21 year old Damian M. Kessler was arrested earlier this week for causing the extensive damage which put the station out of commission for several days till gear could be replaced and he put a whole community at risk.
Photo from stater911 article
Why did he do it?
Well I can think of a few dozen reasons.
Starting with he did not fit in ,he was a weirdo ,he did not like being told what to do. he was teased and tormented and or bullied. or he was doing drugs and went off on a rage or maybe all of it went on in the Clarksville Station. Something caused him to do it and I hope all the dirty laundry comes out in this case and hopefully some one gets the message this behavior needs to stop. All you have to do is check out Face Book and other social apps to find out what is going on in depts and the constant teasing and tension put on some members I see it right here in Penn Hills it needs to stop period.
So then you ask what about a back round check before he was put on duty?
Good question but a back ground check is only for criminal past not present and should include references from people who can attest to his or her character.
So how many stations do them properly ? not very many is the answer.
The problem so many stations are hurting for volunteers they will take any warm body they can find questionable or not.
You see the fire service has become a good ole boys red neck organzation where they feel they can get away with anything and not be held accountable since they are the heroes who come and rescue you you either fit there good ole boy mold or your an outsider who needs booted out or made to quit.
Just ask any police officer who works in an area with a volunteer dept.
They will tell you they run across the truly dedicated Firefighters who are good solid citizens and then they run across those who are constantly just on the edge of being arrested constantly pushing buttons and have not been because they have there brother firefighters protecting them. What cop wants to arrest a firefighter and feel the wrath of the community because they think he is a hero when the firefighter in realty really is a zero.
They talk about the Thin Blue Line of Police officers protecting Police officers who do wrong it goes on in the fire service as well call it "The Thin Red line "
and I have seen it time after time.
I would never follow it if you do wrong you do wrong thats why I was not liked at Penn Hills station 224 there is right and there is wrong and you do not reward bad behavior period.
Thats why my self and 2 other firefighters had to take Penn Hills Station 224 to the Pa. Human Relations Commission after we where harassed and in my case deliberately injured.
People where always talking behind my back because they where afraid to confront me face to face Im a big guy so I did the right thing I left and would not put up with it and exposed it.
But this is not the case in the fire service or police depts and bad behavior is condoned and look at the back lash now against all police because of a small hand full who did wrong.
Its the same thing with unions who protect workers who are a detriment to the workplace and there fellow worker.
Those who put a fire dept at risk have no business being in the fire service.
But until the fire service is ready to take the matter by the horns get rid of the bad firefighters and welcome the good ones and encourage growth and professionalism what you saw happen in Clarksville will be the normal.
I know how many Fire Marshals and Officials in the volunteer service pull their hair out daily
because they get no cooperation from the volunteer depts under their jurisdiction.
I saw and heard first hand just how Firefighters felt about our former outstanding fire marshal here in Penn Hills
Jack Mason and the grief and attitude he was given by depts. Yet when there was a problem some where jack was first one they called to bail them out.
So what is it going to take to clean up this mess in Volunter Fire Depts?
Some state or county agency which has the full power and control to go in and clean matters up.
and community political leaders with the balls to stand up and say NO.
No you get NO funding unless you tow the line. NO you will not respond to calls No you will not provide any service till you clean up your act.
Ohara Twp. Pa. shut down a dept as did Dorseyville when they had enough its time to start cracking down get rid of the bullys and hanger-ons and filth which penetrates our volunteer depts.