On another board I'm on there was a discussion about prisoners out west fighting fires. Everyone was saying what a good job they were doing. But we won't let people with felonies in the fire service. Delaware recently passed a law concerning this. If it's okay for hard core prisoners to go out and fight fires why can't someone who made a mistake 5-10-15 years okay and has been clean ever since do it?

Am I the only one with a issue about this?

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We have a few things that will bar you from a department 1: Arson 2: Megan’s Law Violations 3: Sex Crimes 4: Murder 5: Burglary. That's it and that’s fair. Everyone make mistakes in life. I'm very much in favor of prisoners firefighter for wild fires. This is what is meant by penitence for crimes.
Is a DWI a non-violent felony? Vehicular Manslaughter?
I don't think that's even a felony in most places unless it's a repeat offense.
Well let's see. I know a fireman who about 20 years ago got into a situation where his 16 year sister was assaulted by a gang member. She didn't want this to go public and what happened was that the police wouldn't do a thing about it. The fireman did something about it. He confronted the gang member who had assaulted his sister and when he did, the gang member showed a gun and said "Mind yours nigga..." and said that he would do it again. This escalated into a fight where the gun went off and the gang member died. The fireman was later charged with manslaughter because the prosecutor later said that he could have held the assailant until police got there (what a joke that would have been) The fireman didn't do time but has a manslaughter on his record. He was defending himself and at the same time defending his sister. He now has a felony over it but leads a normal life with his wife and son. Works hard and is probably one of the most loyal men on his department.
So as long as it is non violent it is ok....So the guy with 3 or 4 DUIs in the past 4 or 5 years is ok? Where are all these felonious check writers? Unless you forged something or knowingly bought hundreds of more dollars then you had...why is it a felony...and in your teens?

The problem is WHERE do we draw the line? It is currently drawn at non-violent/non-drug, non spousal abuse type convictions in my area.

But come on....Why are so many on the side of Felons in this muck....Im with Jack....If we got folks that dont have misdemeanor convictions hire them first...then those with CERTAIN misdemeanors Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy before we ever start even thinking of hiring felons!!!!
Ok...and what should we change it to????? What are the new rules going to be?
So it is all about CHOICES isnt it. Mr Trout, I dont blame your friend for what he did. Im sure it was what we would all want to do. I'm sure we can all think real hard and come up with a person who we know who was a convicted felon, but now is or seems like a really nice guy...but he made choices. Sometimes we make good choices...sometimes not so good and sometimes horrible. In some ways we pay for all our choices...karma, legal system...whatever.

FELONS should NOT be allowed to be firefighters. FELONIES are serious crimes, not mistakes. I worked in law enforcement for years before the fire service, and I never met a felon who committed a crime. They were all "framed" or it was that other guy or something else.

Look I'm not saying that if you commited a felony you are a horrible person. Maybe you have changed, maybe not. But why should my fire department which is held very high in public trust ever have to worry about hiring someone who is a felon....we just shouldnt!!!!

Why can't we just draw the line at felony/misdemeanor. Misdemeanors not involving violence, sex or drug dealing will be taken on a case by case basis....FELONS WILL NOT!!!!
I think mostly what I'm getting out of this is that a lot of people seem to expect (or demand, as a right, perhaps) a "do over". And this, I believe, comes from not ever having learned that actions have consequences.

Sorry if you had a shitty life, childhood, parents or neighborhood but we play the cards we're dealt. And people that have a shitty life, for whatever reason, actually are able to become adults without ever having committed a felony.

One's situation (a psychotic break, in the wrong place, bad friends) may be contributory but unless you get the felony dismissed as a result of these 'situations' then your cards are your cards.

But as I said earlier, don't think of it a being punished for being a felon, think of it as a reward for NOT being a felon. What many are saying is that someone who screwed up should be given another chance, but doesn't that put the felon ahead of the non-felon? Isn't the non-felon now at a disadvantage for having NOT ever committed a felony, while the felon is given a do over, and maybe gets the job instead of the non-felon. Or are felonies just not that big a deal anymore?
It is about choices. Now as a firefighter with several years of experience both in the east coast and in the mid west I can say that I have come across men who have nearly zero morals or ethics and wouldn't trust them behind or in front of me on a line. They just happened to pass the test and get on. They are lucky that they are not serving time for things that they do. I know for a fact that the gentleman that I mentioned is on an FD right now and not only that, works closely with officers at Westpoint Military Academy. He has an extremely high sense of loyalty and trust. I would rather trust the FELON than any other man I know. Repeat offenders are a different story. Just be careful that a something doesn't happen to you. The law is a very tricky thing and you can become a felon in under 30 seconds. I wonder what many would do in a situation like his.
yes. It is called an expungement. Pardon boards can issue a pardon to a felon depending on the length of time from the date of the felony and the seriousness of the crime. Once a felon receives an expungement he/she can apply for a paid firefighter job and check "no" on the question of whether or not he/she has ever been convicted of a felony.

There are also situations where fire departments hire felons on a case by case basis. Thank God some of the members on this website are not the jury who decides these things.
I say good for the fireman. The only good gang member is a dead gang member. (IMO)
Do you really think someone who committed a felony when they were 16 or 17 is the same person as the father of two who is now 30?

Even some felonies need to be taken on a case-by-case basis.


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