Apopka firefighter hurt seriously in ...

Apopka firefighter hurt seriously in fall through burning home'...

There are 37 comments on the The Orlando Sentinel story from Jul 6, 2007, titled Apopka firefighter hurt seriously in fall through burning home'.... In it, The Orlando Sentinel reports that:

Misfortune struck the Apopka Fire Department for the second time in as many weeks when a firefighter fell through a roof while fighting a blaze on Independence Day.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Orlando Sentinel.

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Concerned neighbor

AOL

#1 Jul 11, 2007
So sorry to hear of the firefighters injuries. I hope he recovers in a timely manor and can get back to his family soon. God Bless these men who do such a dangerous job. Prayers and well wishes to all Apopka's firefighters.
floridafiremedic

Orlando, FL

#2 Aug 7, 2007
So....I hope I get this right:

1. Apopka FD responds to a building under construction with no C.O. This building was EMPTY! There was no doubt about that.

2. Apopka conducted an offensive attack on a building with flames coming from the roof. They risked their lives to save a pile of lumber and concrete! Buildings can be rebuilt. You don't risk lives unless you have the chance to save a life.

3. Apopka building department had insepcted this building the day before and again earlier that day and found no safety problems.

4. Apopka FD puts firefighters ON THE ROOF to ventilate the structure. This practice is known to have great risks and most departments now use horizontal ventilation using positive pressure ventilation to keep firefighters out of harm's way.

5. Apopka FD is now investigating its own accident. Has the Florida State Fire Marshall's office conducted an independent investigation?

6. An Apopka firefighter has lost his hand and his career. His family has lost an income.

7. Apopka is the ONLY fire department that does not have an active International Association of Fire Fighters union local in Orange County and perhaps most of Central Florida.

8. The City of Orlando's fire department union raised over $6000 from its own members and gave that money immediately and directly to the injured fire fighter to help right away.

9. The city manager Richard Anderson said that the Orlando Union was just using "all their union money" to cause trouble.

10. So the City of Apopka weeks later does a "boot drive" to raise money or solicit funds to help the injured firefighter. This was done by on duty Apopka fire fighters.

11. The money raised by the fire fighters from the public is being held by the city manager, Mr. Anderson, so he can have a grand presentation to the family at a later date.

12. The same city and fire department previously terminated two fire fighters for soliciting signatures (not money) while on duty. This was done when the fire fighters attempted to form a union to protect their safety and rights. Hundreds of fire fighters from accross the state came to Apopka to support their cause. They were met with hostility by the City of Apopka.

13. During the "information gathering" regarding the fire, the responding fire fighters refused to answer any questions related to the fire. They could not even say what they saw when they arrived or who was driving the trucks.

14. Apopka Fire Department has an ISO rating of 1 which is the best you can do. However, they achieved that rating by using out of date and unusable equipment (tower truck). They also understaff engine companies by moving personnel from one station to another to cover those positions. I understand that ISO is investigating that and they will most likely removed the number one rating. The citizens of Apopka falsely believe that they have a fire safe city. The investigation by the ISO may find the city was committing insurance fraud to artificially get lower insurance rates with a lower ISO rating. We will see.

15. Isn't it unacceptable that a fire fighter was injured to save a known empty building? Why do the citizens of Apopka keep re-electing politicians that allow this kind of behavior? Isn't public safety being compromised?

16. The officers of the Apopka fire department must be held accountable for the injuries caused by their actions of lack of action. Ultimately, the Chief is accountable. Who will hold him accountable? The citizens? The Mayor? The Governor? The State Fire Marshall?

Do the officers and the fire chief have any respect for the lives of their fire fighters?

