Sunday, August 27, 2006

COMMENTARY: WHEN THE BELL RINGS

Ok, be honest – how many of you have made a joke when you see a police car parked in a donut shop parking lot or snicker when you drive by a fire station and see the firemen sitting outside on lawn chairs. You think to yourself, what a life. I wish I could do that all day. If this is you, I want you to take a look at some of the photos on our news site at just some of the fires that we have captured in the short amount of time that we have been online. Look at the homicides and crime that we have covered already. The men and women wearing Police and Fire uniforms go into work and wait for a call that they may or may not come back from. Our local police officers respond to calls of Domestic Violence (DV) every single day in Lorain County and statistics show that responding to D.V. calls are one of the most dangerous for officers.

After the tragic events on 9-11 everyone gained a new found respect for Police, Firefighters and EMS. But like with everything our attention span can be short. We have forgotten the sacrifices that many men and women working in these fields make everyday. Locally we have lost many men and women in the line of duty. Most recently Wellington Fire Department lost a veteran rescue diver, Allan “Buzz” Anderson. Anderson lost his life while trying to save the lives of two local teenagers who were trapped on top of their car in flood waters. Anderson leaves a wife of 20 years and 4 sons behind.

In two weeks there will be a benefit for the Allan “Buzz” Anderson Memorial Fund on the Lorain County Fair Grounds in Wellington. You may have seen details about it in our “In The Community” section. This event is being organized by the Wellington Safety Forces, Harrison Ford and The Southern Star band. All proceeds will go to the Memorial fund. The event will feature music from The Southern Star band, Water Fights with firefighters, raffles, food from Big Dog Catering and much more.

The planning staff is still looking for businesses to donate cash, merchandise, gift certificates or any item that can be raffled off. If you would like to donate or to see if there is anything else that you can do to help make the day a success, please contact Steve Hall at 1-800-686-3614.

TMC NEWS encourages everyone to take a moment and think about what this man did for our community. When the bell rang he answered it. When children were in danger, he responded. Tragic circumstances took his life in those flood waters and now his wife is left to raise their 4 sons. The bell is now ringing for the community to come together. The question is, will you respond?

19 Comments:

Anonymous rescue31 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I stand by my belief that full time professional fire department would not have let such a terrible accident happen."

That is such a stupid thing to say. Why must you "full-time" firefighters always turn this kind of thing into a part-time/full-time thing? Accidents happen, even when we try our best to prevent them... full time or part time. you should keep your thoughts to yourself and not show your ignorance. I'd be ashamed to call you a "brother".

9:31 PM  
Blogger wfdbrown said...

Interesting...rescue31 saw the footage. My guess is that he wasn't there, like I was. My guess is that he doesn't know the FULL STORY, like I do. Rescue31 says that a full-time, professional fire department would not let such a terrible accident occur. Certainly rescue31 knows that full-time firefighters die nearly everyday on the job?? The Wellington Fire District, which is very active in the Lorain County Dive Team, had at the time, 5 swift water trained divers. On that day, three were working their primary jobs. I don't think any department in this county can boast that number or extensive training. In closing, rescue31, your comments are hurtful not only to your alledged "brothers", but more importantly only tarnish the job we all do and harm the Anderson family. In the future, think not only of your union mantra, but remember why we do this job. It is to help people, not hurt them. Your ignorant, uninformed comments are out of line and unprofessional.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rescue 31, you go right ahead and stand your belief, but you should know that there are 31 men on the Wellington Fire Dept. that will disagree with you and many more across the country. You tell them to get proper training??? Until you see what kind of training they do, and how often they train you need to shut your mouth! you are a pathetic excuse for a firefighter and i would be apalled to call you my brother or my coworker. worse yet, my friend. the only thing you did on your posting was place blame on a bunch of guys who have been second guessing themselves and beating themselves up for 2 months. Do you think this is easy for anyone, let alone the guys who were there?? Do you think that placing blame Buzz's friends and coworkers is going to make anyone side with you? You say that you have been in the fire service for many years so you should know that now more than ever is when the men on WFD need support more than anything, not criticism! You should also know "since you are the "perfect full time firefighter" that accidents happen every day, no matter how hard you train, how often you train, Full time or part time, ACCIDENTS HAPPEN!! And unfortunatley, sometimes the only thing you can do is learn from them. I have a feeling if your chief knew what you wrote, you'd be in really deep. I Know if i ever made such a backstabbing slap in teh face toward a fellow department my chief would have me in teh office so fast and chew me up one side and down the other, but then again you have a union to back you so you can do whatever you want. Keep in mind this job is based on trust and for you to say something like that shows ignorance and lets people know that you really dont care about anyone but yourself. I hope to God that i NEVER have to work with you. And please dont call any of us your brother, because are definatley not on of ours!

