First and foremost my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of FDNY Lieutenant Robert J. Ryan, age 46, from Engine 156 who lost his life in the line of duty in a ceiling collapse.
As I heard of the news, as well as some of the bad news of the week, I am feeling crumby with a rotten feeling in my gut. LODD are tough enough but as we approach the holidays to have families tortured by grief makes it even worse.
As I am growing in my knowledge of the business every year, I am now shifting my focus. I try to learn about all the details of each LODD and pass on whatever I can to make sure I try to minimize it happening in my own department, but I am now often struck by the information about the families, friends and members left behind.
A LODD will affect literally hundreds of people and sometimes many more. So as the numbers continue to climb, multiply the LODD numbers by hundreds and thousands.
We will never get to a number of zero, but in my humble view, we are not able to stem the tide just yet. I am becoming at a loss professionally. We have better safety standards, the best gear and technology we can buy, we have the 16 safety initiatives, but we continue to lose ground.
We will have time to talk about that stuff later, but I would like to hear from you and your thoughts on this issue.
But for right now, give your attention and thoughts to the family and friends of Lieutenant Ryan and the members of FDNY who have lost another brave soldier in the battle of the flames.