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  • #16
    Once again, this proves my point. Somebody please tell me just what the vol. fire service is going to do about this. Does anybody else believe that it is time to deal with this issue on a national level?

    Also, no reason to pick on this FD. This could happen in any, yes ANY, Vol. FD in the country.


    Eight Virginia Volunteer Firefighters Accused of Setting Fires

    Associated Press

    Eight volunteer firefighters have been arrested for setting fires because they were bored and wanted to extinguish them, fire officials said Sunday.

    ``They weren't running any calls and they wanted to run calls, so they created them themselves, which is pretty sad,'' said fire marshal investigator Bob Lowry.

    The eight, ranging in age from 15 to 33, worked at the Stony Point Volunteer Fire Department.

    They are accused of setting fires between October 2000 and October 2001. No one was injured, but officials said they could easily have burned out of control because they were set during dry periods in wooded areas.

    Former battalion chief Christopher Brown, 20, and Craig Takach, 30, are each charged with three felony arson counts and one count of felony conspiracy to commit arson.

    Frank Jamme, 33, is charged with one count of arson and one count of felony conspiracy to commit arson.

    Each of the junior firefighters, ranging in age from 15 to 17, is charged with arson.


    • #17
      But NEVER in a career or combination department, right?


      • #18
        And here we go again......

        A Milwaukee firefighter was charged Wednesday with torching his recently purchased car behind a Greenfield tavern last week with the aid of two fellow firefighters.

        Timothy W. Kroll decided to set his car on fire because the payments were cramping his ability to refinance his mortgage, a criminal complaint says.

        Thomas A. Pecoraro was charged with aiding by driving the car to the tavern so Kroll would not be seen parking it. The third firefighter, Thomas K. Williams, was charged with aiding by driving Kroll home.

        Kroll, 21, of the 3200 block of S. 75th St.; Pecoraro, 20, of the 9200 block of W. Morgan Ave.; and Williams, 23, of the 3300 block of S. 54th St., were each charged with conspiracy to commit arson with intent to defraud, a felony with a prison term of up to 10 years.

        The complaint says the car, a 1999 Chrysler Sebring, was destroyed Dec. 5 behind Sully's Corners, 3800 S. 108th St.

        After three failed attempts to start the fire, Williams backed out of the plan and drove Kroll home, the complaint says.

        Kroll returned to the parking lot in another vehicle and used the gasoline to start a roaring blaze, which not only destroyed the Sebring but damaged a car parked nearby as well as part of the tavern, the complaint says.

        Kroll reported his car stolen, but police, who were suspicious of the blaze, got him to admit setting the fire, the complaint says.

        Williams and Pecoraro admitted being in on the plan but subsequently left Kroll to do the job himself. The suspects are expected to appear in court today.


        Seems these people will never learn.


        • #19
          toneloc stated it well, most of these people start as juvenille fire setters in which their records are sealed. There in lies the problem, do we need to allow background checks to unseal these records, especially if these individuals are applying for a job in a proffesion such as firefighting or law enforcement? Is there a way to have an individual sign a release allowing the unsealing of these records as a condition of employment? I can hear the civil libitarians howling from here, but, when is it a common good?
          Just my thoughts (and mine only!)
          My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
          "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
          George Mason
          Co-author of the Second Amendment
          during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
          Elevator Rescue Information


          • #20
            [quote]Originally posted by Grit:
            But NEVER in a career or combination department, right?


            Please don't go there...I'm sure thats not what George ment...Although There are more Volunteer Firefighter/Arsons reported nationaly than Career Firefighters or combo departments...But seriously don't make this a vollie/career issue
            ***The Opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect those of the Department to which I am a Member ! ***

            Stratford Fire Co. # 1.."Any Job ~ Any Place ~ Any Time"

            Check us Out www.stratfordfire.com


            • #21
              If you read what I write in this forum and others, I have never played the career vs. volly game. It is a stupid, ridiculous discussion that is like arguing what is better, Coke or Pepsi?

              The answer to the question lies in the story itself. Most of the volly arsons lie in the psyche of the guy. The career guy is an unadulterated criminal.


              • #22
                Because of some problems associated with having 130 volunteers, we are researching having the volunteers as well as the career posistions taking part in a psychological test & evaluated professionally. I might post this as a topic of discussion for the board. We do background checks with the State Patrol on all volunteer/career applications.
                The opinions expressed here are that of my own and in no way reflect the opinions of my administration or department.


                • #23

                  I have to disagree with you. I am located in Central NJ and my fire department does a background check (usually holding up the applicant's ability to join the department for at least a month) on EVERY SINGLE new member that applies to us. We work with the NJSP on this and they are more than willing to assist us. We are very fortunate to have a very good working relationship with them and that has helped us out a lot with these types of requests. We started doing background checks after we had a couple of State Detectives show up looking for one of our members for theft, etc. He never stole from the department, but apparently he stole from everyone else he knew. Once we realized how much we could have lost we voted to do checks on all new members. It has worked out extremely well for us. Get your local council involved, I am sure they will see the benefit of doing background checks. Also, you can go through local Police Departments as well. I used to be the manager and HR Director of a large Non-Profit Organization and I would utilize my local PD to do background checks on all potential employees. They were great, and always helped me out. They also helped me catch a thief that worked for our company....they were always there when I called. Take care and happy holiday to you all!
                  Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!


                  • #24

                    Perhaps you were utilizing the local PD, but what they were doing for you is illegal. In addition, as a non-profit, you can run a background check and, if you have the proper approvals, fingerprint check, but it is illegal to obtain and use criminal history and driver's license abstracts for the purpose of a non-law enforcement background investigation. A PD can only advise about CONVICTIONS, which are public records. They should not be giving out info on arrests w/o convictions and D/L info. It is expressly forbidden in Title 2C.

                    (This is NJ info only)

                    [ 12-17-2001: Message edited by: George Wendt, CFI ]



                    • #25
                      It would seem that Harry Carter has devoted this weeks column to exactly this subject.


                      • #26
                        George, so if a applicant has been arrested tons of times and never convicted your local PD can not tell you? Could they tell you that he has had some run ins? Or can they only tell you about covictions period? I also heard that in NJ that polygraphs are illegal for employment purposes.
                        This space for rent


                        • #27
                          Polygraphs are defintely illegal for pre-employment purposes in NJ. In fact, it is illegal to ask.

                          Regarding arrests vs. convictions, the PD can tell you anything they want, even if they aren't supposed to. Obviously, if someone has been arrested "tons of times", it would have been in the newspaper etc. The real question is whether you can use it against him, which you probably can't.

                          Your best bet is, again, two-fold. Ask for and check with all references, and check with the past employers. These people will give you the best information. It is all in how you ask them.


                          • #28
                            To back up what George said, we used to have the local PD do background checks for us, that is until it got up the line far enough and someone put a stop to it. There wasn't anything for anyone to get in trouble for ... after all, it was to help the community. Nonetheless, it had to stop. So, now we're back to square one.

                            Stay Safe


                            • #29
                              I don't think the question was answered, does anyone have the solution to this problem?


                              • #30
                                OLD CHIEF, I have a solution. Go back 35 years BEFORE we voted the Liberal politicians and Judges into office who now run most aspects of our lives. WaLa, the Political Correct crap goes, common sense prevails again and these issues disappear.
                                Bob Compton
                                IACOJ-HALL OF FAME-2003


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