2:06 PM  
Blogger wfdslack said...

Brother! I would never say you are my brother, the only thing you are is a total disgrace to anyone that enjoys this job. I know how much we at Wellington train and the members of our department are some of the highest trained and most professional firefighters in the county, but then again you guys need to have the so called professional firefighter license plates to try and convince everyone else of who you are! I have a brother that is a career firefighter, I just hope for his career and his safety he is not assigned on the same shift as you! I am very proud of my brother as he is proud of me, he gets to hear first hand all the training and requirements that go into being part of the WFD. Every member of the WFD has and continues to be a part of the Anderson's family. Apologize there is not a one of us that has not apologized for the loss of Buzz, but we do not apologize for all of our training or dedication, the same training and dedication that Buzz had! We continue to be one of the highest trained departments in the county, and we are proud of it! Any of my true brothers in this field would not ever think of passing judgement on any other department or as you say a brother based strictly on news footage. I hope you are content in your perfect world! but I feel you are going to be very lonely there all by yourself!!!!!!!!!

5:18 PM  
Anonymous rescue31 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:06 PM  
Blogger wfdbrown said...

Responding to a call on tractors?? Hoeing a row of soybeans?? You can't be this ignorant...can you? No more hiding in a forum like this. WE are only harming OUR profession by doing this. If you are the professional you claim to be, please find the courage to call our station. Myself and the Chief are in station M-F, 7:30-5:30.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rescue31, please have more class and professionalism than this. If you really are a great and wonderful firefighter who is committed to your profession and striving for excellence, do not hide like a coward. Why don't you state your name, your rank, your department, and your extensive experience as a diver. I am not part of a dive team and will not comment on things that I do not know about. It is obvious by your commentary, that you should not be as well. Do your research, talk to your chief. If you feel that Wellington Fire Department is so poorly run and managed, stop the coward behavior and identify yourself. Go talk to the Chief and the members of the Wellington Fire Department. Do something productive other than casting stones when you surely live in a glass house. But please do us all a great favor, when you are pointing that finger and "Monday Morning Quarterbacking", look in the mirror and realize that there are 3 fingers pointing back at you.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rescue 31 talks about the training that they do at their full-time department. Why doesn't Rescue 31 post all of this training that they do each day, each shift? Why doesn't Rescue 31 go spend a day with the Wellington Fire Department while they are training and even see if they can keep up? I'm guessing they would never do it because they could never keep up with the rigourous training that Wellington Fire Department completes.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous wfdpitts said...

rescue 31---you were not there you DO NOT know the facts---you say your department is trained--most likely not!!! if you belong to a Lorain county fire department then chances are YOU AND YOUR DEPARTMENT are NOT trained to handle a rescue such as this. there are two departments that have trained personel for swift water rescue Wellington and ONE other person from Elyria---that is it for the county! You are very quick to criticize and if you and or your department are in Lorain county then why aren't you participating with the Lorain County Dive Team? It sonds as though your infinite knowledge could possibly be of some help. Is there a union by law that says "though shall not work with part time departments--just ridicule them" or won't the big city allow overtime--heaven forbid you do something out of the kindness of your heart to help someone like we do.---it sounds as though your talking a lot and showing a little. To sit where you are and judge, because that is exactly what you are doing, and then put it in writing take a lot of courage---that can happen to any single department on any day including yours!!!! "BROTHER"---YEAH RIGHT

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly hope rescue31 doesn't work in Lorain County. Because they would know then that their back up is the "farmers and their tractors". Isn't it odd that there's criticism about the "farmers and their tractors", yet I would bet if rescue31 needed a little help, they would not hesitate to call the "farmers and their tractors".

