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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    Default South Carolina Agency defends Training Method

    1st of all let me tell you that this is backwoods politics in its worst form! This guy (Rob Joyner) which is a good friend of mine, was terminated as a volunteer for speaking up about lack of training in his county. He is a full time Captain with the Columbia FD in the training division. He is an Assistant Chief (or was) with Antioch FD in Kershaw County.

    He has been bringing up lack of training in his county for almost two years now. He was told recently to stop complaining or be relieved of his command. He absolutley did the right thing by NOT STOPPING.

    His chief was told to terminate him after he would not stop complaining. Now his complaining took the form of proper chain of command through his chief to the County Fire Marshal. It only came out in the newspaper AFTER he was terminated and he spoke up at a county council meeting with the media there.

    You will see in the story that the County Administrator stated that there firefighters need only 2 basic courses to do their job. This is correct, when it comes to firefighting. Advanced courses would be nice but not always practical. However you are talking about a 2 YEAR PERIOD HERE. Rob even told the county he would train ever one for FREE to help save the county money!!! FREE!!!!

    You have FF's that have let their 1st responder certs lapse and are STILL responding to medical calls and administering aid. You have FF's going to fires and not a single one stop at the station and get a truck. 12 FF's on scene with no water. Of course the house burns down! This is the basic training taking effect.

    There are more stories from this situation at:
    http://www.sconfire.com/news/05-10-2.htm
    http://www.sconfire.com/news/05-12.htm
    http://www.sconfire.com/news/05-15.htm

    You can also go to our forum board and chime in if you wish:
    http://sconfire.com/forum/index.php
    Go towards the bottom in the section called REGION 3.

    You will have to register, but it is rather quick.
    ----------------------

    by KRISTY EPPLEY RUPON
    ASSOCIATED PRESS via The State(South Carolina)

    A Kershaw County volunteer firefighter said he was fired last month after speaking out about a lack of training for county firefighters.
    Robert Joyner, who volunteered at the Antioch Fire Department for 16 years and works full time with Columbias fire department, said he has voiced concerns for the past couple of years about what he sees as outdated training that doesnt meet OSHA standards.

    But Kershaw County officials, who refused to discuss the firing as a personnel matter, say Joyners training allegations are inaccurate.
    All county firefighters must go through two basic training courses, said county administrator Bobby Boland. Higher levels of training are optional.

    There are different levels of training that you can go through and different certifications, Bo-land said. What (Joyner) wants to do is mandate to volunteers that they go through the highest level of training.

    Next week, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health will conduct a review of health and safety operations at Kershaw Countys fire departments.

    Such reviews are requested by employers or employee groups, according to agency officials, but the agency does not release specifics on who made the request.

    Boland said he doesnt expect the group to find anything that doesnt meet minimum standards. But, he added, there is always room for improvement in any department.

    We can always be better, and were striving every day to be better, Boland said. But with our budget, we cant just do it over-night.
    Outside of the fire marshals office, Kershaw County has only one paid firefighter and depends on 210 volunteer firefighters.

    Those volunteers must take an 80-hour course at the state fire academy before starting the job and bloodborne-pathogens training within 10 days of arriving.

    Efforts to reach several of the countys fire station chiefs about training standards were unsuccessful Friday.

    Joyner, who serves as a training officer in the Columbia Fire Department, was one of three county firefighters who spoke about training concerns at last weeks County Council meeting.

    Joyner said county officials cited insubordination in his firing. He said he only wants to be able to return as Antiochs assistant chief and help the county address these standards and make sure that the firefighters are safe ... and safely take care of the citizens.

    This is not just any single individuals fault, he said. Its a combination of all of us not ad-dressing issues as they come up.
    During next weeks review, representatives with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health will visit work sites and evaluate potential health issues, said spokesman Fred Blosser. The agency, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is not a regulatory agency but suggests nonbinding improvements.

    County officials including assistant administrator Brenda Wilhite say fire services have come a long way in the past decade. New fire stations, trucks and equipment have been added, resulting in improved insurance ratings and savings for county homeowners.

    Boland said the county is doing the best it can with its resources.
    We are building a super fire service here. There is a plan and were following it, he said. But, noting Joyners ties, we are not the city of Columbia.

    Joyner said he just wants to help.

