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Thread: Thieves

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    Default Thieves

    6/29/07-Wood County
    Thieves Take Rescue Tools From Volunteer Fire Department

    It's a burglary that affects thousands of East Texans. Thieves break into a volunteer fire department, stealing close to $30,000 worth of tools the firefighters use to save lives. The Hainesville Volunteer Fire Department located in central Wood County serves more than 50,000 people. The department is now trying to figure out what to do next.

    It's a sight the Hainesville Volunteer Firefighters say they hope to never see again. Their tools that they worked so hard to get are gone.

    "These guys are volunteering their time, they are risking their lives and time being with their families, and it's been a long hard road to get the tools to do that, and then you arrive here at the station and they are gone," said Volunteer Firefighter Cory Clanton.

    Clanton said the tools were stolen sometime Monday night. The thieves took rescue tools like axes, hammers and saws, equipment Clanton says they purchased with grant money.

    "These are special order items, very expensive and very difficult to replace, especially for a small department such as ours," said Clanton.

    It's a burglary that extends past the fire department, for often times when it comes to an emergency, Hainesville fire is the first to respond.

    "It hurts us tremendously because they are on every call we are," said Wood County Sheriff Dwaine Daugherty. "Whether it's a wreck, fire, drowning or what. They are there to help us."

    Despite the loss, the Hainesville Fire Department says it will continue to be there for its community. Clanton says surrounding departments have loaned them tools.

    "We have a great relationship with them, so if you make the call, we are going to be there," said Clanton.

    The Wood County Sheriff's Department says it does have a person of interest. If you would like to make a donation to the Hainesville Volunteer Fire Department, to help them replace their tools, you can do so at P.O. Box 1145, Quitman, TX 75783.

    Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

    http://www.kltv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6730788
    "In Tempore"


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    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    That just ain't right, pretty $hitty if you ask me. What the heck are they going to do with them? It's not like you can run to your local pawn shop and dump them off.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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    Same old song...

    All of a municipalities emergency response assets are housed in one building. Yet, there is no protection. If those 50,000 people donated .10 each, the building would have had a helluva an alarm system. There is no excuse for this. I have no sympathy. This is irresponsible stewardship of the taxpayer's property. And yes, the taxpayers are just as much to blame.

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    George,

    While you may be right about the alarm system...is it always your policy to blame the victims of crime? I would hazard a guess that the majority of firehouses in this country, from the smallest little rural house to the biggest metro area houses, do not have burglar alarm systems.

    Sorry George I see this as piling on someone's misery.

    FyredUp

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    There are alot of inner-city stations in not so swell neighborhoods that don't have alarms. It is actually uncommon for a station to have an alarm system in it. I agree it's a good idea George, but I also think you are almost justifying it by them NOT having an alarm system.

    If I had my way, every firehouse would have a sprinkler system and a fire/security alarm installed. But then again, we can all dream can't we?
    Jason Knecht
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    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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    Unfortunatly, this type of thing is not an isolated event.

    I beleive it was someplace in East Texas that a department had a tanker and brush truck stolen from it's station a year or two ago. If I remember correctly, they eventually found the chassis of the brush truck in an auto salvage yard and I never heard if the tanker was recovered.

    Just a few months ago, my former department in northern VT had one of it's stations broken into and had about $15,000 worth of tools and radio equipment stolen from the engine. This station sat away from the road on a little used road, so it was a fairly easy target. A few years ago, someone had forced thier way into our central station and ripped of some radios, so this wasn't the first time we had experienced a theft.

    I really don't know if George is actually "blaming" the victims but simply making the point that we in the fire service do a horrible job of protecting our equipment. Most stations don't have burglar or fire alarm systems, and very few have sprinkler systems. The reality is that there are ways to protect our stations at minimum cost, but somehow most of us in the fire service just don't deem it important enough. If our assests are so valuable, then why are we leaving them so unprotected?

    I know that my own department is just as guilty. No fire alarms or sprinkler systems at any of our stations. When we leave for a call we generally leave the bay doors open, unless it's during the winter, and even then, a door is generally left unlocked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    George,

    While you may be right about the alarm system...is it always your policy to blame the victims of crime? I would hazard a guess that the majority of firehouses in this country, from the smallest little rural house to the biggest metro area houses, do not have burglar alarm systems.

    Sorry George I see this as piling on someone's misery.

    FyredUp
    I spent 20 years fighting for the victims of crime. So don't give me that crap. The people who committed this crime deserve to be caught and punished. There is never an excuse for crime.

    This is a collateral issue about being poor stewards of the resources entrusted to your care. There is a huge difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    There are alot of inner-city stations in not so swell neighborhoods that don't have alarms. It is actually uncommon for a station to have an alarm system in it. I agree it's a good idea George, but I also think you are almost justifying it by them NOT having an alarm system.