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone out there know who has a Rescue 31 apparatus??? My assumption is that which ever department he/she is from, probably isn't too proud at this moment. 31...drop back 10 and punt. The least you can do is talk face-to-face with your "Brothers"; or is that not your style? You seem like a sucker-puncher, which is a pretty low form of existance. Whatever you do, don't get a set and confront those guys with your ignorant comments...they may not like you too much anymore.

11:26 AM  
Blogger wfdslack said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:10 PM  
Blogger wfdlittle said...

Rescue 31, first off, I personally know a number of "professional fulltime firefighters", many of them are my friends and I have nothing but respect for them so I don't want you think I'm taking a swing at full timers. For you to have the ignorance to call us at Wellington a bunch of farmers shows you know nothing about us. Therefore showing that you know nothing about our training or our department. We take our job very seriously. You have made very mean and hurtful comments towards your "brothers" and you need to step forward and take responsibilty for your actions. Responsibility is the most important quality in this profession. You say we are not professional, and we don't train. If you would like to see our training report, a copy is available at the Herrick Memorial Library on the square in downtown Wellington. If you would like a map I could draw you one.

12:33 PM  
Blogger TMC NEWS said...

To the person who has been writing the negative postings reference to this story:

I would like to thank you for turning our news site comment area into nothing more then a place to spew your outrageous and ill informed opinions. The fact that you would choose this forum to express your shameful thoughts confuses me. If you truly believed the nasty things you wrote about the tragic incident in Wellington, why would you not bring it up to Chief Walker or the powers that be in Wellington? Why instead would you choose a small news site to say the vicious things that you said and as others have asked, why would you not identify yourself if you are so proud of who you are and the department you allegedly work for? I can only assume that you are, as others have stated, a coward and a very small man.

TMC NEWS does not want to start censoring its readers in the comment section. I believe that we have already lost too many freedoms in our society so I refuse to take away our very basic freedom from our readers, the freedom of speech. However, the last post by this person has crossed a line. The post was in no way constructive, it was a post to stir up trouble and upset people. With that said, I will no longer be allowing any postings from that person unless he or she contacts me personally by phone (440-610-2352) so that I am able to verify their identity. I will not share their identity with anyone publicly; I just want to be able to confirm that they are sincere and actually believe the things they have said. To be honest with you all I do not believe that this person will ever call. I believe this person can only spew his hate from the shadows and will never come forward. However, if this person ever actually decides to find the courage of his convictions and come forward, I will be happy to talk with him and express in more detail my opinions of him and the posts that he has stuck on this site.

7:32 PM  
Blogger EFD Pronesti said...

I found out about this problem yesterday and can no longer hang back, to all those brothers who think that this person represents all full-time firefighters, think again.

This person is a coward, and one that I do not consider a brother, my department does have a rescue 31 and we are a proud and well trained group, HOWEVER, we do have some people who treat this profession as a hobby and not a job they don't have whats called pride and ownership in the job.

It doesn't matter where or who you work for full or part time, you do the job because we love it.

I will keep my ear to the ground listening to find out who this person might be, or better yet if you are indeed a firefighter on my department come talk to me.

I sincerely apologize on behalf of my department if in fact this person exists on my department.

I responded that day Buzz died and helped work on him in the squad, and it is a day I will not forget, Wellington be proud of the fact that you have a strong Chief such as Chief Walker, you're lucky.

Take care of each other and stay safe.

Lastly, this is my opinion and you can do what you want but just ignore the negative people, and allign yourselves with those who know what this job is about and truly love it.

