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brush truck

Well I have been keeping my mouth shut this entire time just reading all the stuff people have to say. Well, finally here it is...the story. But before I start #1. It is not my job to explain to the public how it happened. #2. I will tell the story because BSLFD is being made to look bad. #3. I dont need to defend my self nor my actions. I am proud of my FD and the Men and women I volunteer with. Upon entering the field that you see in the picture (on right) I stopped, sprayed water, put out a hot spot. No problem with the truck at all. It ran great. I then got back into the truck and drove down the CLEARED access road (it was clear, no trees in the way or large stumps, or logs). My officer signaled me to stop and to attack the small fire that was medium high grass that was in front of me and to the left going at a 45 degree angle away from us. At this point the fire was down wind about 150-200 feet in front of me. It was NOT at this time in the trees or headed in my direction where I was parked nor was it near me. I exited the vehicle, grabbed the line and started towards the fire. (The truck was still running) another firefighter yelled to me to say that the pump would not start. I returned to the truck, (maybe 30 seconds have past by now) depressed the start button. The pump would not start. I quickly did a once over on the pump motor and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. I again hit the start button with the same result. Nothing. I went to the cab to see if the truck itself was still running. I looked at the Tach on the dash board. It read zero. I then turned the key (and dont say-why was he turning the key if the truck was susposed to be running) and the truck itself would not start.(there was light to moderate smoke in our location) We then notified the IC of the situation. During all this the winds shifted 180 degrees toward the tree line and back towards us. Embers lit the pine straw in the wood line. I went and put the truck in neutral and tried to push the truck back by hand. That didn’t work. In the mean time other FD's were on their way to come tow or push our truck to safety. By the time they arrived (only a minute or two) the fire had gotten into the tree tops and rushed towards us. The smoke was very dark and could not see the truck even though we were only a short distance away. All of this happened in a very quick moment. A FF was sent to see the truck to see if we were able to hook a cable or something to it to it can be moved. When he returned he notified us that the cab was on fire. My LT then made the call to to evac the area. The truck was 10-7. If we did not have any mechanical problem the truck would not have been in harms way at all. NOW- the truck was not on any logs or anything of the sort. If the truck was able to start we could have easily driven to safety when we noticed the wind change. When we arrived we were up wind. NOT in the path of the fire. We were NOT stuck or anything of the sort reguardless of what the pictures look like. We followed procedure and did nothing wrong. How do I know this? Because I have a B.S. in Fire Science, been in the fire service since I was 15 y/o. almost 20 years. I was also a paid FF in Connecticut before I was transferred here. Now, I am not saying that I am any better then any other FF in this are because I am not, but I am not stupid. The big picture is that the truck broke down somehow. Only god knows why or how, but it did. No FF were hurt. But let’s look at a scenario. If a US soldier is driving down the road in IRAQ in a hummer and the hummer breaks down and pulls off to the side of the road. The hummer then gets blown up by the enemy. Should we fault the soldier's because of where the truck down and because it got destroyed. The answer: HELL NO! Not there fault. It had a mechanical failure. Stop blaming BSLFD or any other FD for that matter. It was not a training issue; actually the training is pretty good there. The Leadership is also good. All the public hears about is the Bad stuff. You never hear the good stuff. I.E.- the media will never print or do a story on a litter of cute little kittens being born. But now if that same litter of cute kittens were place in a garbage bag and thrown out a car window now it’s suddenly news right. I am glad people are born with the right to voice their opinion. That’s what makes this country great and we are better because of it. But don’t blame an entire group of indivuals who volunteer their time to try to help their community. We should support them regardless of the situation, weather right or wrong. OUT!

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