What could Bradley Golden possibly gain from playing a live victim during a training exercise?
What could he possibly learn by being led upstairs by Adam Croman, along with Ben Morris, to where they were told to lay on the bedroom floor and wait to be rescued?
It was September 25, 2001 and between the three of them, their age TOTALLED 59 years.
Along with that, they had a grand total of four years and three weeks COMBINED service on the Lairdsville Fire Department.
Today, Adam Croman, the “old guy” of the three is 30 years old. Ben Morris is 28 years old and Brad Golden would have been 28 years old as well.
You see; it has been 9 years ago that, on September 25, 2001; just 14 days after America was attacked that Brad Golden died in a fiery hell at the hands of a fire department that had accepted him with open arms just three, short weeks before.
So, I will ask again; with just three weeks on the fire department, what could Brad Golden learn from playing a live victim?
Did he learn how to use an SCBA? Not according to his training records.
Did you know that when his lifeless body was found, his air tank valve to his SCBA bottle was OFF and he still had 1700 psi of air left in his tank?
Did you know that his face had burns consistent with removing his mask, but yet, he was found with his mask on?
Did you know that Brad died a very painful death from asphyxia due to smoke inhalation, because his assistant chief set a fire below him, Morris and Croman in the stairwell-their only means of escape-that grew until it flashed over, trapping him and Ben Morris in the upstairs bedroom?
What happened to Adam Croman, you ask?
Well, according to HIM, he went into survival mode, became “separated” from Brad and Ben, but was able to bail out a window.
Ben was rescued, but because of some confusion over the number of victims, Brad’s rescue was delayed.
When he was found, he was laying in the fetal position. God; that just rips at my heart when I think about it. It still makes me angry, even nine years later.
I made a promise nine years ago that I would remember Bradley Golden for the rest of my life.
I made a promise that I would not let our fire service forget this young man’s very preventable death during a training exercise.
Alan Baird III was the only one charged and convicted in the death of Brad Golden. Others who were involved with the training exercise lawyered up and copped pleas.
They ALL got off too easy, in my opinion.
Because of this incident, “Bradley’s Law” was created and signed into law by then-governor George Pataki, making it a crime to use live victims in live fire training in the state of New York.
The incident has also been included in many discussions on acquired structure, live-burn training and particularly NFPA 1403, the national standard on live fire training.
To learn more about the Lairdsville Incident, I encourage you to go to my blog www.chiefreasonart.com, click on “Brad’s Page” tab and read “Just Enough Time to Die”.
On Thursday, September 30th at 9:00 pm ET, FirefighterNetcast Presents The Voice of Reason will devote the entire show to a roundtable discussion of the training exercise that killed Brad Golden, the trial of Alan Baird III, the appeals and civil lawsuits.
I made a promise that I intend to keep.
Please join me.
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