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    Default Fire Chief Murdered

    From the Front Page of FH.com


    Fire Chief Murdered


    POSTED: 7:24 p.m. EDT August 19, 2005
    UPDATED: 7:24 p.m. EDT August 19, 2005


    Story by wjactv.com

    Nanty Glo --

    He was in Nanty Glo, Cambria County, for the Central District Firemen's Convention. But now a Blair County Fire Chief is dead. Neighbors in two communities are in shock.

    State Police say it all happened at the VFW Hall during a bar fight around 1 oclock Friday morning. Chief Ray Stringer is with the Neptune Fire Company in Tyrone. State Police say Stringer was hit in the head during a brawl. An autopsy shows the Fire Chief had a blood alcohol level of .20. Eyewitnesses tell Channel 6 News the bartender told Stringer to leave. He started walking out then turned around to say something. The suspect, George Lightcap IV of Nanty Glo, got up and ran to Stringer punching him in his face.

    According to word on the street in Nanty Glo and court papers, the bartender ordered Stringer from the bar. That's when her brother, Lightcap, and the Chief had words. Court papers go on to say that Stringer hit Lightcap who followed him into the foyer. Lightcap then hit Stringer a number of times in the head while he was on the ground. Stringer was flown to the hospital where he died. The cause of death is asphyxiation from being hit in the head. Lightcap was arrested on murder charges.

    A dark cloud now hangs over the Firemens Convention Festivities. Ask anyone about the incident and the mood immediately turns somber. In fact, as the Convention started again Friday morning a moment of silence for Chief Ray Stringer. The Nanty Glo Fire Company President says this has never happened while a Convention is going on. All Convention events were shut down for the night. Their thoughts and prayers go out to the Stringer family. Roughly 250 fire company members are represented here from 21 counties across PA.



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    Quote Originally Posted by firenresq77
    According to word on the street in Nanty Glo

    Theres a street in Nanty Glo?
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    Senseless and sad!
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    It is senseless. As one who has prowled bars late at night it can offer up too much trouble.

    In this case it is sad but preventable.
    Jacktee

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    Default sad but stupid

    Once again we have proven that conventions, bars and people with egos and mouths don't mix.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    Senseless and sad!
    Just wait. This will get reported as a LODD.

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    Just wait. This will get reported as a LODD.
    That would be pathetic. It is not right to view this death, though tragic, in the same light that we view those of our brothers who have died while serving their communities. We would dishonor the memories of so many who died during the course of their duties if we consider this a LODD.
    Jacktee

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackTee09
    That would be pathetic. It is not right to view this death, though tragic, in the same light that we view those of our brothers who have died while serving their communities. We would dishonor the memories of so many who died during the course of their duties if we consider this a LODD.
    Whats pathetic about caring for ones family after a tragic death.If the powers to be, rule this a LODD there would be no dishonor to any of our fallon brothers.The chief was the vitim here,not the murder.This would be no different if the chief had been murder at the fire station,city council meeting or on the convention floor if not for the alcohol.I agree the word (bar) casts a dark light upon this man death.To think that firefighters across this nation would be dishonor by this chief death being ruled as a line of duty death is a little one sided.Lets wait for all the facts before dishonoring this chief's memory.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

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    It is a tragedy for his family and his department. My heart goes out to them. But to remotely make the comparison that you just attempted to do is...beyond words.

    This would be no different if the chief had been murder at the fire station,city council meeting or on the convention floor if not for the alcohol.


    Are you serious? Please take a moment and read the news report. And the alcohol does make a difference - a huge difference. The brothers that die in the course of their duties around this country-do we need to name the departments - and we tie them all together even if alcohol is involved in a death not related to actual fire duty. No - it is not now nor will it ever be the same.
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by JackTee09
    It is a tragedy for his family and his department. My heart goes out to them. But to remotely make the comparison that you just attempted to do is...beyond words.





    Are you serious? Please take a moment and read the news report. And the alcohol does make a difference - a huge difference. The brothers that die in the course of their duties around this country-do we need to name the departments - and we tie them all together even if alcohol is involved in a death not related to actual fire duty. No - it is not now nor will it ever be the same.

    I agree that alcohol does make a big difference in this case.All Iam saying is lets not dishonor this chief memory because of this thugs decision to follow him outside and bash is head causing death.Iam serious {If alcohol had not be involved this could have been ruled a LODD.}
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

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    Originally posted by Coldfront:

    Whats pathetic about caring for ones family after a tragic death.If the powers to be, rule this a LODD there would be no dishonor to any of our fallon brothers.The chief was the vitim here,not the murder.This would be no different if the chief had been murder at the fire station,city council meeting or on the convention floor if not for the alcohol.
    -------------------------------------------------


    Coldfront,

    Your a drinker yourself............aren't you?

