based on fact that those involved would be punished more than just having to pay for the cost of the door and food/beverage ingested. How about criminal charges for illegal entry (break and enter)and theft. Just because they are "firefighters" does not make them above the law and they should be punished in the manner that any other criminal would be. Stories like this just **** me off....... buncha dumbasses.
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    Default Re: Re: wow........

    Originally posted by DrParasite
    last I checked, firefighters don't have any authority anywhere to arrest someone. and she didn't file a police report? sounds kinda fishy to me.

    She says when she asked why, police officers threatened to throw her in jail.
    Pretty sad state of affairs, whichever way this ends up going ... I hope there is a follow-up story as well.
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    Default Re: Re: wow........

    Originally posted by DrParasite

    last I checked, firefighters don't have any authority anywhere to arrest someone. and she didn't file a police report? sounds kinda fishy to me.
    In the beginning of the article it states that it was the Police who threatened to arrest her.
    As for arrest authority, Louisiana passed a bill several years ago giving Fire Chiefs arrest powers for certain crimes including, interference with a firefighter preforming his duties, arson, and several other fire service related crimes. Add to that my Fire Chief has been issued a commission as a auxillary police officer through the city police department and a couple of our firefighters work as police or sherrifs deputies and they are quite capable of hooking up anyone who gets out of hand.
    This in no way excuses the type of behavior the resturant owner alleges in the article.

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    It looks weird to me and if it happens then that is SAD ! and they should be held accountable .......if the owner is creating shinanigans then that is also horse poo-poo of a different color.
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    Talk about bad customer service...hopefully this story isn't true, if so, that is a shame that they would take advantage of a situation like that...
    "When arriving at a Hazardous Materials Incident, never drive past the dead cops."

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    Hopefully we will hear something else about this.........



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    Part of me wants to side against the fire department... simply because of the matter of the door. I feel certain that if my department made forcible entry into the wrong occupancy, we'd replace the door we broke. Any department that isn't willing to repair it's own mistakes is a department with issues.

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    This sounds like one of two things...one being a disipline problem (not just in this instance) in that these guys aren't "into" the fire program. What I mean is that this department doesn't do much training and doesn't stress professionalism. Or two, these guys aren't buying into the system. These are the types that sit back and do as little as possible, or just want to say "I is a firefighter...". The first problem is a problem in the system...the second is easy to fix, it involves pink slips. The type that doesn't buy into the system is just the type I DON'T want as my backup in a house fire...they will leave you at the first sign of **** hitting the fan.

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    "They were dispatched to a restaurant to make sure there were no flames or exposed flames in the restaurant," said Fire Chief John Edwards.
    I am assuming they were checking for pilot lights on a gas stove or some type of heating device used in the restaurant. Unfortunately, if a business is closed, there is no other way than to force entry (Not Break-in as stated in the obviously biased news article)

    Munoz arrived at the restaurant hours after firefighters chopped down the door.
    I guess she thinks her business is not that important that she needs to respond quickly to meet firefighters. I hear the same argument when we force entry for an Automatic Fire Alarm. Unfortunately, we cannot leave the premises unprotected and unsecure, so we have to call for the Police to stand-by until the home/business owner arrives. Sometimes, this can take hours. Especially if the Police are busy. Last I checked, we didn't carry snacks on the Wagon...I see nothing wrong with the Fireman drinking Soda out of a fountain, especially if it is a Hot Day and the incident is extended. People should be a bit more grateful to their Emergency Responders and not always accuse them of some type of wrongdoing.

    Or maybe she is an immigrant business owner who was intimidated by firefighters whom she believed were supposed to protect her and her property, not go to the wrong address, destroy the door to her business, and help themselves to soda and food.
    If she is a business owner, she is more than likely a naturalized citizen and keeping in mind how long the naturalization process takes, she should know by now that the FD is not some government mercenary organization that is going to kill her and steal her cattle. Would she rather replace the door and a bag of soda mix or the entire building if there was a gas explosion?

    Give me a Break, this is just another example of someone trying to get something for nothing and make a mountain out of a Mole Hill.....
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    Tillerman...

    I see...a property owner is supposed to be immediatley available 24 hours a day to respond. Yeah, right. Just like you and me they have lives. That is why the community I am a career firefighter in has strongly pushed the key safe concept.

    You believe it is totally acceptable to help yourself to soda and snacks inside her business? Are you insane? If I had a side business and the fire department came to investigate an alarm and helped themselves to soda and food inside my business, even being a firefighter myself, you better believe I would view that as theft. Because plain and simple it is. There is a HUGE difference between that business owner being on premises and offering you refreshments and you stealing them. People do tend to be grateful to emergency responders in most cases. But being grateful does not allow those same responders the right to steal.

    As far as her being naturalized you are probably correct. But if you come from a country where the governemental agencies are corrupt and engage in questionable if not blatantly criminal behavior the trust you say should be there may never exist. Hence the initial silence. My guess would be she was supported by neighbors who said this is wrong and you should do something about it.

    As far as the cost of the door goes, the fire department owes this lady a door. They went to the wrong adress. They destroyed the door in a forcible entry attempt. It was their mistake and they should make it right.

    I think at this point you are totally wrong about making a mountain out of a mole hill. It is wrong and blindly defending it is not what the fire service needs today. We need to keep the people's trust and you do that by eliminating the bad apples who do this type of nonsense.

    FyredUp

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    I see...a property owner is supposed to be immediatley available 24 hours a day to respond. Yeah, right. Just like you and me they have lives.
    Well, I dont know about you, but if I get a call that something was wrong at my property and the Fire Department was there, I would be there ASAP unless I was out of the Country.

    You know, responding to you isn't worth my time.....
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    Quote:"I see nothing wrong with the Fireman drinking Soda out of a fountain"

    You may not see anything wrong, but I do. Its STEALING. Any firefighter caught stealing, no matter how little, should be FIRED.
    And why does the owners ethnicity need to be an issue?

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    And why does the owners ethnicity need to be an issue?

    I dunno, ask FyredUp, he initially brought it up.
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    I don't think its right to force entry and then start eating the business-owner's food. This was a large extended incident...didn't they have a canteen or a rehab area? I can understand being hungry after being on an incident for a long period of time, we all have. But that is no excuse for stealing, which is exactly what this is. Its all a matter of perspective, if you place yourself in the business-owner's shoes. If there is no rehab/canteen unit, perhaps this is something the dept. could look into.

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    I never mentioned her ethnicity.

    What I said was "Or maybe she is an immigrant business owner who was intimidated by firefighters whom she believed were supposed to protect her and her property, not go to the wrong address, destroy the door to her business, and help themselves to soda and food."

    Tiller...

    Don't respond to me then. It doesn't make you right and no justification you can come up with will. Taking anything without the owners permission is stealing. Hence the drinking of soda and eating of food without the owners permission is stealing. Amazing how logic defeats your feeble attempt at justifying a criminal act.

    As far as when the owner arrived in relation to when she was contacted, I read and reread the article that was posted and it does not say she didn't show up for hours after she was called. It says she arrived hours later. Maybe she wasn't initially available.

    I am forever grateful that the attitude you possess does not seem to be the attitude of firefighters in my area. I am also grateful that you are not protecting property in my area as the theft claims may be higher than the fire loss.

    FyredUp

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    Originally posted by TillerMan25
    Last I checked, we didn't carry snacks on the Wagon...I see nothing wrong with the Fireman drinking Soda out of a fountain, especially if it is a Hot Day and the incident is extended. People should be a bit more grateful to their Emergency Responders and not always accuse them of some type of wrongdoing.
    So, not only do you think that firefighters should be able to STEAL sodas from a business... but you also think that a business owner would be wrong to complain about it? You know, since they should be grateful and all.

    A firefighter who takes something that does not belong to him/her is a THIEF! End of story. I'm suspect of anyone who supports this type of behavior.

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    The alarm did NOT originate from her restaurant. Go look at the article again, so that perhaps explains her "late" arrival.

    They were dispatched to a restaurant to make sure there were no flames or exposed flames in the restaurant," said Fire Chief John Edwards.

    Sherry Long, of the Ellis County Press, reported that the call was for Javier's Restaurant, a block away from Buena Vista Grill.
    It seems quite clear that these guys went to the WRONG place.
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    I would agree that allowing personnel to have free reign over any establishment is wrong, and taking anything at any business without consent of the owner-manager is stealing.

    You say, that when they went through the door they busted it. O.K. fine, but since the P.D. was on scene apparently why would they still be there other than to help themselves. Seems to me the right thing to do while they were waiting would have been to replace the darn door or at least attempt to secure the entrance. No, they decided to take what was not theirs. What if it was a bank? Would they take the darn money? Probably not because they know that would be wrong, bit to take anything from a business is taking money.

