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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Chris Kangas Petition

    Copied from thewatchdesk.com:
    Petition for Fire Fighter Chris Kangas

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    STICKY PLEASE!

    Ok the link is provided at the bottom of the message. I am just coping the article and pasting it here what is said in the petition which you can read when you go to sign for our fallen brother. Mark and myself will answer any questions concerning the petition in PM's. We thank you in advance.

    This Petition is in Honor of Junior Fire Fighter Chris Kangas of Brookhaven Fire Department who died in the Line Of Duty in 2002.

    Chris Kangas, was responding to his firehouse on his bicycle to answer a alarm on May 4, 2002 when he was struck by a motor vehicle. He was taken to Childrenís Hospital with multiple head trauma injuries and passed away early the next morning May 5th, he was 1 day shy of his 15th birthday. We're just devastated," said Jon Grant, President of the Brookhaven Fire Company. "He was just a great kid. I can't believe it happened. It's worse than a nightmare." Despite the fact that Kangas did not die in an actual fire, Brookhaven Fire Company will provide him with full honors at his funeral. "We'll bring out all the trucks and everything for the kid, Grant said.ĒHe died responding to a fire call as if he was on duty."
    As many as 350 firefighters and emergency personnel from 52 departments with 66 pieces of apparatus responded to Kangasís "last call." One firefighter came from as far away as Massachusetts, driving eight straight hours for what he said was "the privilege" to offer his condolences.
    March 30, 2006. Until this week, the U.S. Justice Department had denied the 14-year-old junior firefighter that proud title, literally devaluing the life of the Brookhaven boy who was struck and killed four years ago by a car while riding his bicycle to answer a fire alarm. Without the title, he was not eligible for federal death benefits and, most important to his mother and his fellow firefighters, not eligible to have his name inscribed on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. But Monday, after years of hearings and appeals, U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Marian Blank Horn said, in effect, he deserved to be treated better. "Christopher Kangas died 'in the line of duty' and was a 'firefighter' authorized to be at a fire scene and perform duties as part of a team engaged in the 'suppression of fires' at the time of his death," she wrote in Washington.
    Last May of 2006, the Justice Department appealed an earlier ruling by federal appeals Judge Marian Blank Horn, who ruled in favor of naming Kangas, a firefighter. As a full-fledged firefighter, not only would Chris get his name on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Md., his mother would receive federal death benefits worth more than $260,000. She has already received local and state benefits totaling about $270,000. The money is not what is important to anyone, it is having Chrisís name added to the memorial in Emmitsburg, MD. This past week Chris Kangasís attorney and supporting members attended the hearing in Washington, DC. The court heard 15 minutes of testimony and has announced that it may take up to 90 days for a ruling on the case at hand.

    This petition is for the ďBrotherhoodĒ of fire fighters across the nation. We need to unite together again and stand-up for our fallen brother fire fighter who can not fight this battle himself. If the Department of Justice rules that Chris Kangas is not eligible, this petition will be brought to the ceremony this year 2007 in Emmitsburg, MD. We are asking that members of our Nationwide Brotherhood post the link for the petition on their websiteís, on in-house bulletin boards, on in-house memoís and wherever else that Emergency Service personnel can find the link and sign the petition. Please email the link to any firehouse you know, any fireman that you know. Letís make sure we get our fallen brotherís name on the memorial in Emmitsburg, MD.

    With the support of the ďBrotherhoodĒ we can and will make a difference in someway. 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. Our fallen brother wanted nothing else but to be a real fireman, let us make sure he gets the honor he deserves. He did while responding to a alarm, and Junior Fire Fighters are fire fighters, they might not enter the building, but they help on the scene and we have members who are over 18 yrs old who do not enter buildings who receive the benefits. They are fire fighters from the time their application is signed. Chris Kangas is a Fire Fighter.

    His family, friends, brothers and all involved appreciate your support.


    http://www.PetitionOnline.com/ChrisLOD/petition.html


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    While I do not believe on-line petitions mean much, I do support the cause.

