PDA

View Full Version : Salute to Heroism



Fazor
2007-Jun-19, 03:36 PM
This is just a small tribute to the nine firefighters that lost thier lives in the line of duty in South Carolina [story (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/06/19/charleston.fire/index.html)].

My best friend is a firefighter, which makes hearing about stuff like this all the more difficult. Anyone that's been in this line of work, or the millitary or police knows how real it is when they say these guys are your brothers. I can't imagine losing nine of them all in the same night. You know it's a dangerous job when you sign up, but that doesn't make things like this any less tragic. :(

Matherly
2007-Jun-19, 04:06 PM
I'm with you, Fazor.

Anyone who puts their butt on the line gets the title "Hero" from me.

Doodler
2007-Jun-19, 04:53 PM
Someone's butt is due for a visit to a meat grinder for that. A furniture warehouse without some SERIOUS fire protection is a no no. Its almost impossible to put a tenant into a warehouse without sprinklers anymore, especially with combustable materials being stored inside.

Something stinks.

Tucson_Tim
2007-Jun-19, 04:55 PM
This is the real definition of the word hero.

Not some over-paid sports celebrity.

Palomar
2007-Jun-19, 05:24 PM
Agreed, Tucson Tim.

So tragic, and the families/loved ones left behind...

::a moment of silence::

Fazor
2007-Jun-19, 05:30 PM
Someone's butt is due for a visit to a meat grinder for that. A furniture warehouse without some SERIOUS fire protection is a no no. Its almost impossible to put a tenant into a warehouse without sprinklers anymore, especially with combustable materials being stored inside.
Something stinks.

From the stuff I've read they haven't said if there were or were not sprinklers. But the fire chief did say that even if there were, they probably wouldn't have done any good. Unless they determine it was arson, it's probably going to just go as one of those freak things. The witness quoted in the linked article said it was only about 30 min from outbreak to collapse; that's extreemely quick. I doubt they would have even been inside except they were in the process of rescuing two trapped employees.

The part that's really gut-wrenching for me is the pictures of the firefighters fighting the blaze post collapse. How much strength of character must it have taken for each of them to still perform thier jobs, knowing that there's not one or two but nine of your "brothers" missing and fairly obviously dead? I know they would all just say "when you're in the moment you don't think you just act". But I can't see the pictures of those guys without it bringing tears to my eyes.

Noclevername
2007-Jun-19, 05:31 PM
This is the real definition of the word hero.

Not some over-paid sports celebrity.

:clap:

Too many people throw that word around far too easily.

Swift
2007-Jun-19, 06:04 PM
I salute all those who rush into danger, as we rush out.

Doodler
2007-Jun-19, 06:27 PM
:clap:

Too many people throw that word around far too easily.

Yes, like now.

Personally, I think people put entirely too much emphasis on "heroism". Risky work is a part of life, unfortunately, too many people who should know better put their lives further out on the line than they need to for no good reason.

Buildings are expendable. I know too much about warehouses to look at fires inside of them and justify the cost in human life trying to save them. Those buildings are constructed for maximum volume with the minimum in structure. They're solid enough that they won't fall down on themselves in a stiff breeze, that's it. Fire suppression systems give you 15 minutes before the building is toast. If the fire's not out in 15 minutes, the building is gone. Even if its intact, its 90% likely to be demolished and rebuilt because of the compromises.

Why fire departments still take the inane risks they do with warehouse buildings is beyond me. This is not new thinking here, these buildings have been made the same way for decades. Putting those men in that building in that situation was a waste of lives. I see too many "heroes" made when some nitwit makes a stupid call and gets people killed pointlessly. Its as irritating as it is depressing.

Don't give me heroes. Give me professionals. Heroes go beyond their limits and end up like this. Professionals understand their limits and respect them.