    Since the powers that be down there think it was o.k. and the P.D. apparently threatened her, there are some serious faults in that system.

    Tiller, I have read some of your threads in the past and I sort of liked most of what you had to say on topics, this one though you are out of line. As soon Fyredup stated the thought of that being wrong you jumped in and tryed to make it a personal agenda. Wrong, his opinion to me was correct and ya gotta respect it even if ya don't like it.

    Maybe the lady was out of town and could not get back as fast as you would think, and then maybe she was not able to be reached untilt that point in time.

    Thougt we were supposed to be there to help people not ourselves!




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    In reality protomkv, no one brought up ethnicity. He just mentioned the fact that it might have been an immigrant. An immigrant can be of any ethnicity.

    Bottom line is, we have an obviously Biased News Article. No where is the phrase "Forced Entry" used when in the accusatory mode by the Writer of the article.

    A restaurant owner in Ferris says firefighters broke into her taqueria
    Firefighters Stole Food During Ferris Evacuation
    Nice Job Mr. Reporter. Accuse right from the headline. I bet if this was a case involving a dope head doing the same thing, the headline would read: "Helpless Drug-Addict forces door to Restaurant, Help's Self to Food and Drink"



    Munoz, who must pay for a new door
    Not insured? Hmmm, by law, to run a business in most places, you need Insurance. Insurance usually covers these things...was she operating illegally?

    The owner did not file a police report but says she does want to be reimbursed for the cost of her door.
    No Police Report? Let's see, I am not going to call the Police and file a report, but I will call the local newspaper and have them take up my case? Like someone else said, sounds fishy.

    The whole story smells like a rat.
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    Originally posted by TillerMan25
    Well, I dont know about you, but if I get a call that something was wrong at my property and the Fire Department was there, I would be there ASAP unless I was out of the Country.
    If the actual dispatch was for a business a block away, isn't it possible that this woman was never notified of a problem and asked to respond?

    Originally posted by TillerMan25
    Not insured? Hmmm, by law, to run a business in most places, you need Insurance. Insurance usually covers these things...was she operating illegally?
    Who said she wasn't insured? She may have a deductable that has to be met.

    Originally posted by TillerMan25
    No Police Report? Let's see, I am not going to call the Police and file a report, but I will call the local newspaper and have them take up my case? Like someone else said, sounds fishy.
    If a police officer threatened her with arrest for trying to make a complaint at the scene, can you blame her for not filing the report?



    I recall a situation a couple of years ago where two Michigan FFs helped themselves to Lottery tickets after responding to a incident in a store. Going on your line of thought -- Somebody should call their lawyers and union reps, because it's okay to rob a store if you enter while responding to a run.
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    Bottom line is, we have an obviously Biased News Article
    Bottom line is, we have 1 poster who believes FD's never do the wrong thing.
    "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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    It is hard to justify what these firefighters did once they were inside the business. I do agree that the article is lopsided in its wording though. These guys did not in my opinion "break in", they forced entry. There is a differance. What they did as far as the allegations of eating and drinking are a differant matter by itself. All of their other actions (up to the eating/drinking allegations) appear to be appropriate, again in my opinion. I state this with the assumption they had a reason to act, be it an alarm or some other cause to investigate further. I don't know how all other departments operate, but I know that waiting around for owners to "drive in" with keys is not always a viable option. In a perfect world it would be, this is not perfect. Waiting around 30 or 40 minutes or even longer for keys is unacceptable. Maybe you can get away with that if your run volume is low, but I don't care how busy you are, you need to be able to respond as soon as possible. Their action of notifying the police to secure the business is appropriate as well, my department operates very similar in this regard. If we force a door, and are unable to secure the residence/business we call the police and they secure it untill the owner or contact person arrives.I am not going to address the other aspects of this situation, other than to say that drinking the soda and eating the food in the business is unprofessional, at the very least. At the worst it could be argued to be criminal. Either way a situation surely to dampen you career "glow". We are charged by the public with entering residence's and business' with money, valueables and personal items exposed and out in the open. The public has the right to have a belief that those items won't be stolen, or "misplaced". The public place's a great deal of trust in us as professionals, and we should do all we can to preserve that trust.

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