    What really gets me is why the DOJ is not only appealing this, but why they fought it in the first place. I get the feeling this is due to a beauraucrat with too much time on his hands (no real work) looking to justify his job to his superiors.
    -------------------
    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
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    Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

  3. #3
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    Default Great Cause

    Signed IT!
    The opinions I post to these forums do not represent any entity to which I am affiliated.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenNFD1219 View Post
    I get the feeling this is due to a beauraucrat with too much time on his hands (no real work) looking to justify his job to his superiors.
    I'll be unpopular and state my opinion. So be it. I've always said I'd rather say and do what I think is right than say and do what is popular. I'm not about to change that now.

    I'm sure Chris was a great kid and his dedication to the fire service should be remembered. But let's face the incontrovertible fact that he wasn't a firefighter. No 14 year old kid is.

    Honor him however you wish but let's keep our perspective.

    It may make some people feel all warm and fuzzy to fight to be all inclusive but it isn't realistic. We reserve certain honors specifically for firefighters and forcibly including non-firefighters is a disservice to the actual firefighters who we have cause to honor. Making this exception is a precendant that we should not make. The DOJ is right.

    We should honor Chris Kangas on his own merits and not try to make him into something that he never was.

    Feel free to flame in private and keep the forum civil and orderly.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    I'll be unpopular and state my opinion. So be it. I've always said I'd rather say and do what I think is right than say and do what is popular. I'm not about to change that now.

    I'm sure Chris was a great kid and his dedication to the fire service should be remembered. But let's face the incontrovertible fact that he wasn't a firefighter. No 14 year old kid is.

    Honor him however you wish but let's keep our perspective.

    It may make some people feel all warm and fuzzy to fight to be all inclusive but it isn't realistic. We reserve certain honors specifically for firefighters and forcibly including non-firefighters is a disservice to the actual firefighters who we have cause to honor. Making this exception is a precendant that we should not make. The DOJ is right.

    We should honor Chris Kangas on his own merits and not try to make him into something that he never was.

    Feel free to flame in private and keep the forum civil and orderly.
    I'll support you on this.

  6. #6
    It looks hot in there PureAdrenalin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    I'll be unpopular and state my opinion. So be it. I've always said I'd rather say and do what I think is right than say and do what is popular. I'm not about to change that now.

    I'm sure Chris was a great kid and his dedication to the fire service should be remembered. But let's face the incontrovertible fact that he wasn't a firefighter. No 14 year old kid is.

    Honor him however you wish but let's keep our perspective.

    It may make some people feel all warm and fuzzy to fight to be all inclusive but it isn't realistic. We reserve certain honors specifically for firefighters and forcibly including non-firefighters is a disservice to the actual firefighters who we have cause to honor. Making this exception is a precendant that we should not make. The DOJ is right.

    We should honor Chris Kangas on his own merits and not try to make him into something that he never was.

    Feel free to flame in private and keep the forum civil and orderly.
    While I support you voicing your opinion.....tell his parents, and the rest of his company this. This is like telling a volly he isn't a real firefighter because he doesn't get paid. I'm signing it....as far as I see it, age is of no consequence. It would be no different than a 30 year old with one day on a dept. and no training getting killed. He was there, he served(even if in limited capacity)he deserves what is right. Going in doesn't make the firefighter, it's not about making the grab while getting cooked, or about resetting the alarm at 4am in subzero weather. It's(at least for me)always has been about doing what needs to be done to help your fellow man, regardless of age or pay, race, creed color etc, etc. While I didn't know him personally, he obviously had the drive to help, and to me, it's all that matters. If a 14yr old came by my house and said he wanted to help..I'd be the first to offer him a job, even if it was just cleaning the trucks..washing hose or some other mindless task.

  7. #7
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PureAdrenalin View Post
    While I support you voicing your opinion.....tell his parents, and the rest of his company this.
    I just did. I didn't post my opinion lightly.

