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  1. #61
    Forum Member emtbff927's Avatar
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    No. Check the first post. The government decided. Family, friends, other firefighters, and Weldon (?) petitioned for appeals. Now there are more petitions to "If the Department of Justice or anyone else in the government reads this with as many signatures as possible they have to do something about it." The current decision/appeal is because people petitioned their government leaders. The government did not start this appeal process.
    The family appealed first. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims over-turned the first verdict and ruled in favor of the family. The current appeal is by the PSOB to try to over-turn the current ruling that states Chris was a firefighter.

    The problem with some of you is that you believe a wrong has occurred and it hasn't. The right decision was made under the law and people are wanting an exception made in this case. I admire Chris Kangas and appreciate his service to his fire department, but unfortunately, the parameters under which he conducted activities for his fire department do not meet the parameters of the DOJ PSOBs program.
    The last decision made under the law was in a court room. The judge ruled that Chris was a firefighter.

    The main question is whether or not he is concidered a firefighter by the US DOJ PSOB's qualifications. Here they are. I'm sure there will be much debate over these definitions...

    Firefighter means an individual who—
    (1) Is trained in—
    (i) Suppression of fire; or
    (ii) Hazardous-materials emergency response; and
    (2) Has the legal authority and ‑responsibility to engage in the suppression of fire, as—
    (i) An employee of the public agency he serves, which legally recognizes him to have such (or, at a minimum, does not deny (or has not denied) him to have such); or
    (ii) An individual otherwise included within the definition provided in the Act, at 42 U.S.C. 3796b(4).

    Suppression of fire means extinguishment, physical prevention, or containment of fire, including on-site hazard evaluation.

    Hazardous-materials emergency response means emergency response to the threatened or actual release of hazardous materials, where life, property, or the environment is at significant risk.

    42 U.S.C. 3796b(4): "firefighter" includes an individual serving as an officially recognized or designated member of a legally organized volunteer fire department

    Officially recognized or designated member of a department or agency means a member of a department or agency, or of an instrumentality, of a government described in the Act, at 42 U.S.C. 3796b(8), who is officially recognized (or officially designated) as such a member by the same.


    PS- Here's the web site with this information:
    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ogc/PSOB_Ac...ions__2006.htm
    Last edited by emtbff927; 01-23-2007 at 06:38 PM.


  2. #62
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny46 View Post
    I like mine better. It actually uses logic and made me think I might want to reconsider my position. Your statement seems rooted in an insecurity about your own abilities. I am willing to entertain that there may be 14 years olds who owuld run circles around "adult" firefighters, given the proper training. In our culture (modern America,) I would from anecdotal experience think this to be fairly rare.
    Maybe that is the case in your FD.. by the way, how many 14 year olds are "on the job in your FD? We are dying to know the answer.

    What is universally inherent to the 14 year old that they cannot be firefighters? Do you believe childhood is an objective reality. Immutable, in other words?
    While there may be a 14 year olds with genius IQ's, and 14 year olds with their acts together, there are also 14 year olds who have no clue. I taught fire safety in the schools.. trust me, I know where I am coming from on this issue.

    In a previous post, I asked how many 14 year olds were allowed to work as corrections officers and cops, as industrial workers or even in a supermarket operating a slicer in a delicatessen. The answer is... none. Why do people like you insist that a it's okay for a 14 year old to be a firefighter?

    Reality is... 14 year olds do not belong as members of a fire department or a on a fireground... and that. sir, is an immutable fact.

    I didn't realize you knew him personally.
    Did you know Chris Kangas personally? Answer the question...

    You think I'm misunderstanding your argument, or the nature of junior firefighters?

    Your argument: 14 year olds cannot be firefighters (there's no why offered, though you have alluded to legal issues.)

    I've given you a nice way to refute me. Just cut and paste. We'll pretend you made it up.
    Here's three words for you to digest...
    child labor laws.
    ‎"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

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Here's three words for you to digest...
    child labor laws.
    At the risk of causing indigestion,

    Child labor laws are a state issue, and they differ from state to state. What's true in your state may not necessarily be true in mine, or the other 48 for that matter. I can't speak specifically about PA, but from everything I've read so far, Chris was functioning within their laws. If that's not true, I'm confident someone will post to let us all know.

