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  1. #41
    MembersZone Subscriber nozzelvfd's Avatar
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    Jan 2003


    There should be some sort of national law that all certified firefighters regardless of what state they get there cert from, are covered no matter what part of the country there in when acting to save or help the lives of others until the local department/help arrives. I mean for the most part police have the right to act, even if there off duty in another local???

    I don't know just my thoughts....maybe I am talking out of the wrong orifice again....
    You need only two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the duct tape.

  2. #42
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    Division 24

    Default We arent talking about plumbers

    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace

    If a Union plumber burns himself helping out his neighbor install a hottub on the weekend, should his employer have to cover the treatment for the injury?

    No, but a Union Firefighter assisting at a catastophic fire where his own department is involved most certainly should.

  3. #43
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Washington, DC/Northern Virginia


    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    No, but a Union Firefighter assisting at a catastophic fire where his own department is involved most certainly should.
    But why should his department cover it? Shouldn't the town where he is doing the work cover it? Just as the neighbor should be the one picking up the tab for the plumber's injury. The guy was not doing the work for his department.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  4. #44
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    Feb 2004


    He's a career firefighter, he wasn't working and he wasn't recalled, Cranston owes him nothing. If an officer from West Warwick ordered him to pull a line then West Warick is, in my opinion, responsible for his injuries.

  5. #45
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    Jan 2005

    Default Similar situation

    With personal experience of similar nature to the quandry faced here, I can say, that it is difficult to say the least, and fights with insurance companies, unions, and fire department officials haunted me for some time.

    I was in uniform, waiting for the subway, on the way to the firehouse, and watched a woman jump in front of the train. I was out of the county I work in. As I was in uniform, with onlookers urging me to do something, I retrieved her, and began the ABC's and CPR. She lived. Thank god that I had a pair of gloves on me, as she had some blood-borne diseases.

    I continued to the firehouse, filled out an exposure form, and the quandry began. Who would cover me, if i contracted something? My own insurance said it was job-related, and the department said that I was on my own. I wound up paying out of pocket for blood work etc...The expense was ridiculous

    All I can say, is that I feel for this guy, and know his pain. It left me disillusioned about the job, and about ever being a samaritan. I have quit stopping at car wrecks that I pass, or helping a stranger who has fallen.

    I think in all, both us and the public lose.

  6. #46
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    Mar 2004

    Default When is a firefighter not a firefighter?

    In a case of property conservation, nah!! but if it is a life-safety issue, like at the "Station Fire" in Rhode Island; by all means please get involved! It would be like witnessing a serious crime in progress and deciding to do nothing about it! Come on!

  7. #47
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    Jul 2004


    Ahem, at the risk of sounding like a liberal, I know a [political] solution to this problem that would eliminate all insurance quandries! But I have learned that despite the union being for the left, that if it isn't conservative it stays out of the firehouse [boards]

  8. #48
    Forum Member mattdog240's Avatar
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    Jan 1999
    Mattydale NY USA

    Cool no coverage

    I think this follows the line of being in the IAFF and volunteering? How is it any diffrent? If I volunteer on my off time and get hurt I screw my family and brothers.. I can't go after my local cause I was volunteering when I got hurt.

    This guy was off duty helping out.. It was a great thing to do. But how can you now say I want to be covered cause I was there helping..but not on the clock

    I myself drew the line years ago. I drive by and let the professionals help. It is thier job, I am off duty.

  9. #49
    Forum Member BCmdepas3280's Avatar
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    Mar 2001

    Default My 2 cents

    We have a clause in our contract that covers us while off duty, and it basically says that you are covered for any off duty actions that you would reasonably take while you are on duty. Translation... if you have the ability to make a difference in a dangerous or life threating situation and you get injuried or killed while doing that you are covered. That being said its very muttish of the city and the arbitrator to hose this guy because he wasn't "on duty"......I guess there right...... your off duty time is truely your own
    IACOJ Membership 2002

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  10. #50
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    University Park, MD


    There is a lot to consider in this whole incident.
    With the incident itself. He was off-duty, up until the point, according to the article, that he was directed by the first arriving officer, to ""grab a line" for himself and another firefighter, and keep water on the door to keep it cool".

    I'm assuming, since not all departments are alike, that this officer had command until relieved by a chief officer, or he "passed" command to the next arriving officer. So, with regard to accountablitity and safety, as soon as the officer is relieved, did he have Mr. Burgess withdrawl from the scene? That's a department liability right there. If you are not properly equipped to operate then you are a risk.