    The kid deserves to be recognized. But he deserves recognition that is appropriate to what he was. He wasn't a firefighter.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    DeputyMarshal, I agree.

    And i don't think it's because of age, i think it's because of what he was allowed to do. To consider a person that is unable to enter a building fire an equal to a person that dies inside a burning building fighting a fire is beyond me.

    I also believe there are other "LODD" deaths that should not qualify for PSOB.
    "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?

  9. #9
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    Default My stance may be unpopular, but

    Are there 14 year old police officers?
    Are there 14 year old corrections officers?
    Are 14 year olds allowed to serve in the military?

    The answer is no.

    If a 14 year old were working in an industrial facility and was killed, OSHA, Niosh and the State's versions of them would come down on the offending company like a ton of bricks. They would be fined tens of thousands of dollars, and trhe parentrs would more than likely sue for pain, suffering and for punitive damages.

    Chris Kangas may have been a good kid, and he should be recognized for that... by his hometown.

    I am sorry, but he wasn't a firefighter in the literal sense of the word.

    The DOJ made the correct call.
    ‎"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

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Are there 14 year old police officers?
    Are there 14 year old corrections officers?
    Are 14 year olds allowed to serve in the military?

    The answer is no.

    If a 14 year old were working in an industrial facility and was killed, OSHA, Niosh and the State's versions of them would come down on the offending company like a ton of bricks. They would be fined tens of thousands of dollars, and trhe parentrs would more than likely sue for pain, suffering and for punitive damages.

    Chris Kangas may have been a good kid, and he should be recognized for that... by his hometown.

    I am sorry, but he wasn't a firefighter in the literal sense of the word.

    The DOJ made the correct call.
    I agree, well put.
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    Using the logic of some here, the only deaths that are LODD are interior firefighters that do not come out alive. If you die on the way to a fire it does not count. If you die on the way from a fire it does not count. If you die at a fire but it is not inside a structure it does not count. I suppose if you do not follow policy, get lost in a fire, run out of air and die it does not count. If you do not follow policy and fall thru the hole in the floor and die it does not count.

    Get real. If the kid's chief said he was a firefighter who are we to question it. I say Chris was a firefighter. If he had been on a truck when he died no one would question his status. I have riden my bike, as have several others, to the fire hall when the pager sounds. If we get run over I guess we won't count either. One nice thing about it, using your logic, at the end of the year we will not have many LODD's but unfortunately we will still have a lot of dead firefighters.

    Brad

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    This is in no way a debate or even a discussion just my serious thoughts.

    I have been following this since the very beginning, and I see both sides. Like many others I have seen a lot that I do not agree with, this is something that is an honor to the families of men and women that have given their lives to the service of others.

    I travel all over the country and every where I go in every state, I meet people that there is no doubt in my mind are there for the simple reason of the name and badge, and then see some of these killed in a crash responding to a scene, foolishly against every thing we teach, and then they are honored, I disagree, but at the same time did I judge them right or are they just young and full of adrenaline.

    It is not hard to tell with paid people they have made a career of it, but 80% of the departments in the US are volunteer. Who is there to stay the course and who is just trying it and going to be gone next month? How do we judge? If a man is killed in the first year, how do we know if he would have been one of our leaders later in life, if this had not happened?

    I know many say how can a 14 year old boy be considered a firefighter, when he can not go in a building.
    I started chasing fire trucks at the age of 15; pulling hose, draining hose what ever. I joined at the age of 17, today is my 60th birthday I am still doing it, more so now then ever. Never been commissioned, But I have taught hundreds of both commissioned and volunteer fighters all over the country. I guess my question is when did I become a firefighter? Was it at the age of 15 or was it at the age of 35 when I was finally able to get a little bit of formal training.

    From what I understand there is no age limit specified in the rulings for this, and until there is an amendment added to specify one, how can I with a clear conscience say that some one I never met is not eligible?

    If the others that we did not agree with received it, how can we say no to this one, because of age when there is no age limit, only that he is a firefighter, Who is the judge of that, it canít be me.

    Some where, there needs to be a set ruling of who is and who is not, but it should not be after one is already gone.

    I am still not convinced on either side, which is right or wrong.
    http://www.midsouthrescue.org
    Is it time to change our training yet ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowbreaker View Post
    Using the logic of some here, the only deaths that are LODD are interior firefighters that do not come out alive. If you die on the way to a fire it does not count. If you die on the way from a fire it does not count. If you die at a fire but it is not inside a structure it does not count. I suppose if you do not follow policy, get lost in a fire, run out of air and die it does not count. If you do not follow policy and fall thru the hole in the floor and die it does not count.

    Get real. If the kid's chief said he was a firefighter who are we to question it. I say Chris was a firefighter. If he had been on a truck when he died no one would question his status. I have riden my bike, as have several others, to the fire hall when the pager sounds. If we get run over I guess we won't count either. One nice thing about it, using your logic, at the end of the year we will not have many LODD's but unfortunately we will still have a lot of dead firefighters.

    Brad
    Brother...it is you who need to get real.

    Chris Kangas was a child.

    Rational people do not put children into life threatening situations.. and firefighting, as I see it, can be a life threatening.

    This isn't the early 1800's, where education was minimal and children were exploited for labor.


    Let his FD erect a memorial.
    Let his FD cherish his memory.

    My stance on this matter stands.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 01-22-2007 at 11:46 AM.
    ‎"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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowbreaker View Post
    Using the logic of some here, the only deaths that are LODD are interior firefighters that do not come out alive. If you die on the way to a fire it does not count. If you die on the way from a fire it does not count. If you die at a fire but it is not inside a structure it does not count. I suppose if you do not follow policy, get lost in a fire, run out of air and die it does not count. If you do not follow policy and fall thru the hole in the floor and die it does not count.

    Get real. If the kid's chief said he was a firefighter who are we to question it. I say Chris was a firefighter. If he had been on a truck when he died no one would question his status. I have riden my bike, as have several others, to the fire hall when the pager sounds. If we get run over I guess we won't count either. One nice thing about it, using your logic, at the end of the year we will not have many LODD's but unfortunately we will still have a lot of dead firefighters.

    Brad
    I don't think anyone here said this. By your logic, my 3 yo son that goes to the firehouse and plays on the trucks could be considered a firefighter.

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    Default Here's the original FireHouse news article


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    Quote Originally Posted by WebFire View Post
    I don't think anyone here said this. By your logic, my 3 yo son that goes to the firehouse and plays on the trucks could be considered a firefighter.
    Or the retarded fire fan that hangs out at the house and makes siren noises when a call comes in. I'm sure he was a nice kid and it is a tragic story, but he was not a firefighter and it's strange that it is even being argued.
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    I was proud to sign the petition. I donít believe that recognizing this exceptional young man for what he was in any way demeans or cheapens the meaning of the title Firefighter. If someday God calls me home in the line of duty, I would be honored to have my name displayed right next to Chris Kangas.

    I RESPECTFULLY disagree with those who believe young people have no business in the firehouse. Are there risks associated with participating in a youth firefighting program? Of course there are. There are risks involved in each and every human activity. The world is an inherently dangerous place. There are many, many hazards to young people of today.

    Does anyone really think that participating in a youth firefighting program is truly the most risky or dangerous activity that a young person can participate in? I donít. While it is certainly not possible to eliminate all of the risks associated with being a junior firefighter, it is my contention that if the program is properly managed and reasonable precautions are observed, it is far safer than other organized activities that our youth routinely participate in. Take sports, for example. Studies show that there are as many as 2.1 injuries per 100 exposures (games, practices, etc.) in youth sports. Do a Google search on something like ďyouth football deathĒ and see what you get. Youíll find that there are far more sports-related deaths than junior firefighters killed in the line of duty. Yet, I donít hear any great outcry to ban young people from participating in this obviously dangerous activity. Why? The answer is simple: because the benefits of participating in sports outweigh the risks. In my mind, the same can be said for youth firefighting programs.