If you think I'm being harsh, ask yourself this. Has anyone you've ever known who's lost a home, or a business ever blamed the fire department when they couldn't keep the building from collapsing? Saving lives is something entirely different, I'm talking specifically about preserving a structure, which is the case here. Where is it written that there's a mandate on any fire department to preserve a building at all costs, including their lives? It doesn't exist. Its nice when it happens, but no unit commander has ever faced litigation or criticism for the total loss of a structure deemed beyond saving. Not even that nightmare in Rhode Island with that nightclub that went up.

I'll buy into fire fighters being heroic, but there were no heroes here. Only victims.

Tucson_Tim
2007-Jun-19, 06:29 PM
I think you're being harsh.

Gillianren
2007-Jun-19, 06:36 PM
Wasn't there mention earlier in this very thread of trying to rescue people? Does that change your stance, Doodler?

Noclevername
2007-Jun-19, 06:40 PM
Wasn't there mention earlier in this very thread of trying to rescue people? Does that change your stance, Doodler?

You forget, Doodler thinks caring about people dying makes you a "bleeding heart". (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=1009741&postcount=66) :boohoo:

Paracelsus
2007-Jun-19, 06:47 PM
:clap:

Too many people throw that word around far too easily.


AGREED.

The word 'hero' should be reserved to describe a person who has sacrificed himself or herself for the sake of another. Those guys WERE heroes.

Matherly
2007-Jun-19, 06:48 PM
There were two people inside that the firefighters were trying to save.

They managed to get one out.

They put their *** on the line for others. How else do you want to define "hero", Doodler?

Fazor
2007-Jun-19, 06:52 PM
Doodler, I would agree with you fully if your version was consistant with how fire departments operate, but it isn't. They would not have been in there if they weren't trying to save the two trapped employees. A fire like that is a "Well, this one's gone lets not let the neighboring buildings go up too" situation. They are heros because they knew there were two people in dire need, and they put thier own lives on the line to save them. They were sucessful, but at a horribly tragic cost.

Those firefighters had family they left behind. But they knew the employees did also. It means a lot, at least to me, that they valued the lives of the complete strangers more than their own. If you don't have the same opinion, that's something I can't change. We're entitled to our own beliefs. But they will ALWAYS be heros in my mind.

(also note that not all firefighters, cops, soldiers, etc are heros by default in my book. I've been around the culture, I'm not too naive to know that there are plenty that are in the job for the wrong reasons.)

Doodler
2007-Jun-19, 07:25 PM
How else do you want to define "hero", Doodler?

Honestly? Doing something not expected of you to the benefit of others despite the risk to oneself.


Firefighters? I expect them to deal with burning buildings and the rescue of people therefrom. My tax dollars pay for their training and gear to do that job. I'd be a little peeved if after all that money is put into preparing them for these situations that they fail to put it to good use.

Cops? Same deal. Soldiers/sailors too. EMT's, Search and Rescue, all of them.

They're paid to do this. They're trained to do this. I expect performance after the kind of investment that's made in them to do what they do. I acknowledge that its high risk, I acknowledge that 100% success is utterly impossible. The beauty of most of them is, they don't want to be "heroes" in the sense of the word most of the public holds dear. Most of them are proud enough to be professionals capable of doing extraordinary jobs as a matter of course, and that I respect.

"Hero" is a term for people who's minds can't fathom that anyone with the right tools and training can actually do that kind of work day in and day out. Its less a compliment to the recipient than it is a sad statement about the person offering it.


Added: Most of you look at those nine men and see heroes in the sense of the definition I just provided. I see nine professionals that lost their lives doing an incredibly dangerous job. The only difference between me and the rest of you is that I don't see the need for a pedastal for them.

Fazor
2007-Jun-19, 07:43 PM
Again, that's your perogative and that's fine. I bet the two employees (as I read it both were saved) see it a bit differently.

Noclevername
2007-Jun-19, 07:44 PM
If someone saves my life, I don't give a rat's tail if they get paid for it or not, or if it's "expected" of them. They'd be a hero to me.

Doodler
2007-Jun-19, 08:00 PM
Again, that's your perogative and that's fine. I bet the two employees (as I read it both were saved) see it a bit differently.

Someone too stupid to get themselves out of a burning building doesn't exactly elicit a lot of sympathy from me, particularly people who work there and probably know where the exit doors are.

I'd be real curious to see whether that building had been inspected recently for Life Safety code compliance. I see it way too often where places like that are turned into death traps because the rules governing keeping emergency exits visible and clear are just flat out ignored.

In a properly maintained building, it is insanely difficult to get trapped anywhere. Even nightmares like the Twin Towers, people got clear by using the egress routes the way they were intended. Sitting on your butt waiting to be rescued, or the other one I see quite a bit, failure to leave when the alarms go off thinking its just a test or a malfunction, is asking to get killed.

Noclevername
2007-Jun-19, 08:05 PM
Someone too stupid to get themselves out of a burning building doesn't exactly elicit a lot of sympathy from me, particularly people who work there and probably know where the exit doors.

Gee, it's sure a good thing you have no panic reflex and can see through smoke. I guess the rest of us are just dummies who deserve to die, dur hur hur!

Fazor
2007-Jun-19, 08:11 PM
This thread was to honor nine men who lost their lives doing a very nobel thing (regardless of whether or not you consider them heroes). I request that we don't turn this into a bitter back-and-forth over personal opinion.

Noclevername
2007-Jun-19, 08:24 PM
This thread was to honor nine men who lost their lives doing a very nobel thing (regardless of whether or not you consider them heroes). I request that we don't turn this into a bitter back-and-forth over personal opinion.

You're right. Subject dropped.

Doodler
2007-Jun-19, 08:34 PM
This thread was to honor nine men who lost their lives doing a very nobel thing (regardless of whether or not you consider them heroes). I request that we don't turn this into a bitter back-and-forth over personal opinion.


Forgive me, and here I mistook this for a discussion forum...

sts60
2007-Jun-19, 08:45 PM
Someone's butt is due for a visit to a meat grinder for that. A furniture warehouse without some SERIOUS fire protection is a no no. Its almost impossible to put a tenant into a warehouse without sprinklers anymore, especially with combustable materials being stored inside.

Why fire departments still take the inane risks they do with warehouse buildings is beyond me. This is not new thinking here, these buildings have been made the same way for decades. Putting those men in that building in that situation was a waste of lives. I see too many "heroes" made when some nitwit makes a stupid call and gets people killed pointlessly. Its as irritating as it is depressing.

Someone too stupid to get themselves out of a burning building doesn't exactly elicit a lot of sympathy from me, particularly people who work there and probably know where the exit doors are.

Doodler, as a volunteer firefighter, part of a county system that responds to about 130,000 calls per year, with training in building assessment and making strategic and tactical assessments on the fireground, I would simply like to point out the following:

- We do not know the building codes there; we don't know the history of the building; we don't know if it was grandfathered in.

- You and I were not there; we do not know the progress of the fire; we do not know the building construction; we cannot yet trace the decision-making processes of the incident commander.

- There were rescues made. Known rescues in a large commercial occupancy means a high likelihood of other rescues, not simply a building full of stuff. But we do not yet know the information available to the IC.

- I don't know what experience you have with fire spread and fire control, but certainly neither you nor I yet know the timeline of fire spread, alarm activation, evacuation orders, or other factors such as audibility of an alarm. We don't know where the rescued employees were, or what they were doing, or how they responded before their world was reduced to toxic black smoke.

No angry retorts here. And I'm not interested in debating labels; the fallen brothers are heroes to me, and you are entitled to your point of view. I'm sure they would have rejected the label. But it doesn't matter right now. I would just like to remind you that we simply don't have the facts yet.

Swift
2007-Jun-19, 09:06 PM
<snip>
They're paid to do this. They're trained to do this. I expect performance after the kind of investment that's made in them to do what they do.
I know there was a request to drop this, but it is a discussion forum and I'm curious....
Doodler,
What about if they are not paid, if they are volunteer firefighters or EMTs? Are they now heros? Is the getting paid a critical factor?

Doodler
2007-Jun-19, 10:22 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19312164/

Hero. 'nuff said from me.

Palomar
2007-Jun-19, 10:44 PM
Gee, it's sure a good thing you have no panic reflex and can see through smoke. I guess the rest of us are just dummies who deserve to die, dur hur hur!

:lol: !!

SeanF
2007-Jun-20, 01:01 AM
Honestly? Doing something not expected of you to the benefit of others despite the risk to oneself.
Okay. Which people are expected to become firefighters in the first place?

I don't think anybody is expected to choose to go into that kind of dangerous work, and yet - thank goodness - many do. That would make them heroes (even, I think by your definition) before they even set foot in an actual burning building.

Swift
2007-Jun-20, 01:14 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19312164/

Hero. 'nuff said from me.
From the article:

A 17-year-old boy foiled an attempted carjacking, wrestling a gun from a would-be robber and shooting him after the man grabbed his mother, authorities said.
...
“Give them the money and give them the keys,” Sheriff Harry Lee said. “You make an insurance payment on your car, and nobody gets shot.”
So, instead of getting the gun away, what about if the kid or his mom had been shot and killed in the struggle, would you still think the kid a hero?


<snip>
Personally, I think people put entirely too much emphasis on "heroism". Risky work is a part of life, unfortunately, too many people who should know better put their lives further out on the line than they need to for no good reason.

my bold... I would say this kid put his life on the line for no good reason, and is just lucky to be alive.

Fazor
2007-Jun-20, 01:45 PM
When he leaned inside, trying to yank the mother out of the car, the 17-year-old grabbed the gun, Fortunato said. He said it went off once as they struggled, but did not hit anyone. Once the youth got the gun, he shot Chestnut several times, Fortunato said.


Aside from the "hero" discussion, this is the problem I have with "vigilante justice". How much different would the story be had that shot hit someone? The little girl getting out of the car 50 ft away, for instance. Also, what happens when the kid lunges for the gun and misses, spooking the assailant and getting both the kid and the mother killed?

Also, shooting him several times...last I checked carjacking isn't a capital offense. Once you have the gun, the threat of mortal danger is gone. It's not okay to shoot a thief if they are unarmed. I'm sure they won't prosecute the kid, but they sure could if they wanted to.

SeanF
2007-Jun-20, 02:50 PM
Aside from the "hero" discussion, this is the problem I have with "vigilante justice". How much different would the story be had that shot hit someone? The little girl getting out of the car 50 ft away, for instance. Also, what happens when the kid lunges for the gun and misses, spooking the assailant and getting both the kid and the mother killed?
Valid points, Fazor. I'm going to disagree with the Sheriff on just giving up, though - there's actually no reason to assume the guy wouldn't have shot them anyway after he got the money and the keys.


Also, shooting him several times...last I checked carjacking isn't a capital offense. Once you have the gun, the threat of mortal danger is gone. It's not okay to shoot a thief if they are unarmed. I'm sure they won't prosecute the kid, but they sure could if they wanted to.
But that one's not a valid point. It is absolutely not true that they were no longer in mortal danger simply because he had the gun. If (and, granted, we don't know all the details about what happened) the carjacker was still fighting and trying to get the gun back, the kid was perfectly justified in the shooting. And the "multiple times" is a red herring - once you're justified in shooting someone, you keep shooting until you either run out of bullets or you're sure they're stopped.

EDIT: Forgot I wanted to post this (http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/061807/met_178250725.shtml) somewhat similar link. Don't know if this guy qualifies as a "hero" or not, but his employer doesn't!

Fazor
2007-Jun-20, 03:03 PM
But that one's not a valid point. It is absolutely not true that they were no longer in mortal danger simply because he had the gun. If (and, granted, we don't know all the details about what happened) the carjacker was still fighting and trying to get the gun back, the kid was perfectly justified in the shooting. And the "multiple times" is a red herring - once you're justified in shooting someone, you keep shooting until you either run out of bullets or you're sure they're stopped.