    The "order". With the officer telling Mr. Burgess to grab a line, then according to the "Firefighter Fatality Retrospective Study, April 2002/FA –220" The following definitions apply if Mr. Burgess where killed:

    "Who Is a Firefighter?
    For the purpose of this study,the term firefighter covers all members of organized fire departments in all states,the District of Columbia,and the territories of Puerto Rico,Virgin Islands,American Samoa,Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,and Guam.
    Included are career and volunteer firefighters;full-time public safety officers acting as firefighters;state,territory,a nd federal government fire service personnel,including wildland firefighters and the military;and privately employed firefighters,including employees of contract fire departments and trained members of industrial fire brigades,whether full time or part time.It also includes contract personnel working as firefighters or assigned to work in direct support of fire service organizations.
    The study includes not only local and municipal firefighters,but also seasonal and fulltime employees of the U.S.Forest Service,the Bureau of Land Management,the Bureau of Indian Affairs,the Bureau of Fish and Wildlife,the National Park Service,and state wildland agencies.The definition also includes prison inmates serving on firefighting crews,firefighters employed by other governmental agencies such as the Department of Energy,military personnel performing assigned fire suppression activities,and civilian firefighters working at military installations."


    "What Constitutes an On-Duty Fatality?
    On-duty fatalities include any injury or illness sustained while on duty that proves fatal. The term on duty refers to involvement in operations at the scene of an emergency,whether it is a fire or nonfire incident; being en route to or returning from an incident;performing other officially assigned duties such as training, maintenance, public education, inspection, investigations, court testimony, and fundraising; and being on call, under orders, or on standby duty, except at the individual’s home or place of business."

    With particular attention to the points of definition, Mr. Burgess, is a firefighter, regardless of on or off duty. Therefore he cannot be defined as a civilian.

    With particular attention to the definition of "on duty" (re: fatality) Mr. Burgess was on duty, should he have died, and if this was not his home or current place of business.

    So, the worst question out of all of this is possibly, would he have been better off had he been gravely injured? Saddly, he most certainly would have qualified for a LODD had it happened.

    Handlines. Mr. Burgess was instructed to pull a line for himself and another firefighter. The question is, did the officer instruct Mr. Burgess to pull a handline of his own? Huge engine company operation error. Never stretch lines in parallel, but always in series. Get the first properly stretched, advanced, chased, supplied and filled, before stretching the second, especially if working off the tank. Could this be part of why they ran out of water? Despite what is showing, the basics have to be covered.

    Accountability, both operationally and corporately.
    Mr. Burgess sought out a chief officer and told him he was going to look for his date. Mr. Burgess is no longer operating on the fireground, correct? He has withdrawn himself from all suppression duties. Later, he was asked to be treated, but refused and was allowed to leave by another firefighter. Did he sign a release of treatment and liability?

    If a firefighter, not on shift, is on the scene of a fireground/rescue incident, without PPE, and is directed/ordered to become involved, the officer needs to assign, if possible/permissible, the firefighter some duty that would place him at a minimum risk to harm. Why was Mr. Burgess not directed to operate the pump on the first engine? Could Mr. Burgess have been assigned to hand jack the supply line? Could Mr. Burgess have been assigned to provide EMS care?

    If a firefighter from another company/department not on shift is present, does the officer know the skill of this firefighter? Is he liable without knowing this firefighter's credentials?

    If a chief officer has firefighters operating not on shift, and they have been involved in suppression operations, then that chief officer is, whether he knows they are there or not, accountable for their safety and welfare.

    If a firefighter not on shift is involved in suppression operations, whether or not he is injured, he needs to be assessed and treated by EMS personnel.

    If a firefighter not on shift, refuses such, he must sign a release. His "brothers" should be looking out for his best interest, and not let him slip away.

    Departments facing this possible problem should draft a general order or standard operating procedure outling what duties can be done and what cant be done by firefighters not on shift. A second set of PPE should be issued, or available for purchase, if possible. In my own experience, I had to discipline a firefighter who was operating at the scene of a fire without being in full PPE. He was wearing his running pants and, as a ambulance driver with no occupants to attend to, assisted with throwing a ladder and helping to advance a handline at an apartment fire. Despite the best of intentions, he was a risk/liability. Truly, legislation needs to be introduced among departments, unions, muncipalities, and states.

    Finally, we all know those buildings in our first-due. Those "man, I hope I'm off when that place lights off" places. If we do nothing about those places, then we turn a blind eye to the hazards and risks associated. And perhaps one of us dies as a result.
    Last edited by bcarey; 01-19-2006 at 03:58 PM.

  11. #51
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    Oct 2005

    Default Firefighters aren't plumbers

    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace
    If a Union plumber burns himself helping out his neighbor install a hottub on the weekend, should his employer have to cover the treatment for the injury?
    Firefighters aren't plumbers. Firefighting isn't just a job, if it were we wouldn't have badges.

    Firefighters are public servants, just as police officers are. If an off-duty cop witnesses the commission of a violent felony and decides not intercede, s/he has failed the public trust. If an off-duty firefighter is present during a mass-casualty incident and decides not to help, then s/he has also failed the public trust.

    Would the situation have been different if the incident occured within the firefighter's own city of employment, even if he was off-duty?

    I understand the legal position of the City of Cranston, although by not taking care of their own Firefighter the city itself is violating the public trust. This certified Firefighter wasn't freelancing, he checked-in with the Incident Commander ( I asusme the LT of the first-arriving apparatus was the IC at the time) and did what the IC directed him to do. He was acting as a defacto Volunteer Firefighter during the incident; perhaps West Warwick's insurance should cover him, since he was pressed into service by a West Warwick officer.

    Whatever the legal outcome, my solution to prevent other incidents is this: work with state legislators to pass laws codifying a "duty to act" and protecting "state-certified" Firefighters when they respond to an emergency -whether on-duty or off in their own city, or in another city within the same state, or states with mutual aid pacts.

    A Sodier is a Soldier, 24/7
    A Cop is a Cop, 24/7
    and a Firefighter is a Firefighter, 24/7


  12. #52
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    Jan 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by THTMAN
    The city says they will not cover him because he was "off duty", but I bet if he was to get into trouble with the law when "off duty" they would be bringing Department charges against him. What's the difference between the two?

    I agree, if one of us where to get a DWI while "off duty" we would certainly be suspended at the very least if not right out fired. Whats the difference?

  13. #53
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    Jun 2005


    Alright I know I'm new,only been in for 3 years. But am I missing something here? Aren't we taught that our safety comes first? While Mr. Burgess was fighting this fire feeling the heat of the fire, didn't something click and he should have thought hey this is getting hot, I shouldn't be here?
    Before everyone jumps, let me say put in the same situation I'd get involved too. But knowing that I didn't have the right protection there's a time to back off. He wasn't responsible for all of those people. Yes. I know you get caught in the (no pun intended) heat of the situation and do what you need to do, but personal safety should come first. Just as everyone says "Stay Safe." He probably should've done what his girlfriend did and gone across the street and helped there.

  14. #54
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    Nov 2005
    Onalaska, WA, USA

    Default someone finally said it...

    bcarey finally put in writing what I was thinking the whole time....

    I come from an all volunteer fire department. No one is paid, not even the chief. And our training would be considered hysterical to all of you. Kind of the blind leading the blind. But even a blind man could tell when his eye brows are getting burned!

    I’m not saying that I wouldn’t have helped. I’m sure most of us would have done the same thing, gone up and said, “Hey, I’m a firefighter how can I help?” It’s after that point that it seems to have all gone down hill.

    What was the IC thinking? I know my bunker gear won’t fit up my sleeve. Or maybe the IC thought he had his Superman spandex suit under his jeans and T-shirt. Was the IC wrong to ask him to JOIN in and help? No. Was he wrong to tell him to take a hose line up to the burning building? Yes. And if he didn’t look at the IC and tell him, “No, I will not do that. How else can I help?”, then in my opinion, he was drinking.

    He was put into duty by the IC who is a firefighter in the fire department which is run by the city. Yes, the city should pay him. And the IC should get reamed. And he should get his hand slapped for putting himself BACK into a dangerous situation.

    (You know what is stupid… the city is going to bill and fine the club and the entertainment company for starting a fire! But they won’t pay a tenth of what they will get.)

    Does he have PTSD? I’ll bet he does. But not from fighting the fire. Everyone who came out of the club alive is probably in therapy. And sending a bill to the club and entertainment company. Shouldn’t he also?

  15. #55
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Dec 1999
    NW Ohio

    Default from the very front page of the site .........

    Rhode Island: Should Firefighter Have Jumped into Emergency?

    Updated: 01-19-2006 11:38:19 AM


    Firehouse Forum Discussion: When is a firefighter not a firefighter?

    CRANSTON -- When is a firefighter not a firefighter?

    Steven Burgess thought he was a firefighter the night The Station nightclub burned to the ground. He went as a concertgoer, out on a date.

