There has been some internal, after-the-fact controversy about the fire on Spruce St. last week. As with any fire or incident, there are always things that could have been done better. But it is now out of control. It is clear that this town’s liberal Police & Fire-hating media has set out to discredit the Fire Department as well as the Police Department.

NBC Reporterette Dawn Timmeney has done a real hatchet job on the PFD, and I take exception to her shoddy journalism. Apparently, this reporter has nothing better to do than criticize the Fire Department because two DOGS died as a result of the fire.

Now, I want to clear a few things up: We don’t go out of our way to save pets while we are fighting any fire. If we can do that safely, of course, we will. But manpower is at a premium on the fire ground. There never seems to be enough people to get things done fast enough. As a result, we are extremely focused on things that make a difference in the overall outcome of whatever we are dealing with. In this case it was SAVING THE BUILDING and the rest of the block.

Yet that wasn’t good enough for this ungrateful, self-centered brat. It’s not enough that six firemen were injured fighting a fire caused by students too irresponsible to keep from burning down their building – and nearly taking the entire block with it. She has to complain about how we did it and how it was inadequate to save her dogs. In fact, we NEVER heard one thing about any dogs. Someone may have said something, but not to me. I walked passed her quite a few times that night.

If the dogs were in the adjoining building, they may have been missed in any search because there was no reason to believe they were in there. Dogs can be very dangerous in these situations. Imagine trying to “rescue” a Pit Bull agitated by the smoke, heat, fire, and noise of a raging building fire. That’s just not what we are trained for. These weren’t Pit Bulls, but it makes the point.

There also may have been no sign of dogs in the apartment. Usually, there are telltale signs that children or elderly people live in a house. Toys or excessive amounts of medicines may give us a reason to take a second look when checking for victims. But animals tend to hide when scared. With no signs of their presence, it is easy to conclude the apartment is empty. When you have buildings the size of these you move on quickly. Remember we are looking for HUMAN life. People respond to their rescuers or other people give you information on their whereabouts. They don’t sit there for hours saying little or nothing.

Frankly, if I HAD been informed that these animals were in there, I may have gone and looked for them IF I wasn’t actively engaged in the firefight. Unfortunately, this firefight went on until nearly the very end, when the Snorkel put it out. I, for one, didn’t have the strength or manpower to go look for two dogs that may or may not have been in there. I certainly wasn’t risking any of my crew for them. Human life is more important than animals; that’s life. I saw these dogs when they were brought out. Our Medics went to work on them right away. The other was on a leash and I can’t understand why it was put down like many of my co-workers have said.

So once again the media hypes a critical story for the expressed purpose of making us look bad. There was NEVER any follow up on the firefighters who were injured – they could care less. There is no real purpose to air this story other than to make us look bad. We have no way to defend ourselves. So I just take it in stride and live with the fact that one day me, or one of my co-workers, may get killed doing our jobs and people like this won’t give a rat’s ass.

But it may get these vultures some ratings.


  1. Ed Casson says:

    Check Dawn’s past as a reporter in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area.

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