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

Comments
Eric Lamar
IAFF Ethics: Harold, Ed and the Silent Picket Line
Thanks for once again dragging in all the extraneous nonsense but this is all very simple. Harold Schaitberger attempted to recruit a candidate who has (at least) 20 members serving as volunteer chiefs in just one jurisdiction. That's extraordinary and it flies in the face of protecting the rights of brother and sister firefighters or…
2015-02-28 04:13:01
Chris Sullivan
IAFF Ethics: Harold, Ed and the Silent Picket Line
In the meantime...Eric Lamar still does not engage in meaningful conversation nor can he refute any of the comments here...Its obvious that you have a history with the IAFF President and maybe its warranted..however, because you do not like the man..don't bad mouth his choice for the 4th District President.....coming from a right to work…
2015-02-28 02:57:12
Eric Lamar
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No relationship with any of the candidates, announced or unannounced or previously thrown to the wayside. Feel better?
2015-02-27 16:21:16
Richard Peterson
IAFF Ethics: Harold, Ed and the Silent Picket Line
"By the way, it is my experience that people do not share posts they don’t agree with and 1,180 have shared this one in a little over 24 hours." We all know that statement is BS. People share posts all the time on subjects they don't agree with...it starts dialogue and that can make for…
2015-02-27 12:21:01
Sam
IAFF Ethics: Harold, Ed and the Silent Picket Line
So I guess the right person is you? It's funny reading the posts and you saying it's not personal towards Ed Smith but then you badh him saying he doesn't have what it takes to build a strong 4th district. Your department you retired from has a boat load of two hatters as well, but…
2015-02-27 08:21:41
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