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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    Thumbs down If they are afraid to get burned, they're on the wrong job!

    This is from Chief Billy G's list.
    ----------

    Rookie firefighters burned at training
    Chief, former chief say such injuries common
    BY BARRY WILLIAM WALSH
    bwwalsh@marion.gannett.com

    "......If a fireman is on the department and doesn't get burned, he isn't doing his job," Chief Gorrell said. "If they don't get burned, I don't want them our department. If they are afraid to get burned, they're on the wrong job......"

    Two probationary firefighters suffered minor burns Wednesday during a training fire at a home near Indiana Wesleyan University's campus, Marion Fire Chief Steve Gorrell said.

    "It's something that we deal with every working fire we have - somebody will get burned," he said.

    Probationary firefighters Brandon Eckstein and Ryan Simpkins suffered steam burns, caused by the evaporation of liquid on skin, Gorrell said. The burns occurred during a training fire at a vacant residence at 202 E. 38th St.

    "If they aren't completely covered, if any wetness occurs, (a steam burn) is automatic," he said.

    Former Marion Fire Chief Mike Hutcheson, who spent more than 31 years on the city's fire department, agreed.

    "Steam burns can happen about any time when you are fighting fires," Hutcheson said. " ... You just have to be careful what you are doing."

    Neither firefighter's injuries were too serious, Gorrell said. Eckstein's burn caused some redness on his shoulder. He was treated by medical personnel at the scene. Simpkins' burn caused some blisters on his fingers, and he was treated at Work Right Occupational Medicine.

    Gorrell also said the two firefighters were using borrowed fire equipment because the equipment that had been ordered for them had yet to arrive.

    "This will be the last type of hands-on training for a year, so we wanted to jump on there and get them their training as soon as possible," he said.

    The steam burns the two firefighters suffered are part of the training experience that all new firefighters go through, Gorrell said.

    "It's just kind of a common thing," he said. "Once (a firefighter) gets the hang of it, when you feel a certain type of heat, you realize you have got to back up. It kind of shows that they aren't afraid to get in there and fight the fire."

    Gorrell estimated that at every fire a firefighter gets burned in some fashion - some are just more serious than others. Firefighters also have ointment and water at the scene of every fire to treat any burns that do occur.

    "If a fireman is on the department and doesn't get burned, he isn't doing his job," Gorrell said. "If they don't get burned, I don't want them our department. If they are afraid to get burned, they're on the wrong job."
    Always remember the CHARLESTON 9

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  2. #2
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    "......If a fireman is on the department and doesn't get burned, he isn't doing his job," Chief Gorrell said. "If they don't get burned, I don't want them our department. If they are afraid to get burned, they're on the wrong job......"

    Huh?? Am I reading this right? This is a chief talking? So if I go to a good working fire and I don't get burned, I didn't do my job?

    Afraid to get burned? I'm afraid to get burned...Fear keeps you on your toes is what I believe and keeps you safe. Will I not go in because I'm afraid...Of couse not!! But I don't go in looking to get burned. It will happen.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Let's see, in 23 years I have yet to have a burn on me, guess I'm not a firefighter.
    "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?

  4. #4
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    24+ years on, and only burned once... at that was at the Academy working support for a Recruit class (I had a small gap between my hood and my facepiece and got "stung" with small 2nd degree burn).

    I am glad I don't work for that idiot.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  5. #5
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    That's scary that a chief would think like that.

    however, it's even scarier that there are officers that will push their men and women beyond there limits, who will force them to take unsafe risks, and who think and feel the same way this idiot feels.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sconfire
    This is from Chief Billy G's list.
    ----------
    Neither firefighter's injuries were too serious, Gorrell said. Eckstein's burn caused some redness on his shoulder. He was treated by medical personnel at the scene. Simpkins' burn caused some blisters on his fingers, and he was treated at Work Right Occupational Medicine. ."

