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Firefighter or not?

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  • Firefighter or not?

    Most of us remember hearing about the 14-year-old junior firefighter who was killed while riding his bike on the way to a call last spring. It seems that the local and state authorities awarded LODD benefits to his family. The federal government, however, does not recognize him as a firefighter.

    delcotimes.com - The Chris Kangas Story

    Personally, I was torn at first. He was a junior firefighter. However, from all accounts he was a responsible and enthusiastic member of the fire department. Even at his young age, he was dedicated to serving his community. That's a firefighter.
    sigpic

  • #2
    A 14 YOA boy should never, ever be put in a position where he would risk his life. OSHA doesn't allow a child to work with dangerous things like power tools and power equipment. In most states this child would not be allowed to work a cash register at Burger King past a certain hour. We should NEVER place a child, a couple of years into puberty, in a life-threatening position.

    The PSOB is designed to assist the families of public safety professionals, sworn to protect life and property, in the event of an untimely death or injury. I do not believe that the people who wrote the legislation ever had the intent that this money would be given to the families of young boys who were hit by a car when they wer rifing a bike to a fire.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

    Comment


    • #3
      The PSOB is designed to assist the families of public safety professionals, sworn to protect life and property, in the event of an untimely death or injury. I do not believe that the people who wrote the legislation ever had the intent that this money would be given to the families of young boys who were hit by a car when they wer rifing a bike to a fire.
      While they never intended it to happen it did happen, and now a family and our brothers and sisters in the Brookhaven Fire Department have lost of their own yes ONE OF THEIR OWN, it shouldn't matter if he was 14 or 41 he was doing something everyone of us do everyday, protect and serve our community, granted he was 14 and could not do much but he was willing to learn and love helping his community like everyone of us do, I started out the same way as him riding my bike to a fire call as a Jr. Firefighter, did I consider myself a Firefighter YES, to me it was just an extensive training period before I could go interior, I think we should look past all the political mumble jumble and focus on what is the imoprtant thing that a member of our firefighting brotherhood was killed while responding to a call, had he been just 4 years older there would be no problem but suddenly because of his age there is a problem, in my opinion that is wrong, he was sworn as a firefighter in the Brookhaven Fire Department (Firehouse.com article), Please keep Chris and all our fellow brothers and sisters who have made the supreme sacrifice in your hearts,prayers and memories
      NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
      IAEP Local 152
      "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

      Comment


      • #4
        I dont think anyone here could agree it is a tradgedy that this occurred. And I am not at all sure of the training required in Pennsylvania, however, it appears he wasnt (nor due to his age could he be) a FULLY trained firefighter. I agree with George from the standpoint that he shouldnt have been placed in a position that put him in harms way. While I am sad it happened, and concur that the Junior program there sound well organized and active, I dont feel you can compare that to the FULLY certified adult FF.

        Coz, good thread I was just stopping in here to post this myself when I saw you beat me to it.
        IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
        Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
        ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
        RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
        LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
        I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
        "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
        http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

        Comment


        • #5
          focus on what is the imoprtant thing that a member of our firefighting brotherhood was killed while responding to a call
          Absoulutely, focus on the loss of a life, focus on the parents loss of a child, focus on a company that lost a member.

          Do not worry about a memorial placque somewhere, do not worry about a dollar amount going to the family.

          I have lost fellow firefighters and we have placques for them. Looking at a placque does not in any way, shape, or form, mean squat when I see that member's father walking down the street knowing he has no son.

          Focus on what is important.

          It was a terrible tragedy. I also started as a Junior riding a bike.
          "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

          Comment


          • #6
            i belive the the family should get all of the bennifets that a regular ff gets, if that ff passes away. this case is not much different from the one that happened in wyoming. with the explorer that died in the appuratus crash. he was responding to the call in his pv, he is not old enough to drive so his bike would be his pv. other ff that have died in a traffic accident got the full lodd bennifets. this is no different.
            IF YOU FOLLOW ALL OF THE RULES YOU MISS ALL OF THE FUN.

            Moose (Post 2028 Vice President/ Command Officer)Explorer Highland Twp. Fire/Rescue Dept.

            Any Questions Contact Me At Moose20282@yahoo.com

            These Are My Opinions, Not that of My Dept. or Any other Orgnazition I Belong to.

            Comment


            • #7
              Fire fighters are sworn in. If not, you are not a fire fighter, hence, not entitled to LODD death benifits. Sorry.
              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


              • #8
                One issue for some is the junior FF's limited role on the fireground. However, from some articles, it seemed as though he was able to do everything but be an interior firefighter. This raises a good question. What about departments that "exterior" firefighters. They are doing essentially the same work as an explorer or junior. Should they get full benefits when they die in the line of duty?

                Bones- I don't understand you point of view. I agree that a plaque or award check to the family doesn't bring a loved one back... but certainly I think it's important to remember our fallen and to award some sort of compensation to the family that has suffered the loss.
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SPFDRum
                  Fire fighters are sworn in. If not, you are not a fire fighter, hence, not entitled to LODD death benifits. Sorry.
                  I've never actually taken any sort of oath at my present career job. I never had to raise either of my hands. I have not been sworn in in any sort of official way. What does that mean for me? If I die during my tour, does my family go without the benefits due to them?

                  As for the technicalities, it sounds like this junior was a member in good standing of the fire department. What does that count for?
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The kid was a firefighter, simple as that IMO. Give him, and his family, his due.