It has been over a month now, and you haven't heard anything about this investigation. Perhaps the State Attorney should begin an independent review of this.
FDGUY

Safety Harbor, FL

#3 Aug 7, 2007
QUOTE]
What the hell were they doing on the roof of a residence? Its a shame that these small town fire officers keep practicing tactics that haven't been done in 3 decades in big city departments. There is never a reason to get on the roof of a house and certainly not one with new construction.
I pray for the firefighter and family and hope that the dimwit commanders bring their thinking out of the 1950s. Such a senseless tragedy.
Shame on you

Oviedo, FL

#4 Aug 7, 2007
How low can you go "floridafiremedic"? To exploit the tragic injury of a firefighter in an effort to advance your own agenda is unconscionable. It's obvious from your post that your real interest lies in discrediting the City of Apopka and not in John's well-being. Your comments diminish John's sacrifice and insult those of us who genuinely care about him and his family. Take your venom somewhere else.(By the way, you started your post with "So....I hope I get this right" - you didn't - not by a long shot...)
AGAIN

Altamonte Springs, FL

#5 Aug 9, 2007
Shame on you wrote:
How low can you go "floridafiremedic"? To exploit the tragic injury of a firefighter in an effort to advance your own agenda is unconscionable. It's obvious from your post that your real interest lies in discrediting the City of Apopka and not in John's well-being. Your comments diminish John's sacrifice and insult those of us who genuinely care about him and his family. Take your venom somewhere else.(By the way, you started your post with "So....I hope I get this right" - you didn't - not by a long shot...)
Maybe you should put your friendship aside and do your own investigation of the facts. You take know it all city officials out of office and you will see things change for the better. More and more I am seeing many citizens question the judgement of the Mayor and his mouthpiece Richard.
FIIRE22

Lady Lake, FL

#6 Sep 6, 2007
Why is the Chief that ordered those men to ventilate the roof still working? A fifefighter was burnt so bad that his left hand had to be ambutated...Something has to be done before more firefighters are injured in Apopka.
veteran

United States

#7 Sep 11, 2007
To floridafiremedic

I have been contemplating about responding to the comments that you made here on aug 7 and have decided today would be a good day to do so as it is the anniversary of 9-11. I can only commend those firefighters who entered those burning, collapsing towers to save lives knowing the dangers involved. Thank God you were not there to stand outside and watch. It sounds like that is how you believe fire is be fought. When you made the decision to become a firefighter you had to know that the your JOB is to saves lives and property!! It is a DANGEROUS job.

Many of your comments lead me to believe that you need to take a refresher course in fire fighting tactics and strategy,(Branigan or Clark) good place to start. You mentioned horizontal ventilation. How many CFM's are required to horizontaly ventilate a 10,000 sq foot structure? I believe you should have learned this in minimum standards.

As to the question of an investigation by the State of Florida Fire Marshals office having taken place, I am pretty sure that no city or county is immune to that happening!!

I could go on for days to comment on the assine statements you made but it is very obvious that you have only one purpose in mind and that is to discredit your peers and fellow firefighters!! What you have to gain from that I do not know.

It sounds to me like you need to spend more time training for you job and less time critizing the good people that are trying to do the job they signed up for.
Supportive Apopka Res