    But as the fire consumed the club, the Cranston firefighter joined West Warwick's Fire Department, fire hose in hand, as they fought the blaze -- standing close enough that the heat burned his clothes and singed his eyebrows off.

    The City of Cranston saw it differently. While he acted heroically and deserved praise, the city said, Burgess was no firefighter that night; he was a private citizen doing what he could to help.

    Cranston denied his request for injured-on-duty status when he sought treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder stemming from the events of that night, Feb. 20, 2003.

    Surprised, Burgess and the fire union appealed to an arbitrator, who agreed with the city last summer -- Burgess deserved praise, the arbitrator said, but not city coverage.

    "It was kind of shocking. I thought you're here to serve and protect life and property, 24 hours a day," Burgess said of the result.

    Now, Burgess said, something eats away at him. The next time, would he be so quick to jump in and help? Will other firefighters rush to throw themselves into danger when off-duty, knowing that their families will not be covered if something happens to them?

    He says he would do the same thing again. But there is a tinge of doubt.

    "There's a line there now, that you never understand why it's there -- you think, where did this come from? What happened?"

    STEVEN BURGESS had seen fire before, but always from behind the relative safety of his firefighter's mask.

    But when the flames shot up during the first moments of Great White's set, his blood turned to ice.

    Burgess, now 36, was there to see a band from his youth, hang out with some friends he knew at the club. He had played there before as a member of the Newport-based rock band, Those Guys, and knew the layout and the staff well. He'd been around the club before in a professional capacity as well, having spent 1996 to 2000 as a West Warwick firefighter before joining Cranston.

    Within 20 seconds of the fire starting, he knew the flames were more than a fire extinguisher could handle. He told a bartender friend of his to leave immediately, and then turned to his date.

    "You're not going to believe what you're going to see. I want you to get out of here," he told her.

    He led her into the club's kitchen, and opened a side door out just as the crowd at large began to realize that something had gone horribly wrong, and began streaming toward the front door.

    Burgess told his date to go across the street, and headed back to the kitchen door. He opened it, thinking to lead others out that way. He was immediately overcome by smoke, and pulled back.

    "If I went back in, I knew I wasn't coming out," he said.

    He ran along the burning building to the front entrance, where he joined several others in dragging survivors through the club's broken windows. Burgess sliced up his hands and arms on the glass.

    Moments later, the first West Warwick fire truck arrived.

    Burgess ran up to the truck. He saw a friend, Lt. Roger St. Jean, from his days in West Warwick.

    "There's 100 people trapped up against that door," Burgess said he told St. Jean.

    St. Jean looked over the situation, and then told Burgess to "grab a line" for himself and another firefighter, and keep water on the door to keep it cool.

    That "order," the union later said, transformed Burgess from a private citizen to a firefighter doing his job.

    He ran to the West Warwick truck, unfurled a hose line, and began shooting water onto the building's front door.

    Burgess stood 15 feet from the fire and held his line. "It was amazing how hot that was," he said, having never been so close before without his gear on.

    Soon the truck ran out of water. As more firefighters arrived on-scene, Burgess ran to secure other water sources and pump water to the front lines.

    As better-equipped firefighters -- including a contingent from Cranston -- arrived by the truckload, he found a West Warwick battalion chief, and told him that he was going to go look for his date.

    He wandered for close to an hour, until he found her across the street at the Cowesett Inn, tending to burn victims. Medical personnel wanted to keep him at the inn because of his cuts and heat exposure, but he persuaded a firefighter at one of the back doors to let him leave. Steven Burgess went home.

    THE ISSUE of where the line between on-duty and off-duty falls is not new; firefighters generally know that if they help a person on the side of the road, any injuries they incur will not be covered.

    But Burgess' case is different, his union said. The scope of the disaster aside, Burgess joined a firefighting operation in progress, and was ordered to "grab a line" by a West Warwick fire officer.

    "You cannot neglect a fire officer's order to help," said Paul Valletta, president of Local 1363 of the International Association of Firefighters in Cranston. During Burgess' arbitration, Valletta cited several provisions of state law that he said meant Burgess could have faced prosecution if he had not helped when asked.

    Chief Robert Warren of Cranston said he would have been "disappointed" had Burgess not helped, and Chief Charles D. Hall of West Warwick, said that if he had learned that Burgess had been there and not joined the firefighting, he would have taken him to task.

    "In our profession, there's an unspoken duty to perform. Refusal to act, to me, is almost a chargeable offense. If he had not assisted? I think I would have had something to say about it," Hall said.

    Burgess said he knows this ethos well. If he hadn't helped, his fellow firefighters in Cranston would never have looked at him the same way.

    "I would have been alienated. My next 20 years would have been real tough."

    But helping took its toll.

    IT WAS the morning after the fire, and Burgess had not slept. He sat in his chair, the television on, as the phone calls started to trickle in.

    He had the day off, and he spent it in that one spot, He sat and stared at the television for 24 hours straight, ignoring the phone and the messsages that flooded his answering machine as concerned friends and family called to check on him.

    He was rattled -- shocked, he said. The idea of seeing a fire truck made him nauseous.

    He took one day off, to clear his head, and was told by the Fire Department that he would be placed on injured-on-duty status. He took the day, and then returned to work.

    "I kind of forced myself to come back. I almost threw up on the way there," he said.

    He tried to bury himself in the job. But as the months went on, the images of the inside of that club never went away.

    "I had a problem every time I got in the shower. I kept trying to wash it off. It wouldn't come off," he said.

    He went to counseling, and to his family doctor, where he was prescribed antidepressant medication. He was curious, however, as to why he had to pay his copays for the doctor visits and the medication. Wasn't he on injured-on-duty? Doesn't the city pick up those costs?

    It was then that Burgess learned that the city had denied his claim.

    "I didn't understand. I had assumed everything was taken care of," he said.

    PAUL G. GRIMES, director of administration for Mayor Stephen P. Laffey, said that he was impressed by Burgess' actions, but after consulting with the city's labor lawyers, believed that giving Burgess injured-on-duty status would be a precedent-setting blurring of the line between on- and-off duty.

    "It was very clear that the right thing to do was to keep that line of off-duty in place," Grimes said. Just because the incident was the famous Station nightclub fire and not an injury incurred assisting a stranded motorist is no reason to respond differently.

    "It's a very emotional subject. It's emotional for everybody in the state of Rhode Island. But that shouldn't color our decision," he said.

    "Maybe it makes us the bogeyman -- but I think reasonable people understand."

    Additionally, Grimes said that the union's argument that he was ordered to assist is specious. A West Warwick lieutenant has no jurisdiction over a Cranston firefighter.

    Then the negotiations began. The union and the Laffey administration have notoriously bad relations, but Valletta said that "with all the fights I've had with this administration, it never crossed my mind that they would deny it."

    "They should have been giving this kid commendations, and instead they turned their back on him," he said.

    Valletta said he understood the administration's argument that it feared setting a precedent. But the city can make exceptions when it chooses; in 1983, Cranston paid the funeral expenses of a firefighter who was killed responding to an accident on his way to work.

    Valletta offered to sign a letter saying that if the city gave Burgess injured-on-duty status, it would not set any sort of legal or anecdotal precedent. Grimes refused, saying the letter was a smokescreen.

    "Does it really not set a precedent? It's almost like a dance. Of course,it sets a precedent," Grimes said.

    "If we would have granted him injured-on-duty status, boy, that be a tough one to prove against if he goes for a disability pension," he said.

    Burgess vehemently denies that he would ever want a pension -- he said it was hard enough for him to swallow his pride and ask his doctor about a potential stress disorder, and to talk to reporters now.

    The union filed a grievance against the city, and took the issue to arbitration. The arbitrator said that he sympathized with Burgess, but last summer denied the union's position. The city's contract with its union, arbitrator Lawrence Katz wrote, defines the line between on- and off-duty -- clearly.
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  16. #56
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    Angry West Warwick Responsible

    What we all have to remember is this guy acted because he was NEEDED. West Warwick runs with 2 guys on a piece. The closest station was a few hundred yards up the street…but with only two guys on that engine and very few fire fighters coming with the first alarm; Burgess had no choice but to help. Don’t forget he was previously employed by West Warwick FD; he was well aware of their staffing situation. He knew there wasn’t going to be enough help for quite some time.

    So, who’s responsible is it for having two guys on a pump and for having so few fire fighters on duty that night? The City of West Warwick. The level of involvement by Fire Fighter Burgess, and the resulting injuries, was the result of insufficient staffing. Even if twenty guys arrived within the first few minutes Burgess’s help would have been needed. His role would have been support, not suppression and his injuries would have been less likely.

    The Cranston union and Fire Firefighter Burgess went after the wrong municipality.

  17. #57
    Forum Member Roch207's Avatar
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    May 2003


    Quote Originally Posted by Dalmatian190
    1) Shouldn't the Club's insurance be covering these costs?