    I understand that some might look at the strong language used here and say what the #@$%Öbut there is two things Iím wondering about first.
    1) If the local media is trying to fish for a story to make the department look bad, the chief in my opinion did the right thing. We had a problem here similar to it and the media wanted to take a simple steam burn and make it sound like we burnt two guys alive.
    2) From the quote. They were steams burns. And that is something that can happen to anyone anytime and you donít have to be that deep or that careless to have it happen.
    Iím just not ready yet to jump all over this guy yet without knowing more to the story. Plus to some degree I have to agree with him. Although I do not wish on my worst enemy the pain of ANY type burn. If you walk around fearing it and not understanding that someday it might happen. Then maybe you are in the wrong job. Also donít take the word fear and use it out of context. We all fear getting burned. But we do are job.
    Last edited by hfd838; 02-03-2006 at 11:34 AM.
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

  7. #7
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Let's see, in 23 years I have yet to have a burn on me, guess I'm not a firefighter.
    Same here. And all this time I thought I was doing it "right". Oh well, guess I should go flip burgers at Macs steak house.



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  8. #8
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983
    Same here. And all this time I thought I was doing it "right". Oh well, guess I should go flip burgers at Macs steak house.



    Morons.
    Me to you want fries with that.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  9. #9
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    Well I guess I'm a 'real' firefighter then since I once got a small burn on my nose. Which was my own fault since I didn't have my gear on right. The kind of attitude to suggest that you aren't doing it right if you don't get hurt is stupid, and dangerous. I would be looking to join a different dept if my chief thought that way.
    Last edited by ZootTX; 02-03-2006 at 11:23 AM.

  10. #10
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    LOOK....I don't think this Cheif meant we are supposed to look to get burned at every fire. I think he meant on occasion it is a cost we pay for doing the job. I have been burned a few times. Some times just reddening from compression / steam on my shoulders, once a really nasty second degree burn on my forhead because my hood had slid up, another time because a student didn't listen to instruction and do what he was told I got both of my ears burned through my hood, again second degree. No students were injured as I pushed them out of the room.

    Do I wear any of these as a badge of honor? NO, I do not. Do I know that the turn-out gear of today protects me and prevents alot of those steam burns I used to get from that damn Nomex needlepunch and neoprene we used to have? Yes, I do.

    Do I honestly believe that the majority of firefighters will go through their careers and not be burned at some point, mostly minor of course? NO, I do not. I do believe the safety nazis have tried to instill the thought that it is possible to not having anyone get hurt ever at a fire or training. Is that an admirable goal? OF COURSE. Is it possible with interior firefighting in the environment that we work in? No, it is not.

    I am sure many of you will disagree with me. Believe me I am as safety conscious as anyone. I check my students gear before we go in, I explain what I expect them to do and have them explain back to me in their own words what they think I want, I check my guys on the line with me for proper gear, I am aware of my surroundings and know when it is time to leave...will this always and forever prevent any injuires/ NO, it will not because fire controls the building until I take it back from it.

    FyredUp

  11. #11
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    My question is how did they get steam burns? Was it from their own sweat or something else?

    As for the comments...in the greater context of the article...I'm not that concerned....and yes I've gotten burns.

    FTM-PTB

  12. #12
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    Everyone knows that you could get burned, but you, and your department, should be working agressively to prevent burns and other injuries, not just shrugging your shoulders and saying "Oh well, it happens" As one poster pointed out, a little fear keeps you on your toes.

    I was surprised to see they were wearing borrowed gear, because they had not been issued their own gear. If the gear did not fit properly, that could have contributed to the injuries.

  13. #13
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    The GOAL is never to get burned or let your firefighters get burned.

    The FACT is that there are always going to be minor burns .... even to second degree. These are rarely a result of unsafe firefighting practices but rather just general misfortune. Some are preventable but most are not.

    These firefighter injuries are hardly worth a news story but the Chief's comments are out of line. I can appreciate what he is saying but I think such comments are best kept out of the media eye. I don't know the chief but would not judge him solely on any comments reported as such, but more on his hands on approach.

    He might be one of the best out there .... hard to say based on his comments alone. He might also be a danger

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulGRIMWOOD
    These firefighter injuries are hardly worth a news story :
    I agree. This wouldn't even made for good table talk


    Quote Originally Posted by PaulGRIMWOOD
    but the Chief's comments are out of line. I can appreciate what he is saying but I think such comments are best kept out of the media eye. :

    I do disagree here though. Again we don't know what type of questioning the chief was getting. It sounded very defensive, so I assuming he was getting grief for it. So then I total agree with his statements. Why have we become so afraid to let the public know what we go through? Even if it small to us. Also if the two rookies started to cry and say that they were being treated unfair to the media and in the real world they weren't then again I 100% support the chief. I wasn't there so I have no idea what was said and why. Just my thoughts
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

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  15. #15
    Forum Member MEck51's Avatar
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    It seems to me that the first and last statements that the chief is quoted on are the trouble statements.

    "It's something that we deal with every working fire we have - somebody will get burned," he said.
    "If a fireman is on the department and doesn't get burned, he isn't doing his job," Gorrell said. "If they don't get burned, I don't want them our department. If they are afraid to get burned, they're on the wrong job."

    I like to think that this was an off the collar interview and the chief was maybe trying to defend something that happened and just did not think his comments all the way thru. But regardless he said it(or at least it is reported that he did). I do agree with some of what was said, but if the above comments actualy reflect the thoughts of this department they probably need to reevaluate their operational procedures.
    Yes sometimes when you train or are starting out you do tend to go in a little deeper than you should and learn, that is further than needed. Hopefully you have a good instructor with you telling you that is far enough, but I think we know that is not always the case.
    Overall I just hope that the careless attitude was taken out of context and is not something that is practiced. I would hate to think a bunch on newbs are going into a building, not fearing fire and even worse expecting to get burned to prove they are pulling their wieght.

  16. #16
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hfd838
    I do disagree here though. Again we don't know what type of questioning the chief was getting. It sounded very defensive, so I assuming he was getting grief for it. So then I total agree with his statements. Why have we become so afraid to let the public know what we go through? Even if it small to us. Also if the two rookies started to cry and say that they were being treated unfair to the media and in the real world they weren't then again I 100% support the chief. I wasn't there so I have no idea what was said and why. Just my thoughts
    Yes I can accept your point about letting the public know what firefighters go through. To be honest, minor burns don't rank high on the 'hazarous list' in my book though .... you can get worse off the carpet

    I think it's in WHAT (literally) was reported the chief said and not in HOW he said it that is likely to cause him problems.

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    This sounds like a case of the chief not thinking before he opened his mouth combined with a slow news day or a reporter with an axe to grind with the department(the chief in particular).

    The chief made sense in most of his comments until he stated "If a fireman is on the department and doesn't get burned, he isn't doing his job," ... "If they don't get burned, I don't want them our department. If they are afraid to get burned, they're on the wrong job."

    Our job is to put the fire out while keeping ourselves safe. Yes, sometimes you may get burned. Yes, firefighters DO need to understand that this is an inherent danger in our chosen profession. But it should not be seen (or stated) as a goal for us to get burned to prove that we are doing our job "right".

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    I do agree with this should not be our goal to get burned. Nor should burns be used as a badge of honor or some macho ego trip...After reading that one part again I do agree that could have been wording different...
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

  19. #19
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    well that is just plain ol F_________D up ! I have only had a couple of minor burns a LONG time ago when we had the long coats, 3/4 boots and no hoods. But I didnt respond hopin to get burned so that "I could do my job".....
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    The Chief may have been taken out of context or meant something other than the actual words spoken but the truth is, he said it. No matter what is point was, he said that firefighters are not doing their job if they are not burned in a fire. Yes it happens, yes it's part of the job, but I do not agree one bit that not getting burned means you were not doing your job.

    So would it be safe to say an electrician is not doing their job unless they get shocked every time, or a carpenter is not doing their job until they punch a nail through their finger?

    Whether the Chief meant what he said or not, he was out of line.
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