    That is the most ridiculous thing that I have heard on these forums in a long time, and thats saying something. Its too bad a man died, but he had a BAC of .2 himself. Regardless of the fact that the man that beat him was wrong, I am sure the good chief contributed to his own demise. Name any other time a fire service employee, regardless of rank, would be considered to have died honorably (LODD) with a BAC twice the legal limit. I think there is a term for all those other times......neglegent.
    RK
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    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Exclamation I Feel The Love!

    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a
    Originally posted by Coldfront:

    Whats pathetic about caring for ones family after a tragic death.If the powers to be, rule this a LODD there would be no dishonor to any of our fallon brothers.The chief was the vitim here,not the murder.This would be no different if the chief had been murder at the fire station,city council meeting or on the convention floor if not for the alcohol.
    -------------------------------------------------


    Coldfront,

    Your a drinker yourself............aren't you?

    That is the most ridiculous thing that I have heard on these forums in a long time, and thats saying something. Its too bad a man died, but he had a BAC of .2 himself. Regardless of the fact that the man that beat him was wrong, I am sure the good chief contributed to his own demise. Name any other time a fire service employee, regardless of rank, would be considered to have died honorably (LODD) with a BAC twice the legal limit. I think there is a term for all those other times......neglegent.
    Drinker is that some who drinks.Not me!You be hard press to find any cold ones at my house.The wife makes that clear.

    I do not agree with the statement that he contributed to he own demise unless he struck himself in the head, causing his own death.You say did not die honorable, however can you say he was not honorable. If you would read a post before a reply you would note that WE AGREE on the fact that having any aclohol in you system SHOULD prevent you from any benefits.Again I State, if not for the BA factor his death could be ruled a LODD.He was at a fire conference.If he had be MURDER walking to the hotel after the conference would it be LODD?
    Last edited by coldfront; 08-22-2005 at 10:16 PM.
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    We need to revisit the meanings of LODD. If the fire service doesn't address it soon then it will be addressed for us. That is one thing about bringing the fire service into the limelight - people are starting to look hard at what we do. A LODD is not something that needs to be haphazardly applied. It is hard to imagine that this would even for a moment be considered.
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    Thumbs down NOT an LODD -- regardless of how you look at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by coldfront
    Again I State, if not for the BA factor his death could be ruled a LODD. He was at a fire conference. If he had be MURDER walking to the hotel after the conference would it be LODD?
    To me, the BAC isn't a factor in whether this is a LODD. Going to a bar and having a few drinks wasn't any part of this guy's duty -- regardless of whether there was a fire convention in town or not. LODD means Line Of Duty Death. Was this chief on duty? Was his death a result of that duty? No and no, again. So, it's not an LODD.

    I'm sorry this thread has turned in this direction. Certainly, I feel for the brothers in this company who have lost their friend and chief. And I feel for the chief's family as a sudden death is always tragic, regardless of circumstances.

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    Cozmosis......Well put.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Cozmosis

    I feel for his family and his brothers on the job. However the subject of a LODD is seperate. It is not personal nor should it ever be. However, when is the right time for us to ever discuss anything?

    I would never have posted again on this if the LODD had not been mentioned. Once that was brought up it became a seperate issue.
    Jacktee

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    Guys you right!

    I felt to need to defend the chief just on the bases of many unknown factors in the case.We our all on the same side here.My throughts and prayers are with his family and fellow firefighters.
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    Cosmo, my friend; I agree with you 1000%.
    BUT...we will not be the ones deciding whether it is or it isn't.
    BUT STILL; if this goes down as an LODD, then getting alcohol out of the firehouses, convincing firefighters that it is a bad choice to drink and respond and reducing the problems associated with alcohol that is associated with fire departments, will not happen in my lifetime.
    That said, I know nothing of this chief's character, so I will not offer an opinion on that. He has a grieving family and friends and right now the circumstances of his death are the farthest things from their minds.
    There is sorrow in their lives and nothing discussed here can change that.
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    There has been a history in NJ of FF dying in ARE at the Convention in Wildwood, NJ. But that never prompts the powers that be to move it or change the format. Of course, one could make the argument that there are bars everywhere and that this was after the convention. Exactly. It was unrelated to his duty at the convention.