Captain Joe Pronesti
Elyria Fire Department

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The topic on professional vs “nonprofessional” firefighter has long been a travesity in the workings between a couple fire departments and all the rest of the fire departments in Lorain County. The “holier than thou syndrome” is a constant reminder of the trivial mentality which plagues the minds of what would be good firefighters. I hate to be unkind but (clever combination of words), here’s a thought rescue31: if you have all the training and you’ve experienced all there is to experience, why not work with these departments, and share some of your knowledge to make them better? It sounds like it’s easier to “bash” or belittle departments because they are not union, (err I mean professional) from the coziness of your recliner (the union has done it’s share to bash part time/volunteer departments). They are your “brothers” after all. Apparently, sitting at the “professional”/union firefighter/cool kids table gives you entitlement toward judging what is professional vs what is not. Unions have done a wonderful job over the years keeping workers from treatment and pay that would be considered inadequate or substandard. Union systems enable workers to be able to have a decent living with decent health care and decent retirement. That should be the focus of a union. I’m sorry that you are a poor representation of what the union and firefighting is about. Furthermore, you are not professional. Professionalism is judged by an outward display of character and moral standards and that missed you long ago resuce31.

TMC has done an admirable job in the commentary of “when the bell rings”; moreover, in the stories he has been covering. Reading all of the comments, it’s hurtful the injustice that Rescue 31 did toward the family (I include WFD as a part of his family) of Buzz Anderson with his negligable comments and lack of respect for the fire and rescue service as a whole. Capt Pronesti does make a point in regards to “ignoring the negative people”, but the “headbutting” between the full time departments and part time/volunteer departments has gone on long enough. The issue has been a cold war without any justification in it’s rationale. The part time/volunteer service is not the hayseed of ole’. Departments are getting better training, work hard, and thoroughly enjoy what they do. For many of us, it’s not a job, it’s a part of our lives, our families.

To sum, a good man, a good firefighter, a good family man, and a great person perished in his attempts to save two human lives. A benefit for his family and his honor in about a week and a half. Please keep in mind we are all on the same team doing a dangerous job and we are supposed to be here for each other like Buzz would have been for us – no matter where we worked.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one comment to make about this whole situation. I commend all the firefighters at Wellington Fire Department for their professionalism exhibited this week related to the person who put these disturbing posts. I also commend EFD Pronesti and TMC news for their comments this week. This is a very hard situation that someone felt that they could take an opportunity to take a "potshot" at another service and utilize it to "stir the pot". If anything, I am willing to bet, this person's posts have solidified many of the firefighters and EMS personnel of Lorain County and certainly solidified the Elyria Fire Department and Wellington Fire Department's relationship. Whoever Rescue 31 is, you lost this gamble. It has backfired. Strength is in numbers and you are not the number.
As I sat reading the comments by anonymous, EFD Pronest, and TMC news, I focused back to the original TMC posting. Then I opened my newspaper and read about the Cleveland Police Department Officer who was murdered this week.
It does not matter whether you are EMS (ground ambulance or air ambulance), Fire, or Police. It does not matter whether you are full-time or part-time. Each day, we all get up and leave the comfort of our houses, kiss our significant others goodbye, and face the identical dangers. We all know, as do our families, in the back of our head that today could be our last call. We all know that it could be our small children who grow up without a parent. We all know that and yet regardless of our service or status, we all do it. I don't know of anyone who does it for the money, in fact there are departments where the volunteers are truly volunteers by Webster's definition and do not get paid at all. We all do it because we have a core value to serve our communities and help another fellow human being.
In 11 days, this country remembers one of the more tragic days experienced. Fire, police and EMS lost members in an effort to help fellow humans, regardless of the knowledge of the danger that was ahead. Let us never forget this.
For Rescue 31, thank you for allowing this opportunity for the emergency services to take the opportunity to reflect on why we should all stand behind each other and support each other when we are faced with tragedy. You have also shown what the difference is between professional maturity and cowardly acts. To that, I thank you for showing us the great staff and leadership that exists at Elyria Fire Department and Wellington Fire Department.
To Buzz Anderson, his family, his friends and his colleagues, it is very sad that this had to occur. However, it strengthened all of our knowledge at the courageous act Buzz performed on that day, and why we all get up each morning knowing that "when the bell rings" we would all go.

9:06 AM  

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