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  • BCReid
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • George Wendt, CFI
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


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


    Grit,

    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Aff
    replied
    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!)

    Leave a comment:


  • PyroSlayer
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Grit
    replied
    But NEVER in a career or combination department, right?

    Leave a comment:


  • George Wendt, CFI
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • George Wendt, CFI
    replied
    Here's one from my backyard with a slightly different twist.
    This guy is a former volly from Chatham Boro, NJ
    **************
    Long Valley man jailed after 9-11 solicitation

    11/27/01

    BY MATTHEW J. DOWLING
    STAR-LEDGER STAFF

    A man who said he was a fireman collecting donations for families of the Sept. 11 victims was arraigned yesterday in Superior Court in Flemington on charges of threatening a Tewksbury police officer who confronted him about his claims.

    Philip Cise, 37, of Long Valley, who called himself "Fire Fighter Phil," was arrested last week after Tewksbury police challenged him about "the Fire Fighter Phil Foundation," police said.

    Cise threatened to assault police Cpl. Tim Barlow, authorities said, and faces a third-degree charge of making terroristic threats.

    "There's no foundation and he's not a fireman," Hunterdon County Prosecutor Stephen Rubin said. "He was apparently soliciting funds in the Tewksbury area."

    Cise was arrested Nov. 19 and spent Thanksgiving weekend in Hunterdon County Jail.

    Before being led back to the jail, where he was being held on $15,000 bail, Cise called yesterday's short proceeding before Superior Court Judge Ann Bartlett an "injustice."

    Cise became animated and loud several times while awaiting the start of the arraignment. As he entered the courtroom shackled to two other prisoners and wearing an orange jail uniform, Cise directed several comments toward a detective who participated in his arrest.

    "I didn't get to have my Thanksgiving at home with my kids," Cise said angrily. "I had Thanksgiving in a jail cell with four walls."

    Sheriff's officers threatened to seek a contempt-of-court charge if Cise didn't keep calm.

    Cise had been working with Mari Watts Hitchcock, an artist from Tewksbury, to raise money in the wake of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center. Hitchcock painted a portrait to commemorate the efforts of the New York City fire and police departments. Cise had the painting printed on postcards that were to be sold to raise funds.

    Hitchcock said yesterday that she severed her relationship with Cise after being told that his foundation did not exist.

    "He misled us," Hitchcock said. "I have nothing to do with his foundation."

    Hitchcock said she is still selling the postcards at stores in Tewksbury but that all of the proceeds go directly to the nationally recognized Sept. 11 funds.

    Rubin said the investigation into Cise's actions is continuing.

    Leave a comment:


  • George Wendt, CFI
    replied
    In my experience, FL is ahead of the curve on this stuff. If I'm not mistaken, some departments make a polygraph exam mandatory.

    Your ideas are good ones.

    Leave a comment:


  • 70701224
    replied
    In Florida, I had to be fingerprinted before I could go to EMT school or the fire acadamy. I was also fingreprinted prior to employment. The county volunteer department also requires fingerprinting. I belive the basic principle is that we are trusted to protect others property and there are occasions that we will be exposed to "tempting" opportunities.

    Juvenile records are sealed, so, anyone under the age of 18 can pretty much do anything and you won't find it on a background check. Also, for a certain amount of money, an adults records can be expunged. So things an individual has done as an adult also might not show. That isn't even getting into the difference of record keeping in various states, which is also a factor.

    I think the answer is getting together with the department, arson investigators and a psychiatrist and developing a pre-hiring or pre-volunteering test that might help weed out individuals who are prone to arson. Some departments already have testing similar to that. I seem to recall watching a "Working Fire" video regarding arson awareness that highlighted one of those departments.

    I think this is another instance where someone is just going to have to take the lead and set the example. We can't afford to wait for the government to make a decision for us, especially when we basically teach people how to break into places and how to set good fires.

    If anyone is interested, I'll try to find the video I mentioned and get the information. Just drop me an email.

    Stay safe and Happy Holidays

    Leave a comment:


  • bgfdchick
    replied
    I would think these kids (sorry to pigeonhole, but a lot of this stuff is done by very young adults) would learn that people get caught when they do this.

    I'm really frustrated...hundreds of firefighters selflessly gave their lives on 9-11...and hundreds do every single year. How selfish that these punks pull s#!t like this!!! And what the hell for?!

    Leave a comment:


  • George Wendt, CFI
    replied
    Background checks? Here is why a straight criminal history check won't work. It MUST be done with fingerprints.

    *****************

    Troubled fireman, 19, charged with arson

    Copyright 2001 The Atlanta Constitution
    The Atlanta Journal and Constitution...11/23/2001

    A man on probation in Georgia for stealing firefighting gear and impersonating a fire medic was arrested in Alabama last week on a charge of second-degree arson.

    Damon T. Young, 19, a volunteer firefighter who moved to Alabama just five weeks ago, was arrested in Etowah County, Ala., and charged with setting a mobile home ablaze, according to the Gadsden Times newspaper.

    Young also was charged with two counts of setting woods fires. All three charges are felonies. Bond was set at $ 10,000.

    Officials at the Highland Volunteer Fire Department, where Young volunteered, became suspicious after 19 fires in 15 days.

    Young was convicted in Georgia of theft of turnout gear from a fire department and for impersonating a fire medic, said Etowah County Sheriff's Department Investigator P.J. Pruett.

    Young applied to the Highland department on Oct. 23, said department official Ed Minton.

    While checking out the references and other information on the application, Minton said, he discovered Young had given him the wrong name and Social Security number.

    He got in touch with officials in Cherokee County and learned that Young was on probation in Georgia. A condition was that he not leave the state.

    After a two-week investigation by the Etowah County Sheriff's Department, the state fire marshal's office and the Alabama Forestry Commission, the fire-related charges were brought, Pruett said.

    Another condition of the probation was that Young have no contact with any paid or volunteer fire departments.

    Young's probation was revoked after Georgia officials learned of the fire department application.

    Leave a comment:


  • George Wendt, CFI
    replied
    What "interest at the State level? There is no pending legislation. I'll bet NJDFS wouldn't touch this with a ten-foot pole. The NJSP and locals aren't interested. Please share who is interested.

    Leave a comment:


  • no_name_FF
    replied
    Originally posted by Halligan84:
    George,

    Since this happened in my area, Im reading about it in the paper and from talking to some of the investigators. These guys weren't volunteer firefighters, but it brings up a question. I know we have been bogged down a number of times trying to get a background check done through the PD and still get members on in a reasonable time. What do you think the FD and PD can do to check out the prospective members more thoroughly?
    Halligan & George (and any other NJ FF),

    Talk to your local Assemblyperson/Senator. There is a lot of interest at the State level in doing background checks. If they pass a new Statute, perhaps FF could be added as a requirement.

    Leave a comment:


  • toneloc177
    replied
    Anything that happens when a child is a juvenille can most of the time be 'sealed' for ten years past the time of the offense, and then it's thrown out.

    What if someone set fires @ the age of 15, hurt or killed some unsuspecting people? Would there records be sealed, and there be no way of confirming it ever happened?

    (where is Dr. Law when we need him)

    Leave a comment:

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