Altamonte Springs, FL

#8 Sep 15, 2007
You didn't and you don't have clue. Why didn't you take time to get the facts before opening you mouth.
All of you that critisized this department for ventilating the roof need to go back to standards. You also need to find out what the purpose of the fire department is. I am glad all those people that were saved by the fire fighter of 911 had a real department and real fire fighters working for them.
Firefighters are paid to save LIVES and PROPERTY. I think you have been a medic way too long and might need to get back to the essentials book for a while.
Maybe at your department it is a standard to attack fires from the outside. After all allowing the building to burn down doesn't affect you one bit. However, it might affect the home owner or the valubles they have.
Using your common sense approach to firefighting. I guess a woods fire would never get put out because it might get someone hurt for no reason.
I can see you must work for a fire department that pushes the exterior attack method of fighting fires. Let it burn down and keep it from spreading. Thus the reason your tax payers pay more for taxes and insurance.
Does the saying if you can't take the heat get out of the fire mean anything to you. Oh nevermind from what I have heard you say here you and your department have already gotten out of the heat. I am glad you don't cover my house.
I for one am glad I have a ISO-1 class fire department to cover my home. I have seen too many houses around me burn down by OCFR. One while visting the family of a lost fire fighter. I wonder did the family that lost their home deserve that. Could those fire fighters not have visited the family the next day when they got off.
I am glad Apopka FD puts fire fighters on the roof to ventilate once the fire is found, that is a standard practice. But only if you are going to fight fire. If like you, you want to get out the hotdogs and marshmellows and allow it to burn down it will ventilate itself. You mention postitive presure ventilation, the fire has to have someplace for the Pressure to go, thus the reason for the fire fighters on the roof. Maybe you wanted to break an adjacent window to help spread the fire.
Sorry, I've worked around fire departments too long. It is time other departments started offering their taxpayers what the Apopka Fire Department does. First rate firefighters willing to do their job.
It is very sad that a firefighter lost his arm doing his job. But he tried in earnest to save the property owner all that he could by fighting that fire. He may have even lost his life fighting that fire. He knew this when he signed up for the job.
Sorry to see you lost track of your job. I am glad you are a medic that way when a fire fighter that does his job is injured one of the spineless onlookers is there to help this Fire Fighter.
Your comment about the two fire fighters in Apopka that lost their job, shows you are a follower of the BS that the union spits out. These two wern't fired for soliciting signatures while on duty. Even though PERC says that isn't allowed either. They were fired for lying during the investigation. By the way this went to arbitration and the ruling was upheld by the arbitrator. Why don't you check your facts before leading people down your one sided road.
Congradulations to the OFD if they raised 6000 dollars for the family. That doesnt have to do with being a union member. It has to do with being in the very dangerous profession of FIRE FIGHTING. And men and women honoring their own, in or out of a union.
Seems to me I remember OCFD losing two fire figters in a roof collapse. Maybe if they had fire fighters on the roof ventilating they may still be alive today.
It is a dangerous profession decisions are made in a moment. Sometimes right, sometime tragic, learn from mistakes. This is what we owe those injured and killed in the line of duty.
Supportive Apopka Res

Altamonte Springs, FL

#9 Sep 15, 2007
FIIRE22 wrote:
Why is the Chief that ordered those men to ventilate the roof still working? A fifefighter was burnt so bad that his left hand had to be ambutated...Something has to be done before more firefighters are injured in Apopka.
Maybe because he studied essentials when he went to standards. Maybe that is why he is a chief officer and your still trying to spell. FIIRE22. Dangerous business FIRE FIGHTING. Leave it for the REAL FIREFIGHTERS.
disabled FF

Titusville, FL

#10 Oct 6, 2007
florida firemedic-
i applaude you for your comments. you're very well informed. why weren't your comments even brought up in the newspaper article? i bet the public doesn't know most of that info. hopefully someone will take notice of them and something will be done.
questions to you in reguard to statement #6. did the firefighter lose his career? was light duty or something available to him? does he get disability pay?
bless you, him and all firefighters!
Fire plug

Oviedo, FL

#11 Nov 6, 2007
How is this Firefighter doing? is going bact to work or did he get the boot. Also how do you get a 1-ISO rating with two man engines One Man driving the Tower Truck to fires Hmmmmmmmm.
Supportive Apopka Res

Orlando, FL

#12 Nov 26, 2007
Fire plug wrote:
How is this Firefighter doing? is going bact to work or did he get the boot. Also how do you get a 1-ISO rating with two man engines One Man driving the Tower Truck to fires Hmmmmmmmm.
I hear the city took pretty good care of this individual. Still has a job with the city.
AFD Volunteer

AOL

#13 Mar 25, 2008
TO ALL THE RESPONDERS WITH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS AND WORDS YOU NEED TO FIND OUT THINGS BEFORE OPENING YOUR MOUTH,THAT IS A SIGN OF IGNORANCE. I WAS RECENTLY AN VOLUNTEER AT AFD AND FROM WHAT I LEARNED AND SAW FOR MYSELF THE DEPARTMENT WAS UP TO THE FLORIDA STANDARDS, IF THEY WEREN'T DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT THEY WOULD HAVE RECIEVED THE ISO-1-CLASS RATING(THIS IS AN ACCREDITDATION FROM THE STATE). ALSO FROM WHAT I HEARD FROM A FRIEND THERE JOHN IS STILL WITH THE DEPARTMENT, AND HIS FAMILY STILL HAS AN INCOME. MAY GOD BLESS AND KEEP THE COURAGEOUS MEN AND WOMEN AT AFD AND ALL FIRE DEPARTMENTS ACROSS THE WORLD.
Once a FF now a amputee