    I've taken the time to look up the laws in my state, and found that there is nothing whatsoever mentioned about firefighting. There are specific prohibitions against many of the other examples you cite, like operating a meat slicer, but not a darn thing about firefighting. Again, I'm not saying it's a good idea to pack the kids up & send them in, I'm just saying it's not necessarily illegal.

    Okay, break out the Tums

  4. #64
    MembersZone Subscriber Diane E's Avatar
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    I don't know if someone has pointed this out, I did see Weldon's name, but I didn't feel like reading the four pages of "back and forth" opinions.

    If you do a forum search of Kangas, you'll see a lot of history on this story. There was legislation in the 108th and 109th Congress' to site Chris Kangas as a FF (primarily because his Township and the Commonwealth of PA said he was one).

    The reasoning behind the legislation was the DOJ's "assigning of age". Who's to say the DOJ wouldn't look (somewhere down the line) at the other end of the spectrum and say Joe FF who's 60 and died in the LOD was too old? Or the 75 year old FF that's directing traffic as part of the Fire Police and dies in the LOD (regardless of how long he's been in the dept)?

    Firefighter Fatalities in the U.S. in 2002 bottom of page 29 in the gray box -- the youngest firefighter killed in 2002 was Christopher Kangas of Pennsylvania...:

    http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pd...ons/fa-260.pdf

    Someone asked about Child Labor Laws:

    http://www.pafirefighter.net/Article...dLaborlaws.asp
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
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  5. #65
    MembersZone Subscriber Diane E's Avatar
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    Default National Junior Firefighter Program

    This joint venture should help to standardize the variety of programs across the country -- take advantage of it if you have a Junior FF program!

    NVFC and Spartan Motors to Create National Junior Firefighter Program

    The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and fire truck and rescue vehicle maker Spartan Motors have partnered to create and promote the first national Junior Firefighter Program aimed at supporting existing volunteer departments by fostering relationships and engaging youth in learning about, and ultimately becoming, members of the emergency services.

    “The need for well-trained and highly-motivated volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel throughout America’s communities has never been greater,” said Philip C. Stittleburg, Chairman of the NVFC. “Over 70% of the firefighters who protect our nation are volunteers. Yet, statistics show that while fire department call volume is steadily increasing, the number of volunteers is decreasing.”

    According to the NVFC, the causes for the downward trend in volunteers are varied, including increasing time demands on two-income families, more rigorous training standards, and limited advocacy for volunteering among youth. Retention and recruitment of new members has never been more challenging.

    Recognizing these challenges, Washington, D.C.-based NVFC and Charlotte, Mich.-based Spartan Motors joined forces to reach out to America’s youth and engage them in non-operational roles within emergency departments. Reaching out to people when they are young has long-range effects, and encouraging youth to take part in the emergency services is extremely beneficial to local communities and departments. Benefits of junior firefighter programs include:
    • Allowing youth to gain insight and interest in becoming long-term members of the emergency services
    • Increasing awareness among youth about volunteering and supporting the fire and emergency services
    • Providing departments with additional help in accomplishing non-firefighting or non-emergency tasks
    • Leadership development for America’s youth, who are tomorrow’s leaders
    • Educating parents and mentors on the importance of encouraging volunteerism

    “Spartan Motors has long been committed to manufacturing safe, well-equipped vehicles to assist our nation’s firefighters in saving lives. Yet, this is still a people-dependant business. This partnership allows us to expand our reach by educating and encouraging young people to give serious consideration to volunteering their time and energy to firefighting as a youth and into adulthood,” said John Sztykiel, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. “We’re excited to be part of this program and look forward to seeing the impact it will have on increasing the number of volunteer firefighters nationwide.”

    More details about the NVFC/Spartan Motors National Junior Firefighter Program will be announced in the coming months. Additional information is available at www.nvfc.org and www.spartanmotors.com

    About Spartan Motors

    Spartan Motors, Inc. (www.spartanmotors.com) designs, engineers, and manufactures custom chassis and vehicles for the recreational vehicle, fire truck, ambulance, emergency-rescue, and specialty vehicle markets. The Company’s brand names – SpartanTM, Crimson FireTM Crimson Fire AerialsTM, and Road RescueTM – are known for quality, value, service, and being the first to market with innovative products. The Company employs approximately 900 people at facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and South Dakota. Spartan reported sales of $343.0 million in 2005 and is focused on becoming the premier manufacturer of specialty vehicles and chassis in North America.