    If I had my way, every firehouse would have a sprinkler system and a fire/security alarm installed. But then again, we can all dream can't we?
    You won't find 100% of a cities resources in an inner city firehouse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    I spent 20 years fighting for the victims of crime. So don't give me that crap. The people who committed this crime deserve to be caught and punished. There is never an excuse for crime.

    This is a collateral issue about being poor stewards of the resources entrusted to your care. There is a huge difference.

    George,

    Frankly, I will disagree with the way you you stated your opinion. It is one thing to state that you feel they were poorly protected by not having an alarm and entirely another to say:

    There is no excuse for this. I have no sympathy. This is irresponsible stewardship of the taxpayer's property.
    I am sure you will flame me for my opinion and that's fine. But I think this attitude is unnecessary.

    FyredUp

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    You won't find 100% of a cities resources in an inner city firehouse.
    Very true. An "inner city" is usually big enough to have several fire stations, therefore the resources are spread equally around the city.

    In a small town, it just doesn't make sense to build multiple stations, that just silly. The cost would be way to much. A little prevention, like an alarm system would be the best to have, I'm sure we all agree on that. The problem is, the bean counters usually find a way to save money and that one is the first to go. This is not usually a decision made by anyone, including the Chief, of the department.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    Very true. An "inner city" is usually big enough to have several fire stations, therefore the resources are spread equally around the city.

    In a small town, it just doesn't make sense to build multiple stations, that just silly. The cost would be way to much. A little prevention, like an alarm system would be the best to have, I'm sure we all agree on that. The problem is, the bean counters usually find a way to save money and that one is the first to go. This is not usually a decision made by anyone, including the Chief, of the department.
    Every municipality has someone, whether formally or informally, in charge of risk management. I have a hard time believing that a "bean counter" (whatever that is) would overrule a Chief, a risk manager and all the other allies that a well-prepared Chief should have on his side. If that failed, a rational, well planned PR campaign should do the trick.

    A sprinkler system is a major capital investment. I'll give you that. But a burglar alarm system is peanuts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    George,

    Frankly, I will disagree with the way you you stated your opinion. It is one thing to state that you feel they were poorly protected by not having an alarm and entirely another to say:



    I am sure you will flame me for my opinion and that's fine. But I think this attitude is unnecessary.

    FyredUp
    The statements are not contradictory. They each state that the place was poorly protected, that they were poor stewards of the taxpayer's resources and that I have no sympathy.

    But crime is always wrong. A girl in a short skirt does not deserve to be raped, but she could have been stupid dressing that way. A drunk does not deserve to be robbed, but he could have been stupid being in that condition. The victim never deserves the crime, but very often they could have taken precautions to prevent or deter the crime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    What the heck are they going to do with them? It's not like you can run to your local pawn shop and dump them off.
    No, but I bet you could use them to break into that pawn shop....or ATM machine or any number of other locations. Or so the thieves may have been thinking. Just a theory.

    That, or they'll end up on E-bay....
    Last edited by dmleblanc; 07-01-2007 at 09:09 AM.
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    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    I hope these people are caught and punished. Why would you steal from a fire department? I would beat them several times with the tools the stole from the fd.

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    Jesus,
    It happens all of the time over here. Most Fire Stations I have served in have been burgled several times...in the old days, it was always for personal belongings, going through lockers for wallets etc.

    In the past 10 years or so, they are being burgled for equipment...the favourite in East London just recently (4 in the past 2 Months) is the Holmatro Rapid Intervention kit... Comprising a sled that carries a combi tool (cutting/spreading tool) a generator and the hydraulic lines... they very kindly always leave us the worthless sled though!!!

    Other regulars are Axes, Tool boxes, Crow Bars...anything useful to a criminal.

    One Station that I served many years at now has a 'Scientific Support Unit' besically a Hazmat Laboratory Truck with ££,££££'s of chemical analysis equipment on it, as well as high tech computers, Satellite TV, Radiation and Bio Hazrd Detection and Monitoring equipment...you get the idea.... Anyway, this Stations has 4 Bays, the took the end bay, caged it off, covered it with CCTV, put a swipe card door on it, changed the locks on the turnout doors to powerful electro magnetic locks....

    The Fire Service is about as sacred as a lump of dog Crap in the UK....
    Last edited by SteveDude; 07-01-2007 at 09:26 AM.
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    I have to agree with my good friend Fyredup on this one. There are places in this country where one does have to lock their hoses. I happen to live in one of those places. Although of late, it has been changig as the city element makes it way into the area, along with the foiegners. Not eveyone needs an alarm system nor is it feasible. We can always do things in hindsight that would have protected us better. How about strong locks and doors? Maybe biometric entry systems. These is the same for everything we do. The person in the wreck could easily have done something 95% of the time to avoid the wreck. Perhaps in an ideal world everyone would have trhe money for the alarm systems, instead most of us struggle to get enough money to buy a saw or pump, something that gets far more use and is of greater need.

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    [QUOTE=GeorgeWendtCFI;830253]Every municipality has someone, whether formally or informally, in charge of risk management. I have a hard time believing that a "bean counter" (whatever that is) would overrule a Chief, a risk manager and all the other allies that a well-prepared Chief should have on his side. If that failed, a rational, well planned PR campaign should do the trick.[QUOTE]

    If you don't think that any "bean counter" could ever overrule a Chief and his allies, you better not look at any town that lost staffing and stations because some "bean counter" decided that 10 firefighters in 2 stations could do just as well as 14 firefighters in 3 stations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Every municipality has someone, whether formally or informally, in charge of risk management. I have a hard time believing that a "bean counter" (whatever that is) would overrule a Chief, a risk manager and all the other allies that a well-prepared Chief should have on his side. If that failed, a rational, well planned PR campaign should do the trick.

    A sprinkler system is a major capital investment. I'll give you that. But a burglar alarm system is peanuts.
    George,

    I have to call a loud and clear BS on this post...

    I was fire chief during the planning and construction phase of the village's new community center. This was a 1.3 million dollar project. May not sound like much to you but this was the largest municipal project in decades for my community. Okay that was the history, now here is the point of all that.

    During the planning process I asked if the building was going to be sprinklered and I was met with a NO it is not required by code. I said that is true but this is a $1.3 million dollar project and a building that will be occupied virtually 7 days a week and sometimes by large groups. Again, NO it will not be sprinklered, end of discussion. Okay, will there be a monitored fire alarm and security system. NO, it is not required by code. It will have a local alarm that will sound inside the building for fire alarms. I said that's very reassuring for a fire in the building at 3 am. I am sure the neighbors will be happy to notify us of the fire IF they happen to get up to go to the bathroom and see the glow. No matter what points I made the answer was no...and for you to spout nonsense like convince the public is out of touch with small town life to an extreme. Ever work or live in a rural farming community. If not save your speeches about PR campaigns for Urban America because farmers are the tightest group of individuals you will ever meet...

    Sorry George, you can pontificate all you want but this is one subject where frankly you don't know jack squat about outside your little urban New Jersey world.

    FyredUp
    Last edited by FyredUp; 07-01-2007 at 11:08 AM.

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    There are a lot of rural depts that don't even have a phone - - -makes a fancy system not too practical
    Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    George,

    I have to call a loud and clear BS on this post...

    I was fire chief during the planning and construction phase of the village's new community center. This was a 1.3 million dollar project. May not sound like much to you but this was the largest municipal project in decades for my community. Okay that was the history, now here is the point of all that.

    During the planning process I asked if the building was going to be sprinklered and I was met with a NO it is not required by code. I said that is true but this is a $1.3 million dollar project and a building that will be occupied virtually 7 days a week and sometimes by large groups. Again, NO it will not be sprinklered, end of discussion. Okay, will there be a monitored fire alarm and security system. NO, it is not required by code. It will have a local alarm that will sound inside the building for fire alarms. I said that's very reassuring for a fire in the building at 3 am. I am sure the neighbors will be happy to notify us of the fire IF they happen to get up to go to the bathroom and see the glow. No matter what points I made the answer was no...and for you to spout nonsense like convince the public is out of touch with small town life to an extreme. Ever work or live in a rural farming community. If not save your speeches about PR campaigns for Urban America because farmers are the tightest group of individuals you will ever meet...

    Sorry George, you can pontificate all you want but this is one subject where frankly you don't know jack squat about outside your little urban New Jersey world.

    FyredUp
    I am not pontificating. In today's world, it is my belief that it is irresponsible to not protect the assets that have been given to the FD to respond to emergencies. We like to claim that we are the first responders to any emergency, yet many provide more security in the shed behind the firehouse housing the lawn tractor than the fire house itself.

    It's my opinion. It is valid from a risk management standpoint. It is valid from an emergency preparedness standpoint. If you don't like it, that is certainly your prerogative. But, trust me, I have a far larger perspective than you might like to believe.

    BTW, when confronted with "bean counters" not adequately protecting your new station ($1.3 million is ALOT of money-especially when coupled with the million or so in equipment that might be inside), you caved. That is a lack of leadership. That aspect should have been fought outside the bean counter meeting-with your members and with your citizens. You would have won when you made them look like poor stewards of this equipment. Instead, you joined them.

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