    Da ya honestly think any nightclub owned by two local brothers in the U.S. covers sufficient insurance TO COVER 100 FREAKING DEATHS, never mind all the injuries & other liabilities?

    "Hi Geico, yeah, um how much is the premium for a one billion dollar insurance policy?"

    2) The Mayor of Cranston is a mutt. He recently billed the Union for the use of apparatus when the Union gave a presentation on firefighting equipment & basic tactics to the City Council.

    3) I don't know about the career guys, and this is a different state, but under Connecticut's worker's comp law for Volunteer Firefighters, this situation would have been black-and-white that it was covered by worker's compensation by the volunteer's home department.

    Which I guess means know your local laws 'cause they can be quirky.
    Volunteer firefighters are not covered under RI workers comp laws. As for the Dedarian brothers (owners) they didn't even have workers comp insurance for their employees. They have been cited $1 million dollars by the state for failure to carry wc insurance.

  18. #58
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    If we had to spend 30 minutes writing up procedures as for what happens when we are injured for every special case (including: jumping in to assist neighboring departments of which we are not members), we wouldn't get **** done. It isn't our job to spend all day worrying about such compensation. It seems as though the cities of Cranston and West Warwick should be able to share responsibility and work together (yeah, I know, I'm talking funny) to help this firefighter.

    I really hope that someone stops and realizes the helpful nature of FF Burgess. I'm sure that Burgess was not thinking about compensation at all while manning the nozzle or directing victims through the smoke to exits, but when he went for treatment, he was expecting at least some help.

    Whether the Officer of the West Warwick FD told him to help or not should not even be an issue. Or that he was once a member of the West Warwick FD. It seems from the articles that Burgess did exactly what should be done in this situation. He saw maybe 4 FFs and 100+ panicked victims. He offered to help, and did what the on-duty FFs asked (No freelancing? That's so...weird).

    It would be nice to know why he was put on the nozzle with no gear, but I'm guessing the lack of firefighters initially on scene had something to do with that. I'm sure there are even more details to the story than what is posted so far.

    But, To answer the Q:

    When is a firefighter not a firefighter?

    Maybe when the streets of Hell are lined with working hydrants.

    But since when do city officials know anything about the firefighters who keep keep their taxpayers alive?

  19. #59
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    Thumbs up how true

    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    Did his department respond on mutual aid ? If so, shouldnt he be covered? Sounds like the city is being cheap and vindictive. I would have liked to hear all the moaning from the peanut gallery if he did nothing to assist. This was a once-in-a lifetime event for these departments. (hopefully) and special situations should be handled as such.
    i absolutely agree they would of called him everything but a firefighter. heck he probably would of been fired....amazing huh!

  20. #60
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    Oct 2005


    Exhibit One that some people, well, far too many Americans believe and think in the mindset that we live in a perfect world:

    So, with regard to accountablitity and safety, as soon as the officer is relieved, did he have Mr. Burgess withdrawl from the scene? That's a department liability right there.

    Ok, so where does the greater liability exist:

    1) Stopping on-going firefighting operations to take an effective attendance

    2) Continue to put water on the fire and effect rescues.

    There is no department in the world that has an accountability system strong enough to handle a situation like that, it's not reasonable to expect anyone to have a system effective enough to handle it, and there are far higher priorities.

    Y'all are recalling, we're not talking about a hypothetical situation ****ed up beyond all belief, but an actual one?

    5200 square foot building, heavy fire shown, known multiple victims trapped, TWO HUNDRED FRICKING CASUALTIES ALREADY OUTSIDE, the worse loss of life in the U.S. by fire in 25 years, a fire that isn't just a "career" fire but one that from the moment you pull up you know will be still discussed in fire service books fifty years from now like the Coconut Grove or the Beverly Hills Supper Club. Resources, including cover companies, being called in from a 30 mile radius.

    We're not talking about what needs to be done to establish a security perimeter, what you might be doing in an hour, how you'll provide accountability at a sustained operation over the next six months...we're talking about a situation when there was immediate life-saving operations in progress and the scope was far beyond any officially on-duty, uniform resources on scene could handle.

    Sorry for the vent, but jeepers, don't go down the "well, there was liability because..." trail on trivial things compared to the scope of that incident.

    We don't live in a perfect world, you do the best with what you have and you try to fix what you wished you could've done better afterwards.
    Last edited by Dalmatian190; 01-19-2006 at 09:34 PM.

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