    About NVFC

    The NVFC is the leading nonprofit membership association serving the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. Established in 1976, the NVFC serves as the information source regarding legislation, standards, and regulatory issues. The NVFC offers vital programs and resources to the emergency services, including the Heart-Healthy Firefighter and Fire Corps programs. For more information about the NVFC, visit www.nvfc.org.
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
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  6. #66
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Not for me. The issue to me is whether he is/was a firefighter. He was not allowed to enter an IDLH and attack a fire. He was not allowed to enter an IDLH and perform a search and/or rescue. He was not allowed to ventilate a building in an IDLH. He could not drive a firetruck nor operate one.

    It's not about his age, it's about what he was/was not allowed to do that are a big part of being a firefighter. JMO.
    So Bones, for you it's about training, correct? after all, if someone is trained to do those things, they are a firefighter, right?

    so if you have a proby (22 years old) who dies during his firefighter I class, does that make him a LODD? after all, he's not a minor, and he was doing a FF activity. but again, it all depends on how you interpret the rules.
    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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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite View Post
    So Bones, for you it's about training, correct? after all, if someone is trained to do those things, they are a firefighter, right?

    so if you have a proby (22 years old) who dies during his firefighter I class, does that make him a LODD? after all, he's not a minor, and he was doing a FF activity. but again, it all depends on how you interpret the rules.


    At the age of 22, he is 4 years above the age of 18 .. the age that most FD's require for one to submit an application and to be considered for membership for a VFD or hired as a career firefighter. I believe that yes, in a training session, it would be considered a LODD. If I recall correctly, Brad Golden was 18 when he was killed by stupidity when the Assistant Chief decided to use a couch as fuel in a position where it blocked the escape route and live victims in a live fire exercise in Lairdsville, NY in December of 1999.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 01-23-2007 at 09:54 PM.
    ‎"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

  8. #68
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    Your argument: 14 year olds cannot be firefighters (there's no why offered, though you have alluded to legal issues.)
    No "why" offered?? BECAUSE THEY ARE CHILDREN! NO child should EVER be working in any aspect of public safety. It's called common sense, something you appear to be lacking in greatly. It's painfully obvious to anyone with sense why children shouldn't be working in dangerous situations, nor should they EVER be considered a firefighter.
    You have made nothing but assertions. Oh, and insults, but not creative ones.
    Anyone who believes that children should be firefighters deserves to be insulted...over and over again.
    I like mine better. It actually uses logic and made me think I might want to reconsider my position. Your statement seems rooted in an insecurity about your own abilities.
    Nothing you presented even needs to be addressed. Children as firefighters is unacceptable on the face of it.
    No, I think what makes you want to reconsider your own position is that you are beginning to realize how stupid it is.

  9. #69
    Forum Member johnny46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Maybe that is the case in your FD.. by the way, how many 14 year olds are "on the job in your FD? We are dying to know the answer.

    While there may be a 14 year olds with genius IQ's, and 14 year olds with their acts together, there are also 14 year olds who have no clue. I taught fire safety in the schools.. trust me, I know where I am coming from on this issue.
    Yes, you know quite a bit. I'm dreadfully impressed. I am willing to entertain that there are 14 year olds out there who could do the job. Are you saying this is completely impossible? It's as ridiculous to say any 14 year old could do it as to say none could. I'm merely avoiding extremes. It's possible. I didn't say likely or certain. Possible.


    In a previous post, I asked how many 14 year olds were allowed to work as corrections officers and cops, as industrial workers or even in a supermarket operating a slicer in a delicatessen. The answer is... none. Why do people like you insist that a it's okay for a 14 year old to be a firefighter?
    I never said it was okay.

    Reality is... 14 year olds do not belong as members of a fire department or a on a fireground... and that. sir, is an immutable fact.
    I've never said they did. I believe I've advocated keeping them away from the fireground entirely.


