As a long time firefighter, I (and we all) have seen how “personal” stuff can get between Firefighters (career, call and volunteer) and those who are elected or appointed to represent the needs of their community. Sometimes it can get very nasty-where the focus of providing and protecting gets lost in the personal attacks and attempts to show who is in charge.
While of course “who is right” depends on the incident and the community, the lack of focus of what we are for here gets completely clouded…
And here is another example:
It’s a beautiful time of year in Laconia, New Hampshire-the “Lakes Region”..one of the most picturesque summertime places in the USA…a beautiful time of year…as long as you don’t belong to the Laconia Fire Department.
Laconia Firefighters’ Union President Jason Griffin addressed City Councilor Bob Hamel at Monday night’s City Council meeting (VIDEO LINK BELOW) for saying most Firefighters don’t live in the city, and the argument was on.
It’s not a new issue in many communities. It isn’t unusual for city hall dwellers to call out those who work for a jurisdiction, but don’t live in that jurisdiction.
Employees don’t have to live in a community to give it their all in serving. In many cases, employees cannot afford to live in the community they serve. So called “skin in the game” has nothing to do with living where you work..or the willingness to serve. We can list hundreds of Firefighters and Cops who gave their lives in the Line of Duty while not “living” in the community they served.
At one point, former cop now Laconia Politician Hamel made a comment showing serious disrespect for a Firefighter who died in the Line of Duty, in a diving accident. He later claimed the remark was “misinterpreted”, was about someone else and that he meant no disrespect.
Mr Hamel initially stated: “I know you guys think you can walk on water, but there was a man in this town a long time ago who said he could walk on water and he tried it up on Weirs dock and he didn’t.” Hamel was interpreted as referring to Fire Lt. Mark Miller who died March 11, 2004, in a dive training accident at The Weirs. Caught on tape & below the belt….absolutely out of line and disrespectful. And from what I saw on the video, IMO he knew exactly what he was saying.
CHECK OUT the video: https://www.facebook.
Of course there may be “more to it” …and of course every community has to work on a budget…yadda yadda…but this case is a crystal clear example of how personality based poking, prodding and the “up yours” and apparent anti-Firefighter attitude and game playing by an elected person gets in the way of why the public pays taxes for the services they need.
The public expects (and pays for) excellent service when they call 9-1-1, and is also what they should expect by those elected to represent the interest of all who require the services. As we like to say: “whats the best the public is willing to pay for those having the fire, the heart attack or the auto crash?”…now lets do that.
It’s simple …and no sucker punching required.
The comments made by Laconia’s elected city hall dweller was a perfectly defined grandstanding sucker punch. It is once again living proof of how political personalities can get in the way of doing what’s best for the public, especially when the the public is having a really bad day. It is also a reminder for any of us that for any action (such as sucker punching) we should be alert and vigilant for an appropriate reaction.
Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.
The Secret List 7/11/2018-1100 Hours