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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

MSNBC Breaks Fire Fighter Death Investigation Problem

MSNBC has this great piece on the investigation of Firefighters Deaths while on the job where the government is dropping the importance of this issue. On the main page of MSNBC they had the Worcester Cold Storage building fire where we lost six very brave men to the fire. That was a day and a week and month that I never want to see repeated anywhere else in America.

These guys and gals that rush in when everyone else is rushing out are trained professionals that we should all be thankful for every single day. We lost six brave men to the fire in Worcester because they believed that homeless people were occupying this abandoned building. Not a one of them thought about themselves when they ran into the inferno. They were thinking about saving lives that some people would argue are not worth the risk. In a firefighters eye, every life is worth the risk and they paid the ultimate price for it. In God's eyes the Worcester Six will forever be loved and blessed.

President Clinton ordered the CDC to investigate all firefighter deaths on the job. The CDC apparently is fluffing it off as not important and that my friends is wrong on so many levels. The future lives of other firefighters down the road from quick investigations as to what went wrong when a firefighter is killed in the line of duty are critical and should be top priority! Any parties found responsible through serious negligence should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

CDC Fire Fighting Team the No Go Team - MSNBC

Agency that examines firefighter deaths typically arrives 33 days later

Even in Worcester, Mass., where six firefighters died on Dec. 3, 1999, the CDC managers didn't want to send anyone immediately to investigate, said Schmidt, the former CDC fire prevention engineer. He said he called a CDC manager at home.

"And his comment to me was, ‘Well, that's not what we do. We'll get up there in a couple of weeks,’” Schmidt said. “But the next day, I see that they'd all left to go up there."

Castillo confirmed that the CDC went to Worcester immediately, only because the firefighter union called. Duffy, the union official, says he had the home number of Linda Rosenstock, the director of NIOSH.

"We called and said, ‘You guys have to be here,’” he said. “… I believed it was important for them to be there. There's a brand new branch to investigate firefighter fatalities, and we have six firefighters down.”

The CDC sent three people to Worcester the next day. Castillo, the manager of the program, said she wasn't sure whom Duffy called but confirmed his basic account. Rosenstock, who has since left the CDC, declined a request for an interview.

Then the CDC went right back to taking a month or longer to visit fire scenes, according to the CDC records reviewed by

Senator John Kerry (D) Mass Fires Back! Thank God and thank you Senator Kerry on behalf of my fire department here in Worcester and all the firefighters across our nation…

BOSTON - Sen. John Kerry on Monday asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate “deeply troubling” information in an special report indicating that the federal unit charged with probing firefighter deaths ignored a warning in 2000 that personal alarms used at fire scenes might be failing.

“It is completely unacceptable that our first responders don’t have the proper safety equipment, and if these allegations prove true, it’s unfathomable that the CDC would cover up something so detrimental to our firefighters’ safety,” Kerry told “I have asked the Department of Health and Human Services to launch a full investigation into these allegations. Nearly 1 million brave men and women risk their lives every day; we owe it to them and to the families of the deceased firefighters to get answers and hold the negligent parties accountable.”

MSNBC did a great job with this in-depth investigation and mega Kudos to them for it. I'm looking forward to seeing the fall out from it.


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