    Did you know Chris Kangas personally? Answer the question...
    Of course not. Never did I claim I did, I merely observed someone making a comment that only someone who knew the kid personally could rightly make.



    Here's three words for you to digest...
    child labor laws.
    Yes, I'm completely unaware of child labor laws. Thank you so much. I shall digest them right away. I've not advocated Explorer programs.

  10. #70
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite View Post
    So Bones, for you it's about training, correct? after all, if someone is trained to do those things, they are a firefighter, right?

    so if you have a proby (22 years old) who dies during his firefighter I class, does that make him a LODD? after all, he's not a minor, and he was doing a FF activity. but again, it all depends on how you interpret the rules.
    Actually DrP, no, I would not say that is a LODD either. "He" is still in his initial training and not yet qualified to do the above mentioned activities. He's learning them, and practicing them, but not done yet. NJ "standard" is Firefighter 1, currently using the Delmar Second Edition. When you complete and pass that course, you are "qualified" to perform the duties of a firefighter in the state. From that point forward IMO, you could qualify for LODD.

    In the last class I ran, there were 18 year olds, a few 20-30 year olds, and 2 or 3 30+ year olds. The age didn't matter, except they do need to be at least 18 to take the course.
    "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?

  11. #71
    Forum Member johnny46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    No "why" offered?? BECAUSE THEY ARE CHILDREN! NO child should EVER be working in any aspect of public safety. It's called common sense, something you appear to be lacking in greatly. It's painfully obvious to anyone with sense why children shouldn't be working in dangerous situations, nor should they EVER be considered a firefighter.
    I'm not saying they should work in any aspect of public safety. Never have. Not in this country, certainly. But our concept of childhood is by no mean universal and your belief that a 14 year old is incapable of being a firefighter is obviously a belief so deeply ingrained in you that you are incapable of rationally defending it. That's understandable. I feel the same way about Knight Rider being the best television show ever, period.

    Anyone who believes that children should be firefighters deserves to be insulted...over and over again.
    I've never said they should, but I shall defend suchpeople by saying that anyone who believes his concept of childhood is universal should be mocked for all eternity.

    I've explained my position already. You're not addressing it and that's not within my power to control.

    Nothing you presented even needs to be addressed. Children as firefighters is unacceptable on the face of it.
    No, I think what makes you want to reconsider your own position is that you are beginning to realize how stupid it is.
    Nope, that's not it. A rational explanation of the position I think you mean to convey as you jam angrily at the abused keys of your computer made me see your side as it may exist without the insults and taunts and utter lack of argument.

    In writing, I have reflected on my opening shot, which I now think might have been needlessly antagonistic. No, I know it was. So I apologize for the tone, but not the message, which is that Kangas was apparently responding because of a fire and thus can rightly be said to have died in the line of duty. A revamp of the system is needed to make sure explorer programs don't permit response or activities on the fireground.

    It has been made clear to me that Kangas was responding to the firehouse, not the fireground. Perhapd I misunderstand the nature of the Explorer programs. We have in Houston a Citizens Fire Academy. They're not firefighters, but they do ride out with us, and one of them dying would not be LODD.

  12. #72
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    1st. How many of you who are AGAINST were JR/EXP?
    2nd. How many of you who are FOR were JR/EXP?
    3rd. Was he covered by the fire dept workman comp insurance?
    4th. Did he have accidental insurance throught the fd?


    I started as a jr when I was 14 and after my first 1st year i was covered by the fd insurance and got FREE accidental insurance through the fd. Oh and by the way im 25.

    If he did have insurance and or was covered by the fd workmans comp then I would have to AGREE that he WAS a ff.

    However if none of the above is true it doesn't matter. We should ALL have some respect for him wanting to help others, wanting to do something that he was interested in, and most of all we should be PROUD to call him a fellow brother!!!! Weather he is classified a CHILD OR NOT!!!
    THATS JUST MY .02.
    Last edited by FIRE508; 01-24-2007 at 05:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIRE508 View Post
    1st. How many of you who are AGAINST were JR/EXP?
    2nd. How many of you who are FOR were JR/EXP?
    3rd. Was he covered by the fire dept workman comp insurance?
    4th. Did he have accidental insurance throught the fd?
    I am in favor of youth fire & EMS programs, provided they are conducted in accordance with recognized standards for safety of the participants, and I was a member of an Explorer Post beginning at age 15.