Clover, SC

#14 Mar 27, 2008
YOU HAVE NO CLUE!!!
AFD Volunteer wrote:
TO ALL THE RESPONDERS WITH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS AND WORDS YOU NEED TO FIND OUT THINGS BEFORE OPENING YOUR MOUTH,THAT IS A SIGN OF IGNORANCE. I WAS RECENTLY AN VOLUNTEER AT AFD AND FROM WHAT I LEARNED AND SAW FOR MYSELF THE DEPARTMENT WAS UP TO THE FLORIDA STANDARDS, IF THEY WEREN'T DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT THEY WOULD HAVE RECIEVED THE ISO-1-CLASS RATING(THIS IS AN ACCREDITDATION FROM THE STATE). ALSO FROM WHAT I HEARD FROM A FRIEND THERE JOHN IS STILL WITH THE DEPARTMENT, AND HIS FAMILY STILL HAS AN INCOME. MAY GOD BLESS AND KEEP THE COURAGEOUS MEN AND WOMEN AT AFD AND ALL FIRE DEPARTMENTS ACROSS THE WORLD.
Supportive Apopka Res

Orlando, FL

#15 Mar 28, 2008
Once a FF now a amputee wrote:
YOU HAVE NO CLUE!!! <quoted text>
Why don't you give us a clue then?
Once a FF now a amputee

Kissimmee, FL

#16 Mar 30, 2008
Lose your f-ing arm and have those that you really thought cared about you and I know they did while I was in the hospital they took care of my family and I am greatful for that. Now those same people I looked up to are now turning their backs on me and ignoring me. SAR if you really care than do something about it, and you know what I am talking about. That is just a little clue.

Supportive Apopka Res wrote:
<quoted text>Why don't you give us a clue then?
SeasonD Fireman-AFD

Longwood, FL

#17 Apr 12, 2008
This is all why we are trying to form a Union, cause we dont feel our own department is doing things right. And for the AFD volunteer, you havnt been around long enough to know ANYTHING. only what you been told. So it's probibly best to keep quiet!! And No We dont feel we deserve an ISO 1, esp with 2 man engines and Lieutenants with no experience or capability of even being able to pull a hose line by them selves.!!
Supportive Apopka Res

