In response to CBS6’s story about Hudson firefighters being dragged behind cars during last weekend’s blizzard, the City’s fire chief has responded to the station—still known to those of us who grew up with it as WRGB. The station says:
On Monday morning, CBS6 sent a link of the video to the Mayor of Hudson. He didn't offer a comment, but the Fire Chief did release a statement. He told CBS 6: that's a sight that will never be seen again on warren street and that they are dealing with it internally.
That hasn’t seemed to tamp down the online flame wars between those who think videographer Lance Wheeler should have suppressed the footage, and those who point out that the “sledding” was dangerous, illegal and a bad example.
CBS6’s original post on Facebook (scroll down from this link to the item) now has a whopping 667 comments, and has been shared 197 times. Many comments defending the sledders are punctuated by ALL CAPS SHOUTING and multiple exclamation points, such as:
- give me a break !!!! they are just having some fun!!!
- seriously.... this is news???? LET THEM HAVE FUN!! THEY RISK THEIR LIVES RUNNING INTO BURNING BUILDINGS WHILE EVERYONE ELSE IS RUNNING OUT!
- Why was this even filmed??
Meanwhile, on the other hand:
- They are breaking the law hands down.. everyday citizens would be ticketed for doing the same thing...what's the difference?
- They should absolutely be punished. They are wearing their bunker gear, representing their department, and are out dicking around. They're doing things that people get hurt or killed doing, and wearing $5,000 worth of equipment.
- I think that they should get punished for this. The turnout gear he is wearing costs around $1500-2000 and is not designed to dragged down the road. He could easily have ruined this equipment, or even worse got seriously hurt. If this happened in my fire department I hope the guy would get punished. Now if he wasn't wearing his turnout gear I would just say that he is pretty stupid for doing this.
- I guess the question is - what reaction would someone who is not a volunteer get doing this? Just because this person is a volunteer firefighter (as I am) - it does not make these stupid acts "ok". Think about how much that turnout gear costs that they are using while performing these dumb acts. Should the chief or administration 'punish' them ? Maybe - maybe not.... BUT they should definitely be ashamed of it.
Jerry, a commenter on a different Facebook thread, who comes from a true “old Hudson” family, simply posted the code demonstrating that clinging to vehicles is indeed illegal. This touched off a vicious argument, leading to what he felt were thinly-veiled suggestions that maybe certain homes shouldn’t be protected from fire. He writes of the exchange:
When “opinion” turns to the threat of retaliation on my family in Hudson, it becomes a personal attack. My statements are fact based and not biased because of a personal relationship with the Firemen or Fire Company. I listed the VAT law violated to educate those that may not have realized a law was broken.
The commenter provided the following screenshots from Facebook for publication, from which last names have been redacted. This exchange includes a Hudson fire chief, a former mayor (who agrees with Jerry), and what appears to be one young firefighter who says to Jerry that the next time there is a fire in his house, he should put it out himself: