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Smoke-eaters under the crosshairs

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  • Smoke-eaters under the crosshairs

    It was only a year ago that I was in high school, so it is with a very real understanding of the feelings that these shootings are causing do I write this:
    There was a time, not too incrediably long ago, when someone would forget to take the shotgun out of the rack in the back window of the truck, and nobody really gave it too much thought. Nowadays, simply saying the word "gun" in school can get your can in trouble, and may God forgive you if you make it into a whole sentence.
    My point in these ramblings are this: If an 18 year old student has the cahohnes, the ability, and the mind to just randomly start shooting at fellow students, when will they realize that firefighters are like huge walking targets? If you want some really great targets, there are no better. Unarmed, respond to all sorts of situations, and to top it all off, we even have target boxes on our backs.
    I know that this is mostly ranting, but it scares the crap out of me, because in X years, when I am on the line, and I respond to the partially burning building, how do I know that there is not some nut in there with an Ak looking for some fun?
    Watch your backs boys n' girls. It's a whole new ballgame.

    "I hate it when someone says something is impossible, because then I have to go and find a way to do it."
    Whatever it is, I didn't do it, and I don't know anything about a fire. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
    Stay safe, boys and girls. It's for keeps out there.

  • #2
    You bring up a interesting point. It's true we are easy targets. It's not hard to figure out when we are coming you can hear us coming from a great distance away. It's not hard to miss seeing a Fire Truck coming. Most are as big as a box truck if not bigger and we put all those lights on them so they can be seen. Also our crews are unarmed and don't normally wear any kind of body armor. So we should pay attention and if a scene doesn't feel right we should employ a little extra degree of caution. It's better to be safe than sorry. You never know what Wako will decide to take a couple of shots at a Firefighter.
    Well just my 2 cents what's everyone else think?


    • #3
      Just one of the many inherent dangers we face day in and day out....I train, exercise, and do my job well..you can not constantly think of all the possible events, circumstances we will run into on a call if you do you will drive yourself crazy...I like what DAL90 once said in a earlier post about school violence, this too shall pass...things come and go like trends..10 years from now we will be discussing the new "rave" in violence..I pray daily for my safe return and for my fellow FFs safe return..what else can we do..Stay Safe Brothers/ Sisters.

      [This message has been edited by FireRebel (edited 03-23-2001).]


      • #4
        Why can't we be armed and trained to shoot back?? Not fair odds sometimes, take the good with the bad part of the job and be careful and use your head. Stay Safe everyone!!

        This is your brain... Pierce
        This is your Brain on drugs..... E-One


        • #5
          "Why can't we be armed and trained to shoot back??"

          As soon as we start packing side arms people will get us mixed up with police officers...... this would make us an even bigger tarket.
          Don't forget, firefighters have always been seen as the good guys, and I would like to keep it that way. There have been other FFs post on these boards that they NEVER leave the hall, and sometimes home, without some type of identification presenting them as firefighters. They do this becuase most people respect what we do. It is true that there is always going to be a few people waiting for who ever shows up.... but chances are they are not waiting specifically for firefighters.

          If the scene doesn't feel right, back out or wait for the boys in blue to show up.


          As for the original topic about school shootings, we do not have a school in our district. However, I graduated fomr highschool a few years ago. I can relate, there was a few students that I was never sure of. Was that Joke, or not?

          I believe that a way to get help to these kids before they "snap" needs to be found.


          • #6
            Let's take a look back at the sixties.

            In the early sixties, FD is some cities used their hoses at the direction of the PD to control civil rights "riots" This was a crossing of the "neutral zone" if you will.

            By the late 60s during the true riots, the FD became a clear target. That was the beginning of the enclosed/covered cab movement as several major cities hurridly built plywood cab and rear-step covers to shield the firefighters from bricks or worse.

            And if you read the trade magazines from then, there where the same questions about arming firefighters -- and the same answers.


            • #7
              There are a few depts in my state that have taken to issuing their firefighters bullet proof vests on calls in certain neighborhoods. As far as fire arms go they are strictly prohibited at the station and on the trucks, however, if I get toned out in the wee hours of the morning and I respond POV the my gun is with me even before my fire pager. I am a firm believer after all that "its better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it"

              When the defecation hits the oscillation I'll be there.


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