I am tired of seeing the "self-anointed accolades". We are giving people joining the fire service a lofty target to hit.

We are giving people in our communities a reason to resent us when WE refer to the honorable and courageous things that we do. In other words, they don't like US patting ourselves on the back.

People joining want to rise to hero status; some faster than others.

I read the Sunday paper and it sickened me when I came across this AP story from the New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Caleb+Lacey

Caleb Lacey, 19, a Long Island volunteer firefighter doused an apartment staircase with gasoline and set the building ablaze-killing four-in a "twisted attempt to become a hero", prosecutors charged Saturday.

This has given the term "hero" and "volunteer firefighter" connotations that any right thinking person would not want to be associated with.

Stop selling the idea that we are "heroes" and what we do is "heroic".

We do what we do to HELP others. Period.

Anyone who believes that they will make a heroic effort someday; GET OUT NOW.

There are other "Caleb Laceys" in our fire service just waiting for their chance.

You should know them. You voted them onto your fire departments.

And it has given the news media just another reason to splash FIREFIGHTER CHARGED WITH...as their headline and given the evening news their lead in for the top story of the day.

God; please make it stop.


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Once again Art you are 100% correct. I am also sick to death of the "hero" label. The only ppl I want to be a hero to is my 3 young kids. Rather that be for being a FF or just a great dad. TCSS and Buckle up.
True, it's losers like this that give us a bad name. While others might not do things to hurt themselves they will take more risk on scene. I have personally seen new firefighters do extremely risky things without cause just to say "did you see me climb under that car and save that guy" or "Why are you packing up its just a shed", of course these guys are dismissed. Stay safe
Chief, sad! sadder still is peoples lives were lost as a consequence. That our society puts titles on us when as you say we are just doing what we do.
Art you are so right, I didn't join to be a hero, I joined to help others and that is it... I don't think of myself as a hero or what I do as heroic....
I meant to say hurt others, but I messed up sorry
Well said Art couldn't of said it better myself. I can tell you this I myself didn't join to be a hero.
I agree 100% with you, Art. This means that there must be no more movies or TV series or documentaries or news clips or the like that make us out to be heroes.

For those who really want to be heroes, and get recognized for doing something out of the ordinary, read this article:

I agree 100% . good job this was very well put together.
my asst. chief talks about this incident all the time. Every time we do class work he is sure to associate this with the brotherhood and working. He is an amazing teacher but i think that this accident is upsetting. But it goes to show what happens.
What about a show that depicts us as drunk womanizers (FX's Rescue me).
So very true.
I ran across this a few weeks ago....When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work. ~Edward F. Croker

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