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FL politician says firefighters should train on own time & it isn’t that important because Martin Co. doesn’t have hi-rises. Lt’s video highlights these idiotic remarks.

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(Thanks to reader Dylan Caulfield for sending this story our way)

In Florida, Martin County Fire-Rescue Lt. Todd Tucker, who is the vice-president of IAFF Local 2959, sent out a video he created on Monday. It features some really stupid remarks earlier in May by County Commissioner Ed Fielding at a meeting where Chief Joe Ferrara made the department’s case for a county training facility.

The video made news yesterday. In the story above, Lt. Tucker is interviewed. Immediately below is Tucker’s creation and below that is a story featuring the reaction to the video from Ed Fielding. Fielding admits his comment about Chicago hi-rises was not his best moment (maybe he watches too much Chicago Fire) but nothing is said about his remark that firefighters should do training on their own time. All of this comes just six months after Firefighter Jahwann McIntyre was critically burned in a fire.

Joe Shainman, WPTV-TV

“He’s in a position to vote on very important public safety issues and those things just crossed the line,” said Lt. Tucker, the Vice President of IAFF Local 2959.

Commissioner Fielding is heard on the video saying, “We’re not Chicago with 50-100 stories. I mean great day what have we got 4 stories? You can throw a rope up there and climb the wall with that.”

Fielding’s Remarks on Firefighter Training from Martin Firefighters on Vimeo.

“It scares us to know there’s a guy in a position of power who thinks that about what we do. Because if you translate that all the way down, it means we’re not going to have the equipment we need because he doesn’t think we need it,” said Lt. Tucker.

After Martin County firefighter Jahwann McIntyre was seriously burned in a house fire last December, the union requested meetings with all 5 county commissioners and says only Fielding has said no to this point.

Commissioner Fielding told NewsChannel 5 Tuesday his ‘rope’ comment wasn’t necessary.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Old School

    Mr. Fielding is an idiot. He knows nothing about fire department operations.

  • retired firefighter

    the county commissioner is a real dumbass. Charleston lost nine firefighters in a one-story building and many others have died in single-family dwellings. As for training on your own time, I think the US Dept. of Labor might want to inform him as to his legal rights as their “employer” to pay them for the time their employer requires for training. Otherwise, he will incur their wrath and be subjct to back wages, penalties, consent orders, etc. Of course, all of that will become a burden on the backs of the taxpayers who elected him to office!

  • Bill Carey

    Anyone can rant against Commissioner Fielding, even people who support the fire department but have very little knowledge of what firefighters do, besides putting out fires. The challenge will be for the fire department, or union rather, to make a smart argument not a sentimental one. If a department needs new, improved training, then let the numbers and facts provide the support. Voters don’t go to polls and citizens don’t mark calenders with every on-duty death. In their mind, and politicians too, it comes down to money and how it will be spent.

    Bill Carey

  • HalfMyLife

    It is truly scary what happens when the uniformed become the elected and remain uninformed. My department of 30 volunteers that serves a population of about 4000 with one building over 2 stories in the county has just been approved to purchase about 10 acres and begin building a top class training facility. Why? Because our county fire board realizes that it will save lives, the same reason they put a gym in our building and new gear in our lockers.

  • Captian Caveman

    They need to help the politicians understand what it takes to do the job. The average citizen has no idea what training is needed nor do they understand what a safe operation is. They see Chicago Fire and any other TV show and think its easy. They obviously need a better understanding. Meetings dont tend to change peoples minds, it takes actions and examples.

  • Aardvark

    While his comments are considered extreme ( and rightfully so ), this guy is NO DIFFERENT to most local politicians that are in charge of municipalities that have NO idea what is required to provide public safety. It’s up to us to educate these morons. Invite them to the academy for a day…put 60 pounds of turnout on them….let them “climb a rope”, or climb an extended ladder 100 feet in the air. ….etc. 9-1-1 is 12 years old. Firefighters went from hero status to pension grabbers in a blink of an eye. We will always have to fight for what we NEED, and fight even harder for what we want.

    • fireman

      Been done and watched it ail. Actually had our mayor say I don’t know how you do it with the staffing you have. A year later, she wanted to decimate us in which they were successful. Its an agenda that we are fighting against on a larger scale. League of cities, ICMA are the ones feeding them the info. Remember they’re politicians, they have sold there sole for a vote. we need to keep up the fight, I know we are.

  • john pruitt

    hey guys, I am on your side, I retired in 2008 with 39yr 10mo 5 days, in a riding pump co. of old houses and a always as back up for other co, your commissioner needs to understand that at some point most fireman/ firefighters would like to know how to do there job well, and long before it`s put on there back to at 3am to then learn how to , and yes your boss needs to learn how to be a leader, not just a guy that says things but one that can walk the walk with fire fighters, god be with you all,….john Pruitt.. Augusta Fire Dept.

  • Retired Chief

    These uninformed individuals usually feel the result of a well planned firefighter campaign to “get out the vote” of an opponent in the following election

  • concerned for the future

    Take cover, they are ever where in the USA. We do not count until we are counted on!

  • edg

    A little research found the following comment about Commissioner Fielding when he was fired from a county planning committee:

    But Valliere said she dumped Fielding from the Local Planning Agency because he did a bad job.

    “I removed him because of his no-growth extreme views and his inclination to make up his laws to suit his no-growth ambitions,” Valliere said. “Also, his treatment of staff was absolutely horrendous.”

    “If we had five commissioners with viewpoints like Mr. Fielding’s, the economy would be absolutely disastrous,” Valliere said. “There would be no economic growth. He opposes everything, absolutely everything. We’ve got to have economic development. We’ve got to have some growth to sustain ourselves.”

    Politicians like this don’t walk into office – they are elected. Does he reflect the opinions of his constituents? The Martin County Fire Rescue Department has some education to do – and check out their department – it has 12 stations that appear to be properly manned.

  • mark

    It will never cease to amaze me, the people who are elected to office and how stupid they really are. From the lowest level right to the top.

    The saying use to be “the cream rises to the top”, now it is “the excrement floats on top”.

  • http://html singerff

    this clown has no idea or any concept as what it takes to staff a fire service with well trained personnel to respond to any and all emergencies in martin county. my brother lives in martin county and is physically disabled. heaven help you fleming if anything happens to him!!! i will come after you if anything happens to him. you have no idea what it takes to run a fire department!!! buildings burn whether they are 2 stories below ground or 50 to 100 stories above. you need training and people with expertise in that field to do the training. you are extremely ignorant when it comes to public safety!!!!!

  • ukfbbuff

    Good Video.

    Fielding should be voted out out ASAP.

  • RJ In florida

    This type of attitude exists all over the country not just in sunny florida. The comments of this commissioner is not only the opinion of an uninformed elected official (when are they informed?) but to refuse training to firefighters is laughable

    we had a commissioner who believed we should be building our own fire trucks…we told him “sure” as soon as the cops start building their own cars

  • Bill Schumm

    I don’t think it’s stupidity as much as it’s just plain scornful. This man has a strong animosity toward the fire department for some reason. He was taunting them.

  • oldhead

    In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.
    Napoleon Bonaparte