    If (county leaders) want me to stop all of this ... dispute what Im saying as being false or lets get together and figure out how were going to fix the problems, he said.
    Last edited by sconfire; 05-15-2005 at 09:43 PM.
    Always remember the CHARLESTON 9

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    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
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  2. #2
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    I admire this guy. Not afraid to stand up and do what's right, despite the consequences. How many FF do you know who would have shut up and rolled over once they were threatened with removal?

  3. #3
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    You don't train, people die (firefighters or citizens) and property is lost.

    You just have to stand up for what is right. If the county administrator took his head out his butt he'd realize it. Apparently CYA is the course of action in Kershaw County. Typical politician.
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    I also think its good the guy still pushed for more training. What are the two courses required sconfire? I dont think it ever said in the article or I could have missed it.

  5. #5
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Branded a 'trouble maker' and punished for his efforts in trying to introduce a safe system of work for firefighters under his command. Scon - if what you are saying is right then this is just too familiar in life! Those that stand up for what they truly believe in, even though it is for the benefit of those that risk their lives daily for us all, are the ones that so often suffer.

    My greatest respect for you Captain .... and to anyone who has the guts to stand by their principles, knowing it will bring them down in the end.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    The two basic courses are 1151 and 1152... basic firefighter.

    Nothing advanced...

    I would go to the "gates of hell" with this guy. HE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT ON THIS ONE!!
    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
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Bravo Rob!! Way to stand your ground!!
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

  8. #8
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Red face from Saturdays news page .......Grat you are slippin' ! LOL

    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

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    I copied it from there. I figured it was easier to paste it rather than link it. In my tirade I forgot to announce that I had copied it from the Firehouse main page. My little 2 month old son tends to make me forget things like that.

    But with a face like this

    Who can resist.

    His name is Tristan and yes... he is DAMN CUTE!
    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

  10. #10
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Hi Tristan ! Grant .......werent you gonna send me some pics ? and I hope you know I was just giving you grief ........
    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

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    I figured on the grief!

    I sent those pics to you? Apparently you did not get them. I will re-send them right now.
    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

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    I too commend the Asst. Chief for standing up to those yahoos. What a crock! It does sound like a problem that we have a little close to home. I need some advice, but not sure if I want to post it. Anyone who feels they could guide me with a similar issue, please pm me.

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    Isn't it funny how politicians preach safety until it starts costing money? Way to stand up for what you believe in AC!

    stay safe

  14. #14
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    Big pat on the back to him.

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    UPDATE:
    House Burns as FF's run out of water
    Kershaw County House Burns to Ground

    This is VERY INTERESTING!!!

    Also from the SConFire.com Forum Board.
    While I do not disagree that training is an issue that needs to be addressed in this county, you should know the facts surrounding this situation.

    The response time from tone to arrival on this call was 11 minutes. Not outrageous considering that a bridge was out and an alternate route had to be taken. When the first people arrived, the fire had already vented itself through the roof. From this point, there were some things that could have been done differently. The total destruction of this house was caused by a number of things.

    1. When mutual aid did arrive, there was only an additional 750 gallons of water instead of the 2000 that could have been brought.

    2. Instead of firefighters reporting to staging and waiting for orders, free-lancing began.

    3. There was an attack team in the front door, and instead of arriving departments suiting up to be backups, many of them piled into the door. (A total of 6 people is what i was told by a member of another department.)

    4. Someone from another department took the liberty to begin knocking all of the windows out of the house.( Not a good move)

    5. Due to the barrage of people in the front door, all units had to be evacuated so that all could be accounted for. This wasted precious time.


    As I stated in an earlier post, the mentality of the fire service MUST change. Instead of everyone trying to be a hero, we must work together(Under ONE command) on a fire scene to get the job done.

    Firefighting is not about being able to brag about saving a house or a life, but being a well-trained community servant who is out for the interest of the community instead of personal recognition. And hey!, Lets try not to be so quick to attack another when things don't go exactly right. Let's all learn an important lesson from our mistakes to make sure we don't make them again. THAT is what will greatly improve the fire service in this county!

    I hope that this doesn't sound like I am trying to pass the blame off on other people. Things were done by all involved that could have been done differently. I just hope that we will all continue to train, keep our heads about us, and provide a top notch service to our community.

