Volunteer Firefighters and Arson the Deep Dark Secrets of the Thin Red Line

While one of the most horrific Arson Streaks by a firefighter  period was by a paid professional Fire Officer John Orr who is in prison  for life . It is rare a professional fire fighter is charged with arson.
On the other hand the Volunteer side sees 50 times the numbers of professionals who get convicted of arson.
The problem Volunteer depts do not have the resources and the rules to become a firefighter like paid company's and open their doors to all willing to help.
With this in mind you would think volunteer depts would do more to discourage such practice and look for signs of it but they do not . In fact there have been cases in PA where Convicted Arsonists  have served as Chief officers in PA. depts.
 It happened in  Braddock where an officer who was convicted of torching a grocery wholesaler was still serving despite the arson conviction.

 At Penn Hills Station 224# Point Breeze  where I once volunteered I left in complete and total disgust by what I saw going on by so called brothers.

 In fact  Firefighters at Penn hills  224#  and 223#
where suspected in helping   with arson in a string of barn fires in Plum Boro in the 80's and 3 Plum Boro fire fighters ended up charged  and another was sent thru ARD program for a  small fire at a Penn hills school  restroom and another time a chief got suspended after he allowed a friend in fire hall and he shows them video of fire he started and recorded on a VHS tape .

So What drives these firefighters to do it.

Boredom seems to be one of the big things firefighters not having the big fire breathing dragon to fight get easily bored especially young firefighters who then decide to start some activity .It starts with small fires and leads to bigger and bigger fires or firefighters getting injured as was the case in Penn hills when Firefighters where caught pulling a fellow firefighter by inner tube around a Penn Hills park and would get injured


Then there was the Ex firefighter thought to be behind false fire alarm tones being set off in Penn Hills  as well

Unfortunately Penn Hills has become the Laughing stock and butt of jokes in the tri state  for all its antics.
 Which never seem to stop.

Thankfully the Pa. Association of Arson Investigators which I belong  to and have taught electrical causes of fire classes , has started a" Hero's to Zeroes "
to help combat firefighters who get the itch to start fires .
But arson is just the tip of Firefighters and their behavior.

Theft of funds , Intimidation and threats to members ,being drunk on duty
Deliberately damaging property and hurting fellow firefighters, racism yes it all goes on and is too many time
it is condoned and not discussed and swept under the carpet .

 I will never forget as a kid when on the way home from my grandparents my dad spotted red flashing lights on an adjoining hill and took us to see the fire and one of the depts from Carnegie area showed up and firefighters where so drunk they fell of a ladder and got hurt trying to climb it.

When on a drill one night in a truck yard off Plum Street 224# firefighters loaded up and took several sections of large green  plastic sewer lines with them and shoved them in the squad  from  work being done in the truck yard ,because a fellow firefighter wanted to use them at his cabin to improve roadway into it.

They will all deny it but I was there and they where there and they know what went on.

or take the time before small fireworks became legal in Pa. at the time Pennsylvania had some of the strongest restrictions when it came to possession and setting of of fire works.
That did not stop Penn Hills Station 226# in one of there vehicles after being at a fireman parade from taking the vehicle and in there uniforms driving over the Ohio state line buying illegal fire works bringing them back and when confronted by a reporter from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review Reporter about the illegal fire works blowing it off by saying its no problems we know the local cops.

Just like always sweep it under the rug. a furious Penn hills council did nothing but give lip service.

Then there was the case of a drunk fire chief wrecking a fire truck in Indianola Pa.  but in that case the dept was dissolved after not correcting problems as was a dept in Fix Chapel who would not follow rules but that the exception not the rule when it comes to misbehaving firefighters .

I was also the exception when I filed a discrimination complaint against Penn Hills 224#  and several other firefighters have done the same with other depts to try and get the dark side which goes on with in depts. stopped.
This is why you will see so many firefighters belong to 3 or more depts over their fire career as they hop from dept to dept to try and find one where they fit in and work as professionals not clowns looking to slay the dragon and be heroes.

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