Well it certianly depends on the situation; I'll give you that. If his hands are still on the gun, or on the mother, then you could argue you were still in mortal danger (or reasonable fear of mortal danger) which is why I believe we won't see any sort of prosecution for the kid. And I'm not complaining about the "multiple" in "multiple shots". I've defended for years when people complain because police shot this or that criminal "14 times!". You're extreemely correct; unless you're in a movie or on television, one shot does not always stop an attack. There was an inncodent in New York where two officers got ambushed responding to a B and E call. The one officer got struck and killed. The other was struggling with the man over control of the gun. In the process of the stuggle, he shot the man 12 times, including four in the head at point blank range. As the man fell and the officer backed up to catch his breath, the man sprang back up. They struggled for a big longer before two more shots to the head finally killed the man. (Personally, I would have started thinking I was fighting a Zombie.

I guess it's a double standard; I feel since I've had the training that I would make better decisions than most, which is an unfair assumption. If someone pulls a gun and wants you to come with them, I say NEVER do it. That means they want to get somewhere where they have a better chance to kill you without being seen. Which, in turn, means that they do not *want* to kill you at that particular location. Take advantage of that. Run. Abduction with a weapon almost always results in death. At least if you try to run, you have a chance.

Doodler
2007-Jun-20, 05:41 PM
Well it certianly depends on the situation; I'll give you that. If his hands are still on the gun, or on the mother, then you could argue you were still in mortal danger (or reasonable fear of mortal danger) which is why I believe we won't see any sort of prosecution for the kid. And I'm not complaining about the "multiple" in "multiple shots". I've defended for years when people complain because police shot this or that criminal "14 times!". You're extreemely correct; unless you're in a movie or on television, one shot does not always stop an attack. There was an inncodent in New York where two officers got ambushed responding to a B and E call. The one officer got struck and killed. The other was struggling with the man over control of the gun. In the process of the stuggle, he shot the man 12 times, including four in the head at point blank range. As the man fell and the officer backed up to catch his breath, the man sprang back up. They struggled for a big longer before two more shots to the head finally killed the man. (Personally, I would have started thinking I was fighting a Zombie.

One shot isn't guaranteed to stop a person immediately. About a year ago there was a story of a cop who took a bullet in the chest that slipped between the plates on his vest. Pierced an artery and he bled to death over the course of 15-20 minutes, continuing in pursuit the entire time. For all the places on the body you can hit someone and kill them immediately, there's a lot more places that you can hit them and not kill them.

Plus there's always the number of shots fired versus the number that actually hit. Stress firing when someone's shooting back or struggling is NOT easy.

I've heard it explained two ways. You shoot till your target drops drop or you empty the clip.

SeanF
2007-Jun-20, 06:21 PM
I've heard it explained two ways. You shoot till your target drops drop or you empty the clip.
Whichever comes first, Doodler. Whichever comes first. :)

Now, on the flip side, here (http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8PSKSDO0&show_article=1&catnum=0) is a group of people that probably do not qualify as heroes. :naughty:

Doodler
2007-Jun-20, 07:37 PM
Gotta love linch mobs.

Fazor
2007-Jun-20, 07:41 PM
One shot isn't guaranteed to stop a person immediately. About a year ago there was a story of a cop who took a bullet in the chest that slipped between the plates on his vest. Pierced an artery and he bled to death over the course of 15-20 minutes, continuing in pursuit the entire time. For all the places on the body you can hit someone and kill them immediately, there's a lot more places that you can hit them and not kill them.

Plus there's always the number of shots fired versus the number that actually hit. Stress firing when someone's shooting back or struggling is NOT easy.

I've heard it explained two ways. You shoot till your target drops drop or you empty the clip.

That's exactly what I said in my post. I wasn't being sarcastic.

Gillianren
2007-Jun-21, 02:40 AM
Gotta love linch mobs.

Or even lynch mobs?

Yeah, the article said the child was injured. That's definitely not a death penalty case.