    I can't speak for Chris, but in my department, the Explorers are not covered by workman's compensation, but are covered under the fire department's insurance policy.

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    signed the petition

    Good luck with getting him on the memorial may he rest in peace.

  15. #75
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    I started as a Junior at 16. We did not have an Explorer program until about 4 years ago. In my Department, Explorers are 14-15. At 16, they can choose to become a Junior member or leave the department. We don't have Explorer members over the age of 15.

    Our Explorer post is covered by BSA insurance, not the towns WC. All employees of the town over the age of 18 are covered by the towns WC insurance. The FD is considered non-paid employees.

    My FD does not offer accidental insurance. We do have a life insurance policy that members receive after 1 year of active service. Active service is 1 year of membership, as a certified 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?

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    How about the kid that drowned in Arkansas ? Should he be included?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIRE508 View Post
    If he did have insurance and or was covered by the fd workmans comp then I would have to AGREE that he WAS a ff.
    Not true at all. There are lots of civilian positions within the fire department, such as secretaries, that are covered under workman's comp, that do not qualify for LODD. Our department has "honorary" firefighters that have fallen under WC just because they like to help out around the station. They are not FF, and can never be, and do not qualify for LODD.

  18. #78
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    At the age of 22, he is 4 years above the age of 18 .. the age that most FD's require for one to submit an application and to be considered for membership for a VFD or hired as a career firefighter. I believe that yes, in a training session, it would be considered a LODD. If I recall correctly, Brad Golden was 18 when he was killed by stupidity when the Assistant Chief decided to use a couch as fuel in a position where it blocked the escape route and live victims in a live fire exercise in Lairdsville, NY in December of 1999.
    Fair enough, so the good Deputy Chief says that it IS all about the age thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Actually DrP, no, I would not say that is a LODD either. "He" is still in his initial training and not yet qualified to do the above mentioned activities. He's learning them, and practicing them, but not done yet. NJ "standard" is Firefighter 1, currently using the Delmar Second Edition. When you complete and pass that course, you are "qualified" to perform the duties of a firefighter in the state. From that point forward IMO, you could qualify for LODD.

    In the last class I ran, there were 18 year olds, a few 20-30 year olds, and 2 or 3 30+ year olds. The age didn't matter, except they do need to be at least 18 to take the course.
    If I'm not mistaken, you can take firefighter I at certain fire academies in either NY or NJ (I looked it up a while ago and don't remember which one) that will allow you to take the live burn portions at 16. No, I don't remember which academy, but I called the academy to verify, and they said 16 was their minimum. and yes, I thought it was too young too, but that was their requirements.

    Also, since you feel the standard should be training (a valid point), what about a fire department chaplain? not a trained firefighters, just a chaplain who performs religious stuff for the fire department. Because if it's a training requirement, then you should be saying a certain chaplain from NYC's name needs to have his name taken off the wall too...

    Like I said, if you are going to make a rule, you got to apply it to everyone equally. Which may not be a popular thing to do
    Last edited by DrParasite; 01-24-2007 at 10:40 AM.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite View Post
    Also, since you feel the standard should be training (a valid point), what about a fire department chaplain? not a trained firefighters, just a chaplain who performs religious stuff for the fire department. Because if it's a training requirement, then you should be saying a certain chaplain from NYC's name needs to have his name taken off the wall too...

    Like I said, if you are going to make a rule, you got to apply it to everyone equally. Which may not be a popular thing to do
    Our chaplain, preist and rabbi are paid members of the department. We don't have any 14 year old paid members on the job here. No explorers, no juniors, just a few retarded fire fans that hang out at the stations and who, by many peoples definitions here, should get benifits? Give me a break. He was a kid who wanted to be a fireman and hung around the station to learn things. I'm sure there are millions of those kids. Are they all firemen?
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    I think what it comes down to is this..

    He was helping out firefighters, however, he is not one.

    He could maybe get some tools, and help clean up, probably not a whole lot more.


    If a nurse hands a doctor a scalpel, does that make her a doctor? No, she/he doesn't do nearly what it takes to be a doctor.


    This case should be cut and dry.

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