We know the tragedy of the Sofa Super Store. Now the public will begin to see the tragedy behind the training methods we endured while still with Charleston. Bravo on your stewardship of Local 61 and know we will never rest until a cultural change is in place.
If any of our firefighter friends across the country are reading this. Checkout www.firefighterhourly.com to keep up to date on what's happening in the Charleston FD. It is the #1 website for the truth about Charleston.
As shocking as this video may be, this stuff happens all over the country. I've followed the "Routley" reports fairly closely and it's easy to see the trail that led to this tragedy. I may get booted off FE's website for this, but Firehouse.com's "Through the Smoke" has a good interview with Gordon Routley about phase II of the report. As I listened I couldn't help but notice similarities between what happened at that fire and what I've seen or experienced in my 17 years in the fire service. The fire service rolls the dice everyday. Some days we get away with "business as usual" other days we don't. The fact of the matter is that many fire departments are set up to fail. We don't staff our trucks properly, we don't practise safe proceedures, we don't have accountability on or off the fireground, we train poorly, we let unsafe attitudes reign. What's worse is that when someone speaks up about it they are labled as "unloyal" or a "whiner". I hate to be negative on our job as a whole, but anyone who is paying attention knows tragedies like this will continue to plague the fire service unless people step up and fight for safe and effective fire operations. All that being said, I can't say enough about the courage of the members and officers of IAFF Local 61 and the state organization in South Carolina. In a state and a city that is decidedly anti-union, the brothers and sisters there have made a very bold and courageous stand to make the CFD a safer fire department. Despite the popularity of the mayor and the fire chief, they stood up and pointed out the failures in the system that led to the deaths of 9 firefighters. Thankfully, it looks like their efforts will pay off. Congratulations to everyone in that community that continues to "move the ball forward" to make sure this tragedy doesn't repeat itsself.
Thank you for your comments. You are right on. I can only hope that other FD leaders are paying attention to what happened in Charleston and will move to make their FD's better and more importantly safer. We have shifted gears here in Charleston and with the release of the Routley reports we are able to look toward the future instead of having to visit the pass so much. We are progressing forward now and the future is looking bright. We have a new training officer that is excellent and our members have embraced him and his ideas. IAFF Local 61 finally has a seat at the table with the mayor and the interim fire chief. We are improving on a daily basis, but still have a long way to go. We will have input on the selection of a new fire chief that should be in place within four months. The IAFF leadership has walked beside us every step on this nightmare of a journey. I can't imagine not having their resources and leadership to help us though these tough times. But we have recieved support from firefighters across the nation and Canada and I would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of them.
I just saw on the IAFF's website that the chief in Charleston just transfered 50 guys! Is he getting some parting shots in? Good luck with everything, keep fighting the good fight and stay safe!
I like to say that we have and very good Chief,and we are constantly training,,After what happen to the Charleston9,
has open eyes more clearly,what to do,and not what to do...We are here today,we don't no what tomorrow wholes.
Thank God ,for all the fire-fighters who put their life in the line of duty,Brenda
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