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  #1  
Old 25 February 2015, 08:50 PM
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Default What is wrong with people?

My wife works the front desk of a fire department admin building as part of her many duties. This morning they had a guy come in and ask to speak with the highest ranking person in the office. So she calls someone who comes to speak with him and notices the guy is slightly agitated.

So the Battalion Chief comes in and starts talking to the guy. Things progress to the point of taking the conversation to a private office and PD is called. As the conversation gets a little weirder, the guy is checked and found to be armed with a Glock and 3 extra clips. He is later led out in cuffs by the police.

Around that time a call is received from the FBI concerning a credible threat to the fire department by an armed individual(the tip originated from a Montana FBI office and was relayed to local FBI and PD but not the the FD originally).

It's not confirmed if this is the same guy the FBI was calling about but being looked into. This is at least the 2nd guy to make threats against the local fire department in the past year. There was a guy with a history of mental illness that used to call and leave strange messages on the dept voicemail during the weekends.

Everyone is fine and my wife is a little rattled but ok.
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  #2  
Old 25 February 2015, 09:23 PM
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Wow. Sorry your wife and colleagues had to deal with that.

Where I used to work we would occasionally get vague threats, or have people's pictures up to be on alert for. But after a minor incident we finally got a police officer at a desk in the lobby. (Mostly because of more important people who also had offices in our building). It really felt much safer after that.
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  #3  
Old 25 February 2015, 09:59 PM
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Did he even say anything that might suggest what he was worked up over? It's one thing for crazy people to make threats, but why would the fire department even be something that occurs to them as a target?
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  #4  
Old 25 February 2015, 10:01 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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D'oh!

There seems to be a fringe element that has hostility toward firefighters. I don't get it. I understand that some people don't like police for enforcing laws and because a few police abuse the authority of the badge. But firefighters!? What do they do to attract enmity? And yet in some communities, they have been shot at just for showing up to fight fires, reportedly sometimes set for the purpose of attracting firefighter targets. Nonsensical.
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  #5  
Old 25 February 2015, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
why would the fire department even be something that occurs to them as a target?
Just a guess, but it seems like some fringe anti-government types view "the government" as one big monolithic entity and make no distinction between civil servants and the ones actually making the decisions. The Fire Department is part of "the government" so that makes it a legitimate target to these people. Timothy McVeigh bombing an office building full of civil servants doing work most people wouldn't consider scary or controversial at all would be another example.
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  #6  
Old 26 February 2015, 01:45 PM
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Yow!

I think WildaBeast makes a good point regarding these loonies. Raven, I'm glad your wife was not hurt, but I imagine there was some extra laundry in your house after that incident!

As a side note, can you believe it's been almost 20 years since the OKC tragedy?!
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  #7  
Old 26 February 2015, 01:53 PM
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One of my bus buddies dislikes firefighters, although not to the point of threatening or trying to harm them. She thinks they're overpaid and overly privileged. She also apparently knows how to run a fire department better than they do.
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  #8  
Old 26 February 2015, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
One of my bus buddies dislikes firefighters, although not to the point of threatening or trying to harm them. She thinks they're overpaid and overly privileged. She also apparently knows how to run a fire department better than they do.
Does she realize that some firefighters are volunteers?
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  #9  
Old 26 February 2015, 02:09 PM
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We didn't discuss volunteer firefighters. She probably thinks they're okay. Most of her resentment of those lazy, overpaid firefighters seems to be rooted in her property taxes having been raised due to a fire levy.

I understand that property tax increases can be frustrating, but how do you get from that to thinking that firefighters are spoiled brats?
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  #10  
Old 26 February 2015, 02:23 PM
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They're always doing their grocery shopping with the fire truck paid for with our money?
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  #11  
Old 26 February 2015, 02:30 PM
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That was one of her objections, actually. Also, they "sleep on the job." When I tried to explain my understanding of the reasons behind the shift structure that leads to both those things, she dismissed it as unnecessary and said they should work the same hours everyone else does.

She may also have said they have too many vehicles.
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  #12  
Old 26 February 2015, 02:36 PM
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So instead of paying 60 firefighters who are on call for long periods of time, the county/city should pay 240 firefighters who are on call for 8 hours at a time?
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  #13  
Old 26 February 2015, 02:38 PM
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Yes. And don't forget, they should also be paid less.

Ultimately, I told her she could have all the same benefits if she could pass the application process and was willing to run into burning buildings instead of away from them.
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  #14  
Old 26 February 2015, 02:48 PM
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Just have her try on turn out gear during the summer, that's enough for me to rule it out as a career. Your temperatures wouldn't be as high as ours, but the humidity would be brutal.
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  #15  
Old 26 February 2015, 03:14 PM
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Oh yeah, 90F & above with 80-90% relative humidity is brutal.
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  #16  
Old 26 February 2015, 03:27 PM
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Heavt breathing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
and was willing to run into burning buildings instead of away from them.
That alone would disqualify me--I'm a big fat chicken in that regard. Not to mention the physical fitness requirements.
I also see some firemen or paramedics doing grocery shopping as well. How dare those slackers eat!!
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  #17  
Old 26 February 2015, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
One of my bus buddies dislikes firefighters, although not to the point of threatening or trying to harm them. She thinks they're overpaid and overly privileged. She also apparently knows how to run a fire department better than they do.
My mom is the same way about teachers. The funny thing is that one of our next-door-neighbors for many years was a teacher, and Mom saw just how much she worked and how little she was paid, but teachers were still overpaid slackers.
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  #18  
Old 26 February 2015, 04:15 PM
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I can't imagine having a job that is so much in the public eye, and that so many people with no training or experience assume they know how to do.

I felt the same way last year when they were doing a streetscaping project outside my office building, and one of my co-workers had an uninformed complaint about the project and the workers every. single. day.
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  #19  
Old 26 February 2015, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
We didn't discuss volunteer firefighters. She probably thinks they're okay. Most of her resentment of those lazy, overpaid firefighters seems to be rooted in her property taxes having been raised due to a fire levy.

I understand that property tax increases can be frustrating, but how do you get from that to thinking that firefighters are spoiled brats?
One of my old friends from high school likes to rant on FB about that. He is pretty arch conservative, both in social issues and in being a libertarian. That's the thing, he thinks they are paid too much. I think people also don't understand that firefighters (and emergency responders in general) make a very significant portion of their income through overtime pay. That means that they have to, you know, work a lot of overtime. If they make good money, it is mostly because they do a lot of very hard work.
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  #20  
Old 26 February 2015, 05:03 PM
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I never understood the libertarian mindset about how firefighters and other emergency service people are so overpaid, given how much emphasis libertarians tend to put on making money. Unless they think that being a firefighter is not a very dangerous and demanding (both physically and mentally) job and would like to see what happens to the competency and efficiency of a fire station if they started paying low wages.
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