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  • Firefighters Refuse Flag (captain 12)

    this article is both from me and from him to me!!!! there do seem to be too many holes in it!


    Dear Sir:
    >
    > If what Mr. Clark says is true then why did the supervising chief
    > remove the flag from the truck????? when they *supposedly* refused to
    > ride because of the flag. Then I guess the Media is to blame for
    > this????? its all a big misunderstanding??????? they gave interviews,
    > then it came out that it *blocked their view*???? Why have not the other
    > men come forward right away and rebut what had been said, instead they
    > went on vacation and then wonder why this country stands in judgement of
    > them????? I do not want see anybody punished for something they did not
    > do,BUT their own actions have given the impression of guilt!
    >
    > Thank You,
    > Sherry Johnson

    Ms Johnson,

    Thank you for writing and affording me an opportunity to respond. (And sorry
    for the previous blank message -- I accidently hit the send button before I
    wrote anything).

    The way I understand the story, it was the driver of the ladder truck, Mr.
    Moore, who removed the flag. He had discussed it with Clark, mentioning
    several problems -- among them, that the flag would be an obstruction to
    view, and that where it was placed, it risked getting tangled up in the
    ladder's turret. But the point both men stressed to me was the flag blocked
    the ladder controls, and the only way for Mr. Moore to do his routine chore
    of lubricating the gears was to move it.

    There was no confrontation, no order to replace the flag, and no objection,
    at least at the time, from anyone else. The flag was put on the other truck
    and no one in command even made a comment about it to the men until some 14
    or 15 hours later -- and then, that was only a normal discussion which
    seemed to resolve any misunderstandings to everyone's satisfaction.

    The media was already on the story, encouraging the public to vilify the
    men, before anyone had asked their point of view. By the time they had a
    chance to "rebut" anything, the story was already out that they had refused
    to ride. They were honest enough to explain in the media that they do view
    the flag as an oppressive symbol, and that they had discussed that openly
    later in the day -- a point of view which is their right. But they insisted
    they never refused to ride on the truck -- which would be insubordination,
    and which should be the only matter at issue.

    Since we don't know exactly how the story got out -- it very likely emanated
    from within that very station -- I can't answer why others haven't come to
    their defense. They all told me -- and know this to be the case in Clark's
    case -- that they are not widely liked because of their political views. But
    that should have nothing to do with whether they are competent firefighters
    who do their jobs as the are supposed to. The three have careers of 20, 18
    and 8 years. Does it really make sense to you that after all that time,
    they'd suddenly refused to do their jobs over a flag?

    I don't understand how you can condemn the two men because they began their
    scheduled vacations after their Saturday shift. How does that imply guilt?
    They told me they didn't even have a hint there was a problem until Monday
    at the earliest. Clark's first scheduled shift after that Saturday was
    Wednesday, and he showed up as scheduled. How does this imply guilt?

    I'd be interested in your reply if time allows you to write again. Be well,
    and thank you for the input.

    Take care,

    Robert Steinback
    Miami Herald

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: LdyShery2 [SMTP:[email protected]]
    > Sent: Friday, October 05, 2001 5:41 PM
    > To: Steinback, Robert
    > Subject: Firefighters Accused
    >
    > >

    [ 10-06-2001: Message edited by: Moonlight_Ldy ]
    Just Me

  • #2
    Please read and post reply

    Captain 12

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