Wildland Firefighter Foundation
Wildland Firefighter Foundation

Home / WLF FamilySaid / Comment by Ab

  • 12/13/2001
  • WildlandFire.com Team
  • 0 Comment

OK. Some one asked a question regarding benefits for a fallen FIREFIGHTER
that happened to be a contractor. Now, seeing I am the only one that
responded to her. I am concerned, well not too concerned, just disappointed.
Now I guarantee that if the firefighter would have been FED, BLM, or
whatever federal or state agency, everyone on this site would have been all
over that post trying to help her. But seeing that he was only a contractor,
I was the only one.

Personally I think that stinks. Its one thing to treat contractors
differently, kind of like hazing, but for gods sake, we’re all firefighters.
We all deserve the same respect everyone else gets.

When are people going to realize that we’re all risking our lives. We’re all
working the same hours, we’re all pounding the same ground. Until then,
unfortunately, we’re going to have the segregation we have here.

Funny thing is, I used to be state. I never looked down upon contractors. I
treated them with respect as I would anyone else. But I had never
experienced what a contractor experiences every time they go into check in.
>From the look that they receive when they go into finance and get rerouted
( with a smug look ) to equipment time. To the introduction of a Div Sup that
was ex hotshot and dealing with that.

Frankly people its getting old. Realize that you yourself are there to do a
job. That job is to put out a fire. NOT to haze or treat people
disrespectfully or even differently. I know there is a human resource
specialist in camp, but thing is, they’re Fed too.

It has become a game of pretty much us and them. Weather people think it or
not. It is. And I write this here due to the fact it applies here. If ya
don’t think so, how many replied to the fallen firefighter post???

Now, this is the last time I am going to post and the last time I am
visiting the site. Sorry AB. I am upset at the fact that this isn’t the
first time it has happened. It happen about a year ago with that inmate that
was lost and he left a 10 yr old daughter. No one but myself responded to
that. I just cant believe that people are that ( for lack of a better word )
stuck up, that they segregate firefighters to that extent.

People might ask who I am and what right I have to speak like this. I am a 6
year wildfire veteran. I also have 4 1/2 years of structure experience. I
have played the game and because I love my job so much, I continue to play
the same game every summer. And as a firefighter who has seen both sides
( contractor and state ), I have every right to tell people to wake up and
leave the old ways behind. Accept the fact that contractors are here to stay
regardless of how much you may dislike it or how poorly you treat us. Wake
up to the fact that we are all risking our lives and we are all doing the
same job.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling that all who read this will be upset at the
fact that a contractor raised there opinion on how screwed things are and
take it out on contractors they meet next summer. Now I hope that doesn’t
happen, but it probably will.

Everyone have a save summer next year. And to DRC, again I am terribly sorry
about the loss. I hope for a speedy recovery for the family.

Oh, my, WAFF, you’re not the first person today to write in that you’ll never post here again. (And the others were not  contractors.) Wonder if there’s a dissatisfaction virus going around… Hmmmmmm, if it becomes an epidemic and no one posts, we might just have to shut ‘er down. (tongue firmly in cheek)


The views expressed are not those of this site, this blog or its affiliated companies. By posting your comments you agree to accept our terms of use.

Leave a comment