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Smoke and Mirrors: Stop calling firefighters "heroes."

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  • #61
    Dangerous

    This job isn't dangerous?


    Tell that to 343 of our brothren that went to work on the morning of 9/11.

    Comment


    • #62
      It has been a while since I have posted anything here, but like all of you, this is something I felt strongly about. As for being heroes, I don't think you can find one firefighter who calls himself a hero. Yet even as we tend to consider what we do "just doing our job" we still take the time to recognize our members who have done something we consider to be "above and beyond" that call. Even when presented one of these awards, the individual will not call himself a hero. That in part is what makes a hero to me, that humble attitude.

      As for some of the "Facts" that the author used in his article, they seem more generalizations and stereotypes than facts. Yes there are slow stations just as there are busy stations. There is greater safety now than in the past, but not enough, as we keep loosing our brothers. While there is no single cause of death among fire service fatalities, it is wrong to say that firefighters are dying for being out of shape.

      As for the fire service being heavily unionized, I think actually it is somewhat less unionized than most other professions. While most if not all career firefighters are members of a union, the majority of firefighters and fire departments in the country are volunteer and as such are not unionized. That doesn't seem all that heavy to me. Are we a special interest group, I guess in a way we are, but how many other special interest groups devote themselves to trying to end thier business? We as firefighters and as fire service organizations spend alot of time working on fire and injury prevention. IF it were actually possible to totally prevent these things we would no longer be needed.

      As for working second jobs sure there are some that do that. But most career firefighters work more than 40 hours a week and most volunteer firefighters do this in addition to thier jobs, so how exactly is this a bad thing? Plus let us remember that the author's bio lists more than one publication, so doesn't he work more than one job? doesn't he moonlight?

      Are we junkies just looking for a rush? I don't think we are at all, but there is a certain rush in knowing that you are there when needed, to save life and property. There is a certain rush in a job well done. In as much as this is about having pride in what you do and doing what you enjoy, these are not faults but core american values.

      Are the funeral rituals silly or overdone? I don't think so. Each and every thing that is done at a fire service funeral is done as a tradition that is representative of something. From flowers in a speaking trumpet to uniformed pallbearers. Does it matter that some of those killed fighting fires were jsut college kids? I hardly think so, this year we have seen the tragedy of a sixteen year old killed in an apparatus roll over, should that not have been considered line of duty because she didn't make it to the fire? That would be the worst kind of dishonor to show the departed. I for one hope I never have to put on my uniform for a funeral again, ever. I know I will have to do this, however. I also somewhat selfishly hope none of you will ever have to put on your uniforms and stand to honor me, but I am comforted a little to know that if that does happen the brotherhood of the fire service, a large number of whom will not know much about me, will be there for my family.

      As for first amendment rights, the author absolutely has the right to write anything he wants, and the publishers absolutely have the right to publish anything they want. That is part of what makes america great. One of the other rights that makes this a great country is the right of free assembly, which allows us to be the brotherhood that we are, and the right of peaceful protest which allows us to not buy magazines, use internet providers, watch news channels or otherwise patronize the various outlets that this author has. Do I think that a full scale boycott is needed, I don't know. Partly because I'm not all that sure how effective it would be. I think the form of protest needs to be almost an individual thing. After all we are a special interest group that just does our thing, right?

      Alan Shaw
      Belltown Fire Department
      Stamford, CT

      Comment


      • #63
        Let the "author" of this drivel have his day in the sun. The sun will set, time will pass, and the issue of SI this was in will end up in either the recycle or trash bin.
        100% true!


        You know whats funny/sad/odd/strange is when we keep responding to the posts Douglas Gantenbein + William Langewiesche made.We collectivly are just feeding the trolls.
        I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by stm4710
          We collectivly are just feeding the trolls.
          Something you know all about huh???
          To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

          IACOJ-WOT proud

          GO WHITE SOX!!!!!

          Comment


          • #65
            here is how to get in touch with this obviously misinformed "gentleman"

            Did a little firehouse detective work today with yahoo people search.

            Came up with the address and phone number of the author of this terrible article, Doug Gantenbein and his wife, Jane Kilburn.

            I am obviously not suggesting that we should all call or write directly to them to voice our displeasure. I am merely providing a bit of information for the masses.

            < PERSONAL INFORMATION REMOVED >

            Sorry, if you want to contact, use the individual's personal web site listed. But posting personal information, wife's name, etc. is not appropriate here --- WebTeam

            Comment


            • #66
              I don't think that's right to post someone's PERSONAL information, ESPECIALLY a home address on here for anyone to see. Do you want it on your head that something happened to these people because some nutcase saw the address here?? I would suggest removing that, not to mention the fact that it goes against the TOS of the site. Bad move on your part. The guy has a VERY differing opinion than the rest of us regarding the Fire Service, however I don't think posting his wife's name and their home address is the proper course of action.
              To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

              IACOJ-WOT proud

              GO WHITE SOX!!!!!

              Comment


              • #67
                Any one paying attention to "The media" (TV,print,Radio)realizes that they are owned by huge corporations that tend to further there own causes. It has becone increasingly evident that many of these "news" organizations are finely cloaked advertisements for there books,mags, sports bars, movies,...,for their parent or sister Co.s I think the author had some preconcieved political motivations for his piece and he got the reaction he was looking for. There is a faction out there who want to strip away what our brothers before us have built. They want the fire service to be "cheaper" to operate. The onus is on the departments to be pillars in the community and to market yourselves with the same zeal as these political "media giants" want to belittle the invaluable service we render.
                I.A.C.O.J.