    Sincerely,
    Lee Zirkle
    Blaney Fire Department
    Blaney FD was the 1st due to this fire.

    Several things I will make note of:

    1. There was over 3500 gallons of water on scene in the early stages of this fire. There was also a pond for drafting less than a 1/2 mile down the street.

    2. Mutual aid was received from Richland County, which is Columbia Fire Department. (SIDE NOTE: Originally in the 1st stories on this issue, several high ranking Kershaw County fire officials thought that Rob Joyner, the Asst. Chief fire for whistle blowing, was trying to throw to much training on them and to be more like the Columbia FD, in which he is a full time Captain.) The CFD engine captain was told they were not needed and if they listened to them that they would burn the house down!

    3. NIOSH has just completed an investigation into Kershaw County and has found over 100 violations! The report will be out soon and I will post it here when I receive it.
    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

  16. #16
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    Its been a while, but I remember a post a while back from someone in South Carolina....It took me a while to find it.
    Hanging it up!!!!!!!

    Well it’s finally come to a time in my life where I need to hang the helmet on the wall and the boots in the closet…
    15 years in the South Carolina fire service and I thought this day would never come, I figured I would be one of those 90 year old volunteers that you read about on occasion who still volunteer, but that will never happen.
    So what did happen?
    Kershaw County Fire Service ruined it for me…never in my life have I ever been part of such a disappointing and discouraging fire service. I feel sorry for the residents of Kershaw County who rely on the “protection” of the K.C.F.S.
    It all starts at the top and rolls down hill from there.
    I blame it on the lack of leadership of the county fire marshal and his assistant.
    The K.C. Fire Marshals office has let the individual fire departments with their untrained officers and firefighters run amuck long enough..Its time for someone to come in and set a standard of “professional” fire protection in Kershaw County.
    Its time to set a standard within the KCFS..This includes training, officer standards and most of all accountability.
    Training and officer standards are left up to the individual departments within the KCFS. Some stations have adopted decent standards on minimum training for firefighters and officers while other stations still believe in the “good ole boy” system.
    The lack of training standards has cost the taxpayers in Kershaw County.
    The lack of a formal apparatus operator standard, training and recertification has cost the tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars in replacement of wrecked fire apparatus and repairs of misused or destroyed equipment from improper operating procedures.
    Little or no training in fire suppression techniques has cost homeowners and property owners hundreds of thousands of dollars in property that could have been saved by proper use of strategy and tactics in fire suppression.
    Lack of a fire service wide training schedule and oversight has lead to the inability of some departments to work together to protect the lives and properties of the residents of Kershaw County…stations that respond together need to train together on a continuing basis to provide the very best in services to the residents and taxpayers.
    What needs to be done you ask? Simple..
    Start at the top…
    Fire the county fire marshals!
    Hire someone to run the KCFS as a countywide fire service instead of allowing the individual stations to run themselves.
    Hire a full time training and compliance officer and set a countywide training schedule and minimum standards for fire personnel.
    Let the county training officer run and evaluate the training sessions at each station to insure standards are being met.
    Remove all rights of the individual departments to elect officers. All officers will have to meet minimum training and experience standards and be appointed by and accountable to the new head of the KCFS.
    Remove the rights of the individual departments to issue equipment to the firefighters..All equipment must be issued by the administration of the KCFS.
    In a nutshell the system needs to be torn down and reinvented..This is the only way the taxpayers and residents of Kershaw County will ever have a quality emergency services system in their time of need…I am glad I no longer live within the protection area of the current KCFS.
    Roofhook

  17. #17
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    And I went to Sconfire and checked it out..damm good read..this caught my eye.


