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Wall Street Journal Article "Not your Fathers FD"

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  • Wall Street Journal Article "Not your Fathers FD"

    Who has seen the Wall Street Journal article which questions the need for 4 men on a rig and 2 in 2 out, ect?

    It is titled...As Blazes get fewer Firefighters take on new Emergency roles.

    In a nutshell it describes how fires are down yet number of paid firemen are up. It describes the day of one 2nd generation fireman in a innercity firehouse in Kansas City, MO. During the one tour that this reporter used as his evidence they didn't go to any fires.
    He doesn't site any of the studies that have led NFPA to create 1710. But brings up the politcal power of the IAFF.

    Do you all think that perhaps instead of focusing so much on educating the "public" we should re-drect some of our efforts toward those who hold the purse strings?

    I would post a link but www.wsj.com requires a paid subcription to their site.

    Here are some selected transcripts on nyfd.com b-board:

    What are everybodys thoughts?

    [This message has been edited by FRED (edited 02-12-2001).]

  • #2
    That was the dumbest article I have ever read! The general form of the article didn't make any sense either, It jumped from one point to the other. That reporter had (and still has no clue) of the Fire Service and needs to go back and take a freshman composition course.

    The statements above are my own opinions

    FF Greg Grudzinski
    Oaklyn Fire Dept.
    Station 18-3


    • #3
      I actually agreed with the article. Even though I am a professional fireman with ten years plus experience, I thought that there were some very valid points in the article,
      whether you would like to admit it or not. So what if the writer only rode one tour with a fire company? The same thing is happening or in this case "not happening" everyday across the country. Regardless of how our roles of today are described either as being called a "fireman" or as the article mentioned "first-responder" I feel good knowing regardless of the emergency the public knows to call on us. I have a lot of pride in that.

      Overall I think that the article was right on the mark describing what's happening across the country, not just within the Kansas City FD!

      It's just my oppinion.



      • #4
        I agree with you GBordas. It was an acurate depiction of the day. However the reporter used it to validate the view that we don't need 4 men on a rig ect.

        After studies and recomendations have supported such increases to a minimum of 4 men many localities have 3 or even worse 2 as minimum. Of course it was written with a slant towards its readership (city manager types)

        I think that an article such as this doesn't fully communicate that we are an insurance policy. Our needs are based on the "potential" for fire not the actuall call volume at any time.

        Interesting article though...I think it was way too small to acurately reflect the issue it was trying to tackle.

        Two cents from a fireman


        • #5
          The best was a story about a fire department in my area. They sent a women reporter who knew nothing about the fire service. She spent the day with them went through drills and even some calls. "It was like being on a ride at Disney Land." she said. She wrote about how fun and easy the job is. Basically she made us out like all we do is go "weeeeee oh boy lets ride the fire truck." A couple of days later I was in a deli. The owner who knew I was a firefighter (I was off duty) told me "hey I had a dream I died and when I woke up I was in a fire department uniform, so I knew I was in heaven." I asked him what he ment. He told me about how hard it was to own his own business and how it must be SO easy to be a firefighter and do nothing. I got mad and told him to go f*** himself. But he was right it is the best job in the world. Two months later we put a small fire out in his kitchen. It could have been real bad but it was a good stop. The look on his face was great. We got free lunchs for a few weeks. Then he started calling us whores again. Life is great, you got to love this job.


          • #6
            Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.I work full time as a Fire officer in a Mid-Sized Dept. in a Northeast City. As is always the case when the press decides to ride with us, nothing happens. When something does happen in the middle of the night, they have no one on duty to cover it. When we are at our best, no one sees it. When we are at our worst, it makes headlines. Remember why you do what you do, make no excuses when they ask, and if they still won't leave you alone ask them this, "If you think this job is so easy and great, why don't you do it!?" Then call them an [email protected]#$LE.


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