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Chief Halton, I was made to smile as I could feel the anger generating from your thoughts thru your pc keyboard. It is a sad fact that so very, very few of today's politicians from the local level to state and federal levels have zero to little knowledge of how the actual agencies they are elected to oversee, function and/or operate. Equally sad are "appointed" heads of such agencies, specifically police, fire, and public safety, who have no prior experience in the specific agency they are supposedly managing. Therein comes the blame game when something goes wrong. Politicians seek power, glory, and control; but more often than not they are severely deficient of such virtues as honesty, responsibility, and accountability. They also lack character, tactfulness, dexterity, and while I'm on a roll, I'll add loyalty and truthfulness. To their advantage, they are able to embellish achievements of agency employees such as firefighters and police officers, only to imply that only their own political agenda made it possible for such heroic feats be possible. If it so happens that something goes wrong and results in a lawsuit or causes expense to their venue whether it be a district, ward, township,city,county or state; the politician will jump on the side of the fence where he or she can point fingers at others who should be blamed. It is ugly, sickening, and contemptable. Now with that said, I believe it is very important to look at the words mistake and crime in a definitive manner. My old Webster's College Dictionary says a mistake is an error in action, opinion or judgement caused by poor reasoning, carelessness insufficient knowledge 2. Misunderstanding or misconception identify wrongly as something or someone else and 4. to understand, interpret or evaluate wrongly. Now it says a crime is action that is deemed injurious to the public welfare and is legally prohibited. 2. Any serious wrongdoing 3. A foolish act or practice...
How many politicians can you name or think of that would fit either of the above definitions dead on ?
In closing, You senior offficers and firefighters whether active or retired need to grab these kids who are coming up thru the ranks during all this political irresponsibiliy and set them straight as to the virtues I mentioned above. Chief Halton thanks again for your insight ! I enjoy it more when you're angry !!

Jon D. Marsh

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Comment by Michael Gove on August 27, 2010 at 3:52pm
Chief Halton - Your comment on FDNY 2.5 inch supply hose just registered. Do you believe there are many officers in the FDNY who have false expectations about the actual capacity of 2.5 inch hose to deliver water over long distances. I stand by my previous comments. Got a new topic for me to prognosticate on?
Comment by George H. Potter on August 27, 2010 at 12:26pm
Show me a polotician who tries to do thing in favor of his electorate, and I'll show you a one termer - he/she will never be reelected. Charleston was an extreme case of poor leadership and repeated and accumulated erros, misjudgements and mistakes. In the last two years here in Spain we have experienced three multiple LODD incidents - Guadalajara wildland fire two years ago, 11 FF victims, Hort de Sant Joan in Tarragona last year, 5 and Pontevedra last month 2, plus a tavern fire roof collapse in Mallorca some weeks ago, one more FF down. In nearly every case, the local and regional politicians copped out while appointed Fire Service leaders also came out unskathed. To this day only lip-service "blame" has come out, and "responsabilities" have filtered down onto operational level commanders, who by the way are experienced firefighters. Jon Marsh's comments are so sadly applicable here.
Comment by Bobby Halton on August 4, 2010 at 12:03pm
Mike you are great, and thanks for honest words, I wonder what we do now with FDNY 2 1/2" supply lines not uncommon, DC only 1 1/2" attack lines only and 2 1/2" so if something happens there is it a crime........ you are right this is a article, or opinion part 2 thanks again Mike! keep the faith, and it not weird enough for me yet!!!!!!
Comment by Michael Gove on August 3, 2010 at 11:03pm

Not to beat a dead horse, but the poor bastards had 2.5 inch supply line for goodness sakes... and as anyone who has read for more than an hour or two about the CFD (pre super sofa) knows, the department had both feet firmly planted in 1963. Sombodies a**, and soul, would seem to be responsible.

If a firefighter gets "jammed up" at a wind turbine event in their own local, somebody wasn't "squared away". It brings us back to that whole "Risk Analysis" thing.

My point once more... 'cause I always think I make sense but don't ... It is the responsibilty of a leader to make sure that he or she has done everything humanly possible to keep themselves and their subordinates properly trained, equipped, motivated and well... squared away, to do that Risk Analysis and act on it. Doing our best is at the heart of the whole American Dream and work ethic thing.

If we've done all that and we still make a mistake in the heat of the moment... we have a leg to stand on. Contrary to your belief, not everyone shares these values. Honest Injun... some people are just spoiled, selfish, stupid, or ignorant people. Some have all of these qualities and they don't even know it!

If we write much more, we'll have an article.

Now I'm 'gonna go try and get into the Talmud Scholar's Union
Comment by Bobby Halton on August 3, 2010 at 10:17pm
I think you raise an interesting point regarding the responsibility to equip and train people, I agree it is a responsibility and one which should be taken seriously, but how it relates to an incident is tougher to weigh. I guess could a firefighter be trained by a squared away department and then say he gets jammed up at a wind turbine event. HAve you recieved any wind turbine response training yet, most of have not could a lawyer make it out we should have, maybe. Will Rodgers once said "It aint what you dont know that will kill you but what you know that ain't so" I think lot of times I wrote check I couldn't cash but got lucky, and all I am saying when is it criminal? tough tough call and one which I never want to have to make, I honestly believe we all go out trying to do the best job we can everyday all of us, all the time, we always have and always will.
Comment by Michael Gove on August 3, 2010 at 10:08pm
I'm not an attorney and I don't understand the SC Laws. That said, I believe it is the responsibility of every leader to prepare their people for the tasks they may face and to provide them with the tools they need to do the job. Too many leaders today seem to lack the understanding that their positions are about responsibilty and all that authority is there to help them get the job done.

We have awesome jobs. Society rewards us well. We work for the people with the tools given to us by local governments. I do not believe we should demonize someone who made a mistake but failing to fulfill ones responsibilities to our subordinates or the public should be cause for criminal charges or at least public shame.
Comment by Bobby Halton on August 3, 2010 at 9:56pm
Mike Do you think it was a crime?
Comment by Michael Gove on August 3, 2010 at 9:53pm
I don't think Charleston was a "mistake".
Comment by Bobby Halton on August 3, 2010 at 10:24am
Thanks Jon, I guess my frustration with all the 20/20 hindsight experts is not well hidden! thanks again Bobby

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