                    I went to my first fire in 1988 at the age of 13 (almost 14) and I have been going ever since. It was the year that Yellowstone, along with many HUGE swaths of Montana wildlands, burned up in what was one of the most spectacular fire seasons on western wildfire history. A coal train was comeing down the track on July 4 near my hometown. It had mechanical difficulty and was ignighting wildfire on both sides of the tracks. Wind was steady a 20mph. The nearest town up the tracks gave out the distress call and had everything they could get rolling our way. Our VFD was haveing a July 4 picknick at the fire station, all of the firefighters were sent to the town up the tracks to help our since they were sourrounded by fire. Nobody new the train was still on the way, spreading fire at about 10 miles and hour as it limped along. They couldnt stop because nobody was in their dispatch office, holiday, and they didnt know if any other trains were on their track. They had to make it to my hometown to get onto a side rail where they could stop.

                    They spread fire for 28 miles on both sides of the track. They were getting close to town, and so was the fire, but all of the units had been sent up to the next town since they called in for mutual aid. Myself and a lot of other guys and gals my age grabed what was left, shoves, pulaskies, gunny sakes and started putting in handline on the threatened side of town. It was awsome.

                    It was the biggest fire I have ever seen develope in person, something like 200 brush trucks responded along with roughly 800 people. It called out every single VFD for 150 miles in every direction and from 2 states. And amazinely enought it was under control within 48 hours.

                    Only a couple of very old out houses were lost, it could have been much worse.

                    I would hope that if one of my youthfull fellow firefighters that took up arms that day and fought fire would have been considered fire fighters if a tragedy had occured.

                    This young man deserves the same respect IMHO.
                    Last edited by SamsonFCDES; 01-16-2004, 02:59 PM.
                    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
                    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

                    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

                    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Plain and simple...

                      I feel as this is cut and dry. Its not up to us to decide who is a fireman and who is not. Its up to the department as a whole and how they chose for him to be represented. And it should be noted that our junior members are sworn in. The only difference is they operate under a title called Limited Duty when they turn 16.

                      In the fact of safety, we all take a risk of the loss of life and the risk of danger when we respond. Even though he was on a bike, its still a response in which he was entitled.

                      So how does the department choose to represent him and title him? If they say firefighter, I will support that and I would fight to the end.
                      Firefighter/EMT Mitch Cowen
                      Hose Co. 1 1st Lieutenant
                      Randolph Fire Co. Inc

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't see how he can be considered a true firefighter. He was 14 and a junior/explorer firefighter, trying to learn about the job. I don't know the whole situation, whether he was going to the station to get on a truck or not. Either way, it’s a tragedy, but I don't see how it can be considered a line of duty death.

                        I believe it takes more than just going down to the local fire station and joining to be considered a true firefighter. It’s almost like being a firefighter doesn’t mean anything now days. To be a true firefighter, you must at least have the necessary state training! And of course to do that, you must be 18 years old.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hopefully George can swing in and maybe give some insight on child labor laws.
                          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


                          • #14
                            OK now it's time to vent and to stand up for a fellow brother

                            1.
                            Fire fighters are sworn in. If not, you are not a fire fighter, hence, not entitled to LODD death benifits. Sorry.
                            If you take the time to read the article you'd see that he was in fact sworn in as a member of his Fire Department SORRY!!!

                            2.
                            I don't see how he can be considered a true firefighter. He was 14 and a junior/explorer firefighter, trying to learn about the job. I don't know the whole situation, whether he was going to the station to get on a truck or not. Either way, it’s a tragedy, but I don't see how it can be considered a line of duty death.
                            Ok so your telling me that the Lairdsville FF who died just two weeks into being a firefighter didn't deserve all his benefits? Or the Miami Firefighter who died during his Probie School didn't deserve benefits?????? Many people have died "learning about the job" but no one bitched when it came time to give their family benefits but now they wanna cry foul because of his age to me that is total and complete BS


                            I believe it takes more than just going down to the local fire station and joining to be considered a true firefighter. It’s almost like being a firefighter doesn’t mean anything now days. To be a true firefighter, you must at least have the necessary state training! And of course to do that, you must be 18 years old.
                            Wrong Buddy!!! I took my NYS Basic Firefighter class @ age 17, It does take more than just running down to the fire hall to be considered a firefighter, but this kid did attend trainings and calls it wasn't like he just walked around with a T-Shirt and gear saying he was a firefighter, and also I've been to some places where they can't afford to send there guys through every State course and do alot of in house training, does that mean there any less qualified or any less able than someone who has gone through a slew of classes??? I've met firefighters with all sorts of certificates and fire class patches and they were as clueless as a rock when it came to descion time... Again trying to get to the point that some people want to skip around and try to deny A FELLOW BROTHER WAS KILLED PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HIS AGE SHOULD NOT MATTER, HE DIED DOING WHAT EVERYONE OF US DOES EVERYDAY PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITIES!!!!!!


                            Now my opinion... This young man was killed responding to a call, if he were 89 and a member of the Fire Police and he suffered a heart attack hey no question!! He gets everything, yet Fire Police don't go interior, they don't pull hose so why are they deserving of a LODD Benefit and having there name on the wall in Emittsburg? Simple because of there age, I think it's a serious age discrimination problem when a young age is killed and we are failing to give him the formal recognition that he deserves, The MUTTS in DC need to pull their head out of their @$$ and help our brother, You constantly see LODD's where the person was in training or went home after a shift and had a heart attack but no one questions them, no one drags there loved ones through this battle to get there loved honored, this FIREFIGHTER Chris Kangas died responding to a call, died acting as any of us would if a call came in, died doing something we do almost everyday and that is answering the alarm, Now it's our turn to show that we will and must honor our fallen brother by supporting his department and his family in their journey
                            NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
                            IAEP Local 152
                            "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nice rant, RescuHoppy7, but I still don't think a 14 year old junior should be considered a true firefighter and get LODD benefits. Like I said before, it's a tragedy for sure, and it sounded like he was on his way to becoming a firefighter, in the upcoming years.

                              Comment

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