Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Means to an End-A Bad One!

In my last blog, I wrote about how nepotism gone unchecked could adversely affect a fire department and leave it on “life support”.

Here is an example of how to kill a fire department.

The source for my comments comes from

(William) “Celtruda’s grandfather Rocco, a long time fire volunteer, said he got ‘Billy’ involved in the fire service thinking it would help his grandson mature. ‘He’s 23 years old physically, but his emotional security is much more that of a teenager…When he drinks, he loses his moral compass’.”

Oh; it gets better.

Grandpa Rocco went on to say, “…that his grandson is basically ‘a good kid’ who immediately took responsibility for his actions”.

Hmmm; could it be because ‘Billy’ got caught?

I mean; all’s he did was to set THREE fires: two in occupied homes! Fortunately, no one died, but lives were changed forever.

If William Celtruda was taking responsibility for his actions, then why did he offer excuses at his sentencing?

William Celtruda blamed his drug use (crystal meth) and peer pressure from his fellow firefighters as excuses for setting the fires.

To the judge’s credit, she gave Celtruda the maximum 14 years in prison and five years probation in a case that had already been plea bargained by the prosecutor.

So; 23 year-old ‘Billy’ Celtruda vandalized his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle, had mental health issues and a drug abuse problem that Firefighter Grandpa Rocco thought that the Mystic Fire Department could help him straighten out?

Yeah; that worked out well, didn’t it?

A total of six occupants in three homes are lucky to be alive and thankfully, no firefighters died while fighting the arson fires set by Celtruda.

Young Billy will be all grown up when he gets out of prison. Then, he must go to work to pay $60,000 in restitution to the victims. Civil suits may also be filed.

Maybe in his spare time, Celtruda could volunteer for a fire department.

I mean; since the fire service is so hard up for members, who’s going to bother with a background check?

And even if a department does a check, Billy will simply tell them that it was long ago, that he’s “changed” and deserves a second chance. The sad part of that statement is that there is a department that might be foolish enough to do it!

We all make mistakes and here’s your gear. Do us proud, Billy!

When will the insanity stop?

When all departments are required to have a meaningful application process, including interviews and background checks, physicals including drug testing and a real desire to hire good citizens.

Otherwise, they are just adding to a growing problem and one that fire departments and communities cannot afford.


The article is protected by federal copyright law under The Adventures of Jake and Vinnie© umbrella. It is written and submitted by Art Goodrich a.k.a. ChiefReason. This article or any other article submitted under The Adventures of Jake and Vinnie© umbrella cannot be reproduced in ANY form without the expressed, written permission of the author. Violations are punishable by applicable laws.
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