    Before I go on, I would like to make clear that I do not advocate using youth to participate in overtly hazardous activities or allowing them to enter IDLH environments. Furthermore, I do not believe in utilizing junior firefighters as a replacement for adults. I believe that we, as fire department and youth program leaders, should do everything within our power to keep our young members safe and healthy. In my department, we follow the nationally recognized standard for youth programs as published by BSAís Learning for Life office. It does permit ride-alongs, but under controlled conditions with very strict prohibitions on certain hazardous activities. If Iím not mistaken and Iím sure someone will correct me if Iím wrong, this safety standard has been recognized by national fire service organizations such as the IAFC.

    So what are the benefits of youth firefighting programs that could possibly outweigh the risks? There are many, to the department, to the community, and to the young people involved. Yes, I know large career departments like Chicago donít have a problem recruiting new members. The same canít be said, however, for many small town volunteer departments. Youth programs are legitimately used as a means to recruit new members. When a youth member reaches adulthood, after serving several years as a junior, they can easily move up to the adult ranks. Imagine having a ďnewĒ member who already knows your departmentís SOPís, equipment, streets, hydrants, hazardous occupancies, etc., This can be a tremendous benefit to the department.

    And what of the kids? Do they really benefit from being a junior firefighter? You bet they do. I had the father of one of the many Explorers Iíve mentored over the years tell me that he honestly believed that we saved his son from a life of alcohol, drugs and delinquency. We gave him something to focus on and to strive for. Today, (or when I last heard from him), he is a paramedic in the southern part of our state. Heís just one example of MANY success stories I can tell about youth programs Iíve been involved with. I personally know many firefighters, EMTís, paramedics, lieutenants, captains, battalion chiefs, deputy chiefs, assistant chiefs and fire chiefs, as well as an ER doctor, a police sergeant and a deputy sheriff, all of whom began their careers as members of youth programs. Yes, I myself was a member of an Explorer Post, and I thank God for it. That experience, probably more than anything else, is responsible for the career path that I chose, and where I am today. It introduced me to the brotherhood that is the fire service, and the joy that is helping others.

    Yes, I know many of you may not feel itís your job to be a youth counselor or a babysitter. Itís not in your job description to help keep kids off the streets, away from gangs & drugs, and to give them something productive to do. Maybe itís not in your job description as a firefighter, but shouldnít it be? Whether you accept it or not, your job makes you a role model. Many kids will naturally look up to you, and some may want to be like you. Is that such a terrible thing?

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    Rational people do not put children into life threatening situations.. and firefighting, as I see it, can be a life threatening.
    He was riding his bike to the station. He wasn't going to go interior at a fire. Even if he were to have gone to the scene, he would be doing exterior firefighting operations.

    I agree with the previous judges ruling. U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Marian Blank Horn said, "Christopher Kangas died 'in the line of duty' and was a 'firefighter' authorized to be at a fire scene and perform duties as part of a team engaged in the 'suppression of fires' at the time of his death."

    Like it or not, his fire chief decided to allow minors to be members of the fire department, come to the station, and perform exterior operations on scenes. Those who don't like the chief's decision should advocate a law that doesn't allow this form of volunteering for those under a particular age. If you don't want to advocate that, then propose a Jr. FF/Explorer memorial. Since I'm not aware of either of those existing at the time of Chris's death, he should have a place on the FF memorial.

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    I don't know where to stand on this one. I almost agree with both sides equally.

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    Firefighting is a job for trained adults, not children. NO child should EVER be responding to a fire, period. I'm sure he was a great kid, but as many others have stated, he was NOT a firefighter. If you have policies in place that allow children to work or respond as firefighters, you need to change them...NOW.

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