    Here is how he contibuted to his own demise:
    He started walking out then turned around to say something. The suspect, George Lightcap IV of Nanty Glo, got up and ran to Stringer punching him in his face.
    As a person who is familiar with bar fights...from both sides of the event...I am relatively certain that he did not say "Good night y'all!"

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    BUT STILL; if this goes down as an LODD, then getting alcohol out of the firehouses, convincing firefighters that it is a bad choice to drink and respond and reducing the problems associated with alcohol that is associated with fire departments, will not happen in my lifetime.
    The alcohol was not in a firehouse. It was in a bar. Trying to convince firefighters, or anyone for that matter, about the dangers of alcohol are beyond our reach. What we can do, and will do because the worm is turning, is address exactly what a LODD is...that will happen in our lifetime.
    Last edited by JackTee09; 08-23-2005 at 07:44 AM.
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    The long and short of this is that this guy got himself killed in a bar fight while attending a convention, which is a social event, not a departmental duty by any means. What's more, he was drinking, which, by definition, should mean he was OOS and not participating in a sanctioned fire department activity.

    There's no stretch of the imagination by which this could reasonably be considered a line of duty death. This is a stupid, preventable death that happened to involve someone in the fire service while they were attending a big party. Period.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsnyder
    The long and short of this is that this guy got himself killed in a bar fight while attending a convention, which is a social event, not a departmental duty by any means. What's more, he was drinking, which, by definition, should mean he was OOS and not participating in a sanctioned fire department activity.

    There's no stretch of the imagination by which this could reasonably be considered a line of duty death. This is a stupid, preventable death that happened to involve someone in the fire service while they were attending a big party. Period.
    Not to mention the fact that his BAC was .20, .12 over the legal limit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    Not to mention the fact that his BAC was .20, .12 over the legal limit.
    What legal limit would that be? I wasn't aware that there was a legal limit to how much alcohol one could consume unless one was driving...

    IMHO, this is a non-issue. The guy went out drinking; drank a fair amount; got into a bar fight; got his butt kicked; and subsequently died. It's a sad story but, unfortunately, not an uncommon one. I'd be surprised if it was even tried as a "murder" case.

    He didn't do anything illegal and he didn't do anything wrong. He may have done something stupid, but the story doesn't tell us that for sure. All we know for sure is that he gambled on putting himself into a potentially dangerous situation and lost. The fact that he happened to be a fire chief -- or a firefighter, for that matter -- is irrelevant. There is no LODD here, just a guy who lost a bar fight big time.

    Since he was, theoretically, attending a fire convention, it's possible he'll receive some worker's compensation coverage from his employer (volunteers are treated as employees in many states) but, even so, that shouldn't be the definition we use to determine a LODD.

    We can all mourn for the loss of a fellow firefighter, but let's recognize this as what it is. And it's not a LODD by any stretch of the imagination.
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    What legal limit would that be? I wasn't aware that there was a legal limit to how much alcohol one could consume unless one was driving...
    We are arguing semantics. Drunk is drunk. If he was planning to drive away from the bar, he would have been legally drunk. If he held a CDL, he would be .16 over the legal limit.

    Some people are instant buttholes.. all you have to do to reconstitute their personality is to introduce alcohol.

    Whether the charges will be assualt and battery, manslaughter or murder is up to the District Attorney to decide, not us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    We are arguing semantics. Drunk is drunk. If he was planning to drive away from the bar, he would have been legally drunk. If he held a CDL, he would be .16 over the legal limit.
    Nope. Arguing facts versus presumptions. Seriously. We have only limited facts about the case and I just won't jump to conclusions. In fact, he would not even have been legally drunk "if he was planning to drive away from the bar". No state that I know of has a law against planning to drive while impaired. PDWI?

    We do know that he wasn't driving so his BAC remains irrelevant. From my own extra-curricular experience, I know that there are usually plenty of bars within walking distance of the convention center and even more just a short taxi ride away. So I'm not about to jump to the conclusion that this guy was about to get into a car and drive under the influence. He's dead -- we can't ask him.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    Some people are instant buttholes.. all you have to do to reconstitute their personality is to introduce alcohol.
    Got that right... Some don't even need the alcohol. Around here we tend to make them Fire Commissioners, but that's another thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    Whether the charges will be assualt and battery, manslaughter or murder is up to the District Attorney to decide, not us.
    Obviously. But, if the limited information given is even reasonably accurate, I'd bet on a lesser charge than murder absent some pretty strong extenuating circumstances.

    Stay safe!
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