Murders in Webster: The Deafening Silence

 

Fire Service Leaders with Nothing to Say

Webster, New York

On Christmas Eve, four Webster, New York, firefighters were shot and two killed when a paroled felon with a prior murder conviction set them up. It’s more accurate to say they were executed with premeditated precision. Arson was used as the pretext for drawing them into the killing zone so the connection to our profession is both direct and compelling.

If our national/international fire/rescue organizations exist in part to protect us by formulating solutions, they are all asleep at the wheel on this one. A scan of web pages (IAFC, IAFF, NFFF, NVFC) reveals either complete silence or the issuing of platitudinous press releases. Pretty thin gruel under the circumstances. So much for decisive leadership.

By the way, I’m not talking about overturning the second amendment but you would think they could momentarily shrug off their collective holiday torpor and (at least) pretend to give a shit.

If “balls”, (or rather the lack of them) is the problem, they can look to NYPD’s Chief Ray Kelly for leadership inspiration. Kelly said,”I think it’s important to let the federal government know that something has got to change.” Kelly backs his tough words up with action, something fire service leadership, both labor and management, seem unable or unwilling to do. Come to think of it, we don’t even have the tough words so we are a long way from action.

NYPD’s Ray Kelly

 

And Chief Kelly is no simpering-pinko-liberal-lefty. He is a combat veteran and Marine who served (and led troops) in Vietnam as a Second Lieutenant.

The guy’s got balls enough to loan out. Perhaps he’ll give us some.

 

We are certainly in need of them.

 

(Credits: USA Today and NYDN)

10 Comments

  • Mike Schwartz says:

    At first, I winced at your use of the word “balls” and then realized that this situation calls for some shock. I did not know that the fire organizational leadership was so timid on this issue. They obviously need something to shock them into action.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Thanks. Of course I mean “balls” in the sense of courage. There are lots of women with “balls” out there on this issue. They just are in the wrong place, at least at the moment.

  • Tim Walker says:

    Eric-What would you have them (leadership) do? What is your suggestion for a solution? How is this a predictable event? You can’t stop crazy. The balls are on the responders, not the desk jockeys. How about arming 1st responders and letting them be responsible for themselves, taking charge of their own safety, or at least giving them the option not to be a sitting duck. Making more laws won’t work, never has, never will. Criminals don’t care about rules.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Tim-

      You again take the fatalistic view as if NOTHING can be done to protect us. That is so weird coming from a firefighter. We aren’t hard-wired that way. This isn’t about me, it’s about leaders being leaders. Thanks for writing.

      Eric

  • Bernie Cohan says:

    During the Newark riots in the 60′s, our department was asked to send an engine company to out.

    We were advised “They are shooting at firefighters!”. Before we left our station we armed ourselves with rifles and ammo. When we heard shots fired at us we returned fire and the shooting stopped and they never shot at us again.

  • Mayhugh says:

    We need to do more for mental health, not against the second amendment.

  • Glenn says:

    We at U. S. Fire Administration are trying as hard as we can to get out some important information and key points in protecting ourselves from these type incidents. Moving the federal government over a holiday week is much like motivating a turtle to speed his trip across a bust highway. Slow and frustrating.

  • Eric Lamar says:

    Thank God somebody is doing something!

  • Henry says:

    Eric –

    A very thoughtful post. Everyone must say to our Congressmen that they must pass gun control legislation.

    Henry

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FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

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Eric Lamar
FACEBOOK Life: Come Hither
Robert, You're being manipulative and clever. Don't try to be the answer grape one second and then play the victim card the next when I defend myself. You called me out and I told you why I don't think you are right. E
2015-01-24 17:44:14
Robert K
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As always, thank you for validating my inadequacies. Though not bad for a fellow James Woods grad. How about returning a phone call once in awhile.
2015-01-24 17:39:39
Eric Lamar
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First, thank you for the correction; always welcome. Second, my "birthday wishes thank you comment" was on the notion of gratitude. In fact, the hearing/brain reference taken together was in jest, I poked fun at myself. The proof is no one wished me good health because it was not the purpose of the note and…
2015-01-24 17:21:27
Robert K
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Eric, Two observations. The acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is HIPAA. Second, on January 2 (happy birthday) you shared on your fb page some personal medical information concering your hearing and a mri of your brain. What is the difference??
2015-01-24 16:31:06
TheHonestTruth
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Once you put it on Facebook (or any other social networking platform) you waive all rights to privacy of that information or image. It's pretty damned simple....and so are people who expect privacy after they have aired their dirty personal laundry, exposed criminal activity, made jackasses of themselves, etc. Stupid is as stupid does.
2015-01-24 01:47:05
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