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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Jacob
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    says:

    Did a firefighter refuse to pull your kitten out of a tree when you were a kid or something? I’m missing the part where you think that because you once saw a single fireman act like a dick, an entire group of people whose lives are centered around going into IDLH atmospheres to save life and property are scumbags.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Jacob
      Ignored
      says:

      Statistically speaking, they are more likely to set arsons than most people.
      Firefighters tend to be gloryhounds, particularly the volunteer ones.
      (Because you gotta be a little crazy to want to run into burning buildings).Report

      • Avatar Jacob in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        But he’s not accusing firefighters of being arsonists. He’s accusing them of being “jerks” and “dicks” and “bullies”. Which to me signals less a reliance on statistical analyses and more a personal affront at some point in his life that he’s extrapolated to 1.1 million people who, by the way, will still go into that burning building to save him irrespective of his irrational bias.

        I’m going into my twelfth year in the volunteer fire service, and we’ve only had one arsonist. He was a kid, barely 17, lighting cars on fire in a nearby parking lot so that he could be the first one there to put them out. He was quickly discovered and apprehended by other members of his company and given over to the care of the county police.

        The overwhelming majority of our members are just people who live in town who like solving problems and fixing things. The fire department has become the catch-all agency for “shit is wrong but we don’t know why”. Carbon monoxide? Call the fire department. Motor vehicle collision? Call the fire department. Person hanging from cliff? Etc, etc, etc. For some people, the challenges in your day-to-day just aren’t challenging enough, so you seek out more. Those are the kind of folks getting out of your local volunteer fire apparatus.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Jacob
          Ignored
          says:

          I’ve heard of volunteer fire departments that were essentially the “good old boys” network, chock full of folks who didn’t deserve to be there (or anywhere, really).

          I’m willing to believe that like police, it’s a lot easier to remember the worst firefighter you’ve met than the best.

          [I live in Pittsburgh, so when the firemen get called for carbon monoxide — to ten houses in one night — it’s because the air outside is above the limits and setting the detectors off. Very glad I live on a nice tall hill.]Report

    • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to Jacob
      Ignored
      says:

      I don’t think the firefighter-hatred is supposed to take all that seriously.Report

  2. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ve done my share of emergency response exercises like that and I agree, it’s best to be a 250lbs paper weight. Mostly I work with CERT, so the “responders” are volunteers, and not always well trained, so while I will be dead weight, I will also offer helpful advice if they are struggling to move me.Report

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    But I commit to being 100% dead weight.

    I’ve worked with a lot of people like that.Report

  4. Avatar Maribou
    Ignored
    says:

    Funny and interesting post, IMO. Not an experience I’ve ever had, but I’ve wondered about it before.

    And I thought the firefighter stuff was funny and sharp, despite having friends who are firefighters and a lot of admiration for various firefighters I am acquainted with. @jacob, I think you missed the part where he’s not describing volunteer firefighters, but rather professional firefighters who are going through what they see as a pointless training exercise on a day when there’s at least one real fire going on. And also the part where hyperbole is a traditional form of humor. As are insults.Report

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