                SOME ARE FIREMEN
                OTHERS ARE JUST ON
                THE FIRE DEPARTMENT

                Comment


                • #68
                  Re: here is how to get in touch with this obviously misinformed "gentleman"

                  What the hell is wrong with you? Why don't you just play into this guy's hand? You know he reads this. There is no legitimate reason to post this address except as a veiled threat. I reported this to the WT and hopefully it will be deleted soon.
                  Last edited by GeorgeWendtCFI; 11-03-2003, 11:48 AM.
                  PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Yes, the first addmendment allows for such dribble to be published, and yes I spent my time in the military to ensure that right, including the Gulf War of '91, and yes, if asked I would do it again.
                    If 56 hours a week/2900 hours a year is cushy, so be it...
                    If you believe that our Union, and it's desire to keep us safe is a special intrest, so be it...
                    If you think we are addrenilin junkies, so be it... (but I can guarentee there isn't one of us that gets a rush out of pulling people out of fires to the distressed look of family members)
                    If you believe firefighters think of themselves as heroes, you are wrong again, so be it...
                    And the list of falicies goes on, so be it...
                    The best part of your article is; you are a perfect example of how out of touch the main stream media is from the general public. For this, I thank you.
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      George, might I suggest editing the address out of the quote in your post. I was going to quote him too, but that's the reason why I didn't. Maybe then JUST that one post can be removed and not an entire thread. I think that perhaps this thread can be a good thing if people keep their tempers in check, MAYBE the author can get a differing view of what we do, IF we all act like adults.


                      Obviously, he has based his opinion on something, and we all know that it only takes ONE bad apple to spoil the bunch. So instead of getting all twisty and tied up in knots, why don't we objectively tell him what we do (as several have), give him a better idea and a larger comparison base. It's easy to see a small minority that don't fit in with the "norm" and base a judgement on that, and while it's our natural love of the brotherhood that makes us want to jump down this guys throat; lets use that love and respect to change his view of us, not reinforce it.
                      Last edited by PFire23; 11-03-2003, 11:36 AM.
                      To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

                      IACOJ-WOT proud

                      GO WHITE SOX!!!!!

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        George, might I suggest editing the address out of the quote in your post. I was going to quote him too, but that's the reason why I didn't. Maybe then JUST that one post can be removed and not an entire thread. I think that perhaps this thread can be a good thing if people keep their tempers in check, MAYBE the author can get a differing view of what we do, IF we all act like adults.
                        Good call.
                        PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          You know I see alot of people saying things like "this is his right" and "free speech" and "first amendment." Yes, this guy has the right to write and print what he wants, millions of young men and women have died over the years for him to exercise this right. However, it is my right as an American Citizen to disagree with it as well. So in not so many words, Mr. Gantenbein, F--K YOU!

                          This is what happens when you let the left control the Media. I called and cancelled my SI subscrition as soon as I read it and also am suggesting we cancel the subscription we have at the Firehouse. I know he isn't an SI regular, but they let him write for them. So AMF SI!

                          While I do not disagree with a couple of the statements in the article, it was mostly bullscat and I now know why I am proud to be an AMERICAN a FIREFIGHTER and a REPUBLICAN!
                          Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

                          "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            In roundabout terms this was stated eariler, but it seems to me that this fellow might suffer from "Ladder Envy" or something like that, relating to his particular statement on use of ladder trucks:

                            "honor" four young people killed in a forest fire (one absurd touch: hook-and-ladder rigs extended to form a huge arch over the entrance to the funeral hall).


                            Hmm I don't know the background on this one, but I do know that "we" don't do things without reason. And I am sure there was a good one, besides the death of four young people.

                            Mongoose, your initial post was well said. George, I sadly must agree with you on the "Freedom of Speech" part. No I am not sad to agree with you (we do that sometimes LOL) but only in the fact that this fellow is allowed his $0.02 worth, and his 10 minutes of fame. I belive he has received those and more perhaps. We have our freedom to speak out against him, just as he had his to make his article. Sometimes that really sucks.

                            Chief Reason, yep you are right on the money there. This guy is not worth the effort to send a msg to, in my opinion either. Something about the last line in my signature comes to mind: [i]"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you."[i] Perhaps we might want to take care in how we respond at a personal level to this individual.

                            Pfire: orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, he really wanted to be a firefighter and couldn't make the cut so he became a journalistic bastahd instead Yep right on the money!

                            I don't agree with what this guy wrote anymore than the rest of us do. Some of his "facts" may be correct, and I don't need to reiterate them, it's been done. His tone and direction are certainly out to lunch, but then as George stated, that's his opinion, and we all have one. Sometimes we agree sometimes we don't, thats part of being Human. HOWEVER, one thing that I really didn't agree with, and this has been said too, is the public posting of Mr Gantenbein's home address. I just spent an entire Thursday attending an Access to Information/Privacy Act briefing, and this goes against everything that the Act protects. I hope that the Webteam will "strike" that part from the forums. Yes it might be information that is publicly avialable, but the rights of the individual are still to be protected. Publicly posting someone's home address without consent is a very big bad NO-NO.
                            If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                            "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                            "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                            Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                            impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                            IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Thanks George!!

                              I was reading some of his responses on the MSN forum, and I read where some people who have contacted him have threatened him and his family with harm, burning down his house etc., so I didn't really think his address being posted was a great idea. I might also add that knowing that these types of threats have been made against an individual who has a negative opinion of us as it is EMBARASSES me and does nothing to bolster his view of us.
                              To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

                              IACOJ-WOT proud

                              GO WHITE SOX!!!!!

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                for admin and those that bashed me....

                                In the article, there is a link to the author's home page where he, himself, gives his wife's name and the city where he lives. I merely used this information to do a yahoo people search and found his address. I did NOT post anything that is not freely available on the internet already.

                                Comment

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