From the Secret List...
Missouri Volunteer Firefighter Dominic Gillen received a 3 year prison sentence yesterday for a fatal responding traffic crash that happened in November of 2006. Gillen pleaded guilty last summer for voluntary manslaughter for the death of 17 year old Jacob Yeates. The Missouri Highway Patrol estimates Gillen was speeding at 84 mph and he passed a family of four in a no-passing zone on a blind hill on Missouri 76. His car hit head-on a car driven by Yeates, a high school Junior. Gillen, a member of the Goodhope FD, was responding to a brush fire in a POV with no lights or siren. He received minor injuries in the crash.
3 years in prison is what Prosecutors recommended. At the sentencing hearing, the victim's mother gave a victim impact statement and urged the judge not to grant probation.
Take Care-BE CAREFUL. SLOW DOWN.


Please drive carefully and follow your HTA. Obey the limits, stop at all stops and red lights (and do not proceed through in personal vehicle), and as learned in this tragic lesson, do not pass on a blind hill, double line. You would think it wouldn't need to be said, it's common sense, but apparently it does. Be careful out there, we face enough dangers without creating added risk on the roads.

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I would be willing to bet he does more than three years in his mind...I can't imagine how horrible it would feel if my negligence cost another's life. It's not worth the risk! The man's actions certainly didnt get him to the scene any faster, nor to any other scene for at least the next three years and he was lucky it wasn't the last time he will ever get to respond ....makes you have to pause and think..hmmmm
I belive that he knew he shoudnt be driving that fast to brush fire,there was no lives in danger so there's no reason he should be driving that fast,and he should have got more than 3 yrs because he killed someone going to a brush fire thats not that imporant,ive never have got in that big of a hurry to get to a brush fire,becuase we have plenty of other guys that can get to it with a truck without hurting someone,he should have common sense to know not to pass on a hill and in a no passing zone going 84 mph,i hope that guy will sit in prison and think about what he done,and now he will never be a firefighter again in his life.
You know, it's amazing.
I posted this same newsflash in the "Responding" thread. You know the thread about what "woop woops and blinky blinkies do you use to drive fast and bully people out of the way so I can get to that menacing grass fire".
NOT ONE REPLY SO FAR.
Not much to say except, IT CAN'T HAPPEN TO ME!
Right? Hello?
Still feeling frisky?
Kind of sad, isn't it? There are a few different kind of firefighters, those who do the job for the protection of others and those who do it because "it's cool". ??? Maybe I'm wrong, but too many traffic accidents and too many people with "blinged out" cars thinking they are above the law in my opinion (and you know what they say about opinions... lol)!
it truly is a shame that there are people out there that do this. lets remember we are not above the law nor indestructible, we are here to help people. When you become reckless like this there is no good that can come out of it, what a tragedy
It sure is a shame. Even though it was just a brush fire you never know what you are going to encounter once you arrive on scene. 9 our of 10 times it will be nothing and firefighter can put it out with little more than a flapper, but there is that one time we could also save someone's home or about 100 hay roles (which happened to us one time) have to use a bobcat to unroll the hay in order to put them out. But at the same time there is no excuse to put yourself (and the general public we are supposed to be protecting) into unnecessary danger. I don't know the exact statistics but aren't more volunteer firefighters killed on the way to a scene than actually at the scene. Remember our #1 priority is our own safety, then the fellow responders, then the onlookers at the scene....then the patient. Sorry I didn't mean to get off on a tangent. We all just need to be safe out there and SLOW down. Especially in a POV.
Sad to say, but this story will lead off our department's 2008 response safety training lecture.
Ok, i see your point, but I just have to say a few things.... thinking "just a brush fire" is what killed several firefighters in texas as well as being the cause of numerous Firefighter burn overs and severe injuries/burns. While I agree whole heartedly that the driver should not have been driving like he was(no excuses), I must say that we shouldnt underestimate the potentials of a brush fire. It has been my experience (granted I am from the west side of the united states) that 9 times out of ten you need a lot more than a flapper. In fact I dont even believe in the use of flappers(personal opinion). I only get defensive because I have seen too many people think it is "just a brush fire" and be unprepared for what could and often does happen. I will get off my soap box now! Didnt mean to change the subject, just couldnt let that slide. No offense! ;o)
More like a life sentence. I've also read some of these other comments, I'm not impressed. Anyone that thinks a brushfire/grass fire is not a life threatining incident is a damn fool, as far as using a swatter or more commonly refered to as a speader, I'm glad they have taken those things out of service. No offense intended here but some folks need to think before they voice an opinion.
Its so sad... there's no winners in these cases.
Yes, this is a sad and unfortunate situation, but something similar is likely to happen again sometime this year. The FF pulled a dumb-a** move and paid the price. What kills me when I see this stuff is this:
ITS 2008 - DEAR GOD, how long do we put up with this crap?
To me, the majority of the blame starts at the top. I don't care if it is a big department or a small volunteer department. In 2008, there should be little difference when it comes to simple policies, and officers willing to make people follow them. In my experience, when I see things happening that shouldn't, or things NOT happening that should, it is unacceptable. I see entire departments from Chief on down, still doing "good ole' boy operations", and nobody questions them until bad things happen...that is too stinkin' late!

I know there are numerous issues that could be involved when these things happen, and there is no ONE simple answer. I guess I have seen too many things like this that were not completely the fault of the individual, somewhere prior to the event there was a lack of training, education, or leadership examples to prevent it.

In many of these areas where the department has shown they cannot (or will not) step up and operate as they should in 2008, not 1968, there needs to be a higher government agency (city or county) that assures that these departments "top to bottom" get their sh*t together or find someone else that will...PERIOD.
For you wildland firefighter types, here in Illinois in our response area, we have grass fires and field fires.
They occur in sparsely populated areas, usually, rural.
Let me re-phrase: You shouldn't be driving like your nuts are on fire to ANY fire.
Hope that helps. Didn't mean to offend or minimize the "type" of fire.

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