Orlando, FL

#18 Apr 12, 2008
SeasonD Fireman-AFD wrote:
This is all why we are trying to form a Union, cause we dont feel our own department is doing things right. And for the AFD volunteer, you havnt been around long enough to know ANYTHING. only what you been told. So it's probibly best to keep quiet!! And No We dont feel we deserve an ISO 1, esp with 2 man engines and Lieutenants with no experience or capability of even being able to pull a hose line by them selves.!!
I know that you think a Union will solve all your problems and that you will just be able to run around and tell management just what they need to do. While the Union can give a list of things that the Union feels are not right, it is still up to management how to run their department. This is covered under a management rights clause. Every Union contract has one in there. If you get a good group of officers running your union, they may be able to work well with management and improve some of your problems. However, if you go in with the attitude that because you are now a union the City has to do what you want. You won't be very happy union members. Just becuase you get a Union does not mean that you will get Lt.s that know how to pull a line by themselves. The Union will not help the firefighter that was injured and lost his arm. The union can do little when something is covered under state or federal law. As workers compensation is. As I read your post I see you are worried about one or more of your LT's being able to pull a line by themselves. This is a serious problem since this was covered in your basic skills test. I hope you have talked about this with the LT's and a chief officer to make them aware of your concerns about thier lack of training. This would indeed be a serious problem if your department is not making sure you are trained all skill levels. I have no doubt that the department would provide you with the training required.
Why does the volunteer not get the right to speak. Is it becuase thier opinion differs from your. Perhaps it is you that should have kept quiet. Putting out on a public forum that you are under trained would most likely get you some training if a chief officer was to interpret your post as I did. If you are so un happy at the department why have you been there so long? Why not leave and let the happy volunteer have your position? This would solve many problems both for you and the City. You would no longer be working their. The city would no longer hear you bitching about how they run things. The volunteer would be happy. He could take your job. After all it is just as easy to train the volunteer as it is you or the LT's. It would be a win-win for everyone involved.
Now let take a look at the last issue you touched on."We dont feel we deserve an ISO 1, esp with 2 man engines and Lieutenants with no experience or capability of even being able to pull a hose line by them selves." ISO doesn't look at wether or not the fire fighters feel they should get a rating. Which in this case it is good. I have to say that you really have no idea how a city gets an ISO rating. In many communities, fire suppression may be only a small part of the fire department's overall responsibility. A community's PPC depends on:
fire alarm and communication systems, including telephone systems, telephone lines, staffing, and dispatching systems the fire department, including equipment, staffing, training, and geographic distribution of fire companies
the water supply system, including the condition and maintenance of hydrants, and a careful evaluation of the amount of available water compared with the amount needed to suppress fires along with many other items. Included in this would be whether or not you and your LT's can pull a fire hose.
SeasonD Fireman-AFD

Longwood, FL

#19 Apr 18, 2008
Ok, obviously Mr.''Supportive'' Apk Res , thank you for reading straight from a book on how an ISO rating given. thats not the point! the point is that A properly structured Union will help keep the city from even hiring such people in the first place. as well as having more than guide lines (SOG's)as to only has lead to injuries! The City is a very strong one in comparrison to others as well so should the Fire Dept. be ,besides only looking like one from the outside . And as for the volunteer taking others places,I highly doubt it cause the only reason we get Volunteers at our Dept. is because they cant get hired on any where else... give it time he or she will see the truth also. So if it's that important for you to hide behind your name as an " apopka Resident" that seems to know an awful lot about ISO rating's . Then you must be embaressed or some other reason about being recognized as an AFD personnel.I pitty you severely. I really thought The city actually learned something form J. Rogers injury aparently not. Cause if it did, Im sure the City would not be trying soo hard to ignore the State fire marshall's investigation results, by requesting another investigation. Cause they dont want the BLAME. Wake up APOPKA AFD. And thanks again Mr."Apopka Resident", for the disertation on ISO ratings. you might want to be careful of copyright Infringements too. hahaha
Supportive Apopka Res

Altamonte Springs, FL

#20 Apr 20, 2008
First lets make sure we get the facts right. You are the one that stated the City didn't deserve a ISO-1 rating. That was based on your FEELING that they didn't deserve it. I stated the FACTS of how ISO determines it ratings. And yes they came right out of the ISO packet. After all we are on a public forum here. Therefore, we wouldn't want to mis-lead the public in to thinking that some disgruntled firefighters opinion is how ISO determines whom they give a rating to. SO YES I THINK THAT IS THE POINT!!! Next a union cannot determine what qualifications a person has to have to be hired!! The City has the sole right to hire anyone it chooses. The City can hire people with no training and send them to school to be trained. Or they may require 10 years of training, a four year degree, fire officer one, fire saftey inspector, fire instructor, paramedic or anything in between to be hired. The Union has NO SAY!! Unless the City would like to negotiate that in to a contract with the Union. And WHY WOULD MANAGEMENT TIED THEIR HANDS ON WHOM THEY CAN HIRE. As for the volunteers at your department only being their becuase they can't get hired any where else is more UNION BS. I know all about it. Volunteers take jobs for Real Firefighter! Volunteers keep pay low from departments without volunteers, volunteers don't know the job as well as the paid fire fighters. I have heard it all before every Union uses the phrases to make the public think less of the volunteers. Lets take a real look. Volunteer firefighters comprise two-thirds of the estimated 1.2 million firefighters in this country.

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