Emotions are understandably very heavy in Boston, with Firefighters from all over the world arriving to grieve the loss of a well known veteran Fire Officer in Friday’s horrific crash. The wake for Lieutenant Kevin M. Kelley, who was killed in the Line of Duty when Ladder 26 "flew" out of control and crashed on Friday is at 1600 hours this afternoon. Lt. Kelley’s funeral will be tomorrow morning in Quincy.
The justifiable anger in Boston over Lt Kelley’s death takes on several forms. From the Firefighters standpoint, IAFF Local 718 President Ed Kelly pointed the blame for Lt. Kevin Kelley’s death 100% on Boston’s Mayor Menino. The buck does have to stop somewhere and when you run a city or country-you own it…directly or indirectly-but as Mayor, it is yours, shared with others-such as your Fire Chief or Commissioner. In Boston, it is Fire Comm Roderick, who stated: "The BFD lacks a rigorous schedule for routine maintenance on its fire trucks, relying on a bare minimum of annual inspections that falls short of the regimen of safety checks and repairs recommended by manufacturers."
While it is hard to find anyone in Beantown (or anywhere) who is not deeply saddened by Lt Kelleys death-the line gets drawn there. There is A LOT of anger in Boston both within and outside their FD, but all about their FD. Issues of the contract, apparatus maintenance, drug testing, chiefs aides, public image and much more keeps the political fires burning. Read what some folks are saying…and there is no shortage of nastiness, anger, attitude, emotion…both right and wrong: