02/23/07 295 W - + 21 - 11 Open Friday Closed

For about five hours this evening, in a thread titled Open Friday, readers were invited to comment on anything. The thread would end at a specific time and all comments would be deleted and subsequently summarized. Grand experiment? Big mistake? Maybe a bit of both. Initial comments consisted of anonymous criticism of specific departments, on issues including staffing, salary, station locations, and automatic aid. No surprise there, though the level of vitriol was a bit startling. See: Axe, Grind. Other anonymous posters took the original anonymous posters to task. There were some refutations-- and some DETAILED refutations, from a poster who also admitted feeling disgust at responding to the unnamed attacker-- and explanations and, of course, some name-calling for those who refuse to sign their names. e.g, Mutt, Pu$$y. It was suggested that those with concerns voice them at the County Commissioners meetings. It was also suggested that voicing such concerns yields nothing, or at least nothing in the bigger picture.

Folks agreed on a few things, like the value of GPS on apparatus, closest-station response, and automatic aid regardless of department. Specific posters were also slammed and/or praised and/or sarcastically praised. One veteran firefighter admitted feeling ashamed and worse by reading such postings. Another agreed that, once again, firemen are their own worst enemies. What's the problem? The named poster sees too many departments worrying about their neighbors instead of themselves. Add a little money, some strong egos, and fast-growing municipalities, and you can see the potential for problems. He adds, remember the citizen. Preserve the brotherhood, protect the citizen, and the small stuff will work its way out. End of summary. And what did we learn about ourselves from this mess? Let's think on that one...

Postscript #1. Sorry, the comments will not be re-posted. Amended above summary to include the rules that were set at the outset.
Legeros - 02/24/07 - 07:53