    "Roofhook wrote:
    Imagine you are John Q. Public at home one afternoon. You are lying on the couch watching your favorite show when you smell smoke. A haze is beginning to form when you jump up to investigate and find that your home is on fire.
    You jump up, grab what you can and run out the door. You call 911.
    The fire department arrives a few minutes later to find your home 25% involved. They pull a line and go in to fight the fire..The house becomes 50% involved, and then someone pulls a line, breaks a window and begins to flow water in a window. The interior team backs out as the fire has now spread to 75% of your home. More lines are pulled and someone is yelling for water. The fire has now vented through the roof and you watch as you home burns to the ground.
    Does this happen? More than we would like to admit.
    What are the causes? There are many, lets look at a few.
    First off not many people in the county can make a fire flow calculation. This will give you an estimate of the amount of water needed to control and extinguish a fire based on the size of the structure and number of exposures.
    There are many formulas, but a quick and easy one for a first in officer is Square footage divided by 3.
    OK I know you are thinking “hook why are you laying all that complicated math on me..I don’t have time to take out a tape measure and figure out the size of a house”
    I don’t expect you too. Do you live in a house? How big is it? Is the house you are responding to larger or smaller?
    Spend a little time pre-planning your area. Look at the structures, access points, construction, exposures and safety hazards, and develop a game plan.
    Now when the attack team made entry, what was the GPM of the nozzle they were using?
    Was it a fixed gallonage or an adjustable gallonage?
    The GPM a nozzle can produce will make a difference in whether you extinguish the fire or allow the fire to get bigger.
    NFPA recommends a minimum of 300 GPM be available on initial fire attack. In most cases 2 handlines with 150 gpm nozzles meet the need.
    2 firefighters can readily handle a handline flowing 150gpm; change up to a low-pressure nozzle and one small firefighter can handle that line.
    So take a look at your nozzle. Is it a fixed or adjustable gallonage or an automatic nozzle?
    What is the GPM set at?
    Remember that fighting fire is like going to war. Did the president send in 2 GIs with 9mm to fight the Iraq army? NO he sent in the big guns and did a “shock and awe”
    In firefighting it is the same, you don’t fight a structure fire with a booster or a handline that flows under 150 GPM.
    Next we look at tactics.
    Whose idea was it to break a window and flow water? In my experience a firefighter or officer who gets tunnel vision seeing only the flames present, doesn’t check with command and decides to do his own thing. That is FREELANCING!
    If you have an incident commander who has a game plan, it needs to be followed.
    Plus….YOU NEVER EVER FLOW WATER FROM THE OUTSIDE WHEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE ON THE INSIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This is a huge safety issue and I have seen it done more than once out in the county.
    To properly extinguish a fire you must get to the seat of the fire, this means after taking into account rescue, exposures, scene safety, building construction, fire loading, available water supply, available manpower, 2 in 2 out and doing a general risk assessment, a firefight from the unburned portion of the structure must be initiated.
    If the risk assessment shows that a an interior attack cannot be safely done, or if the building had extensive damage from a previous fire (that’s right, if a structure received extensive damage from a previous fire, then it is unsafe for interior operations), then a defensive or exterior attack needs to be made.
    Now lets discuss water supply.
    Water is a commodity that we as firefighters need to do our job.
    In rural firefighting you need to bring as much water as you can to start and maintain a good operation. The old saying “More out the door” applies here.
    You cannot conserve water and have successful extinguishments. You need to put more water on the fire to absorb the BTUs a fire can produce.
    If you cannot sustain a continued firefight without an interruption of water flow you have a problem.
    As an incident commander you must be proactive. Since the powers to be have decided to downsize tankers from 2500-3000 gallons to 1800 gallons, you must be ready and willing to call for more tanker support and call for it earlier.
    Instead of every station responding to the scene, someone must take the initiative (the IC) to send one engine to establish a water supply point.
    The stations within the KCFS must be able to work together to achieve this goal.
    That means the following
    1. Do not show up on scene and watch the other departments do all the work. There are many jobs that need to be done and fresh people need to be held in a manpower pool ready to do those jobs.
    2. If your department did not do the initial attack, this does not mean that you can’t step in and do salvage and overhaul
    3. Find out who the IC is and follow their orders. If you are an officer from another department and the IC is a lesser rank, you still have to follow the IC. REMEMBER THE IC IS NOT ALWAYS THE CHIEF!
    4. If you are an IC that means you have to be a leader and make decisions! You cannot be an IC from inside a structure or running a pump. You must be able to step back and get the big picture. AND FOR SOME OF YOU CHIEFS, YOU CANNOT BE AN IC WHILE STILL RESPONDING TO THE CALL!
    5. Establish a running order for your equipment. I hear more radio traffic asking, “what do you want me to bring?” This should already be a policy within your department and an agreement with the departments you respond with to know what equipment will respond. Let the IC make the decision if more or less equipment is needed.
    6. Establish a water supply and establish it early! Like I said before water is a precious commodity. You cannot conserve water and have a successful extinguishment. Things can go from bad to worse in seconds and lots of water instantly may make the difference. Set up dump tanks and keep the tankers rolling. Nurse tanker operations are nice, but a dumptank full of water and a couple tankers bringing more is better.
    7. Not every piece of equipment and every POV is needed on the scene. Stage your equipment ready for use. 3 engines 3 tankers and a squad or 2 bottle necked on the scene will make it difficult for #6 to happen. Add POVs into that mix and the problem got worse.
    8. On the lines of water supply, what about 3 inch hose? Supply lines are not for the big city with hydrants. Many successful rural departments use 3-inch supply lines (and 5 inch) to establish water supplies in areas where tankers and drop tanks cannot be set up effectively on the scene. A remote dumpsite with a supply engine is better than no water supply at all.
    9. Establish a known water fill point. This may mean that you and some of your equipment may not be on the scene, but are doing an important (and critical) job for those who need the water.



    To make this happen, you need to train and drill with other departments. Officers need to sit down and come up with a game plan on how to make a seamless water supply system work along with just general fireground activities. Then the departments must train and evaluate the plan. There will be some kinks along the way, but by establishing a gameplan before the need to implement the plan is called being PROACTIVE.


    And the guy from Blaney wrote:

    "While I do not disagree that training is an issue that needs to be addressed in this county, you should know the facts surrounding this situation.
    The response time from tone to arrival on this call was 11 minutes. Not outrageous considering that a bridge was out and an alternate route had to be taken. When the first people arrived, the fire had already vented itself through the roof. From this point, there were some things that could have been done differently. The total destruction of this house was caused by a number of things.
    1. When mutual aid did arrive, there was only an additional 750 gallons of water instead of the 2000 that could have been brought.
    2. Instead of firefighters reporting to staging and waiting for orders, free-lancing began.
    3. There was an attack team in the front door, and instead of arriving departments suiting up to be backups, many of them piled into the door. (A total of 6 people is what i was told by a member of another department.)
    4. Someone from another department took the liberty to begin knocking all of the windows out of the house.( Not a good move)
    5. Due to the barrage of people in the front door, all units had to be evacuated so that all could be accounted for. This wasted precious time.
    As I stated in an earlier post, the mentality of the fire service MUST change. Instead of everyone trying to be a hero, we must work together(Under ONE command) on a fire scene to get the job done. Firefighting is not about being able to brag about saving a house or a life, but being a well-trained community servant who is out for the interest of the community instead of personal recognition. And hey!, Lets try not to be so quick to attack another when things don't go exactly right. Let's all learn an important lesson from our mistakes to make sure we don't make them again. THAT is what will greatly improve the fire service in this county!
    I hope that this doesn't sound like I am trying to pass the blame off on other people. Things were done by all involved that could have been done differently. I just hope that we will all continue to train, keep our heads about us, and provide a top notch service to our community."

    Sounds like someone had a crystal ball on that one

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    Good eye brother! You took the words right out of my mouth. The post by "roofhook" was made in February... almost 3 months PRIOR to all of this crap happening.

    That crystal ball looks REALLLL clear right now!
    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

  19. #19
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Angry

    I don't know about everyone else....but this thread makes me think about conditions in my former dept....some 35 years ago. No chain of command, freelancing on the fireground, opposing hose streams, improper ventilation, lack of SOPs, poor ICS practices....and on and on and on.

    Someone needs to bring this area into the new millenium with updated training standards, officer eligibility requirements and plentiful opportunities for advanced training courses. It needed to start somewhere. Rob Joyner has set the table....now it is up to the people to voice their concerns to the politicians who can set the higher standards.

    In other words....for the officials/administrators/politicians; this is your wake up call! Stop sticking your head in the sand and take action now!
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    214

    Default

    WOW-SOUNDS LIKE A CLUSTER@@@@ TO ME!

    One thing I do know is that all the arguing and all the opinions will mean nothin if,God forbid,you ever have someone killed. Some guy trying to do his job,you see him and his family from time to time at the WalMart,or a good friend killed in the line of duty. Thats when everything comes into perspective. Thats also when things finally get done,unfortunetly. Good luck. Hope all this gets worked out before you ever have to deal with something like that.



    God bless and pull the ceiling as you go.

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