St. Louis has a good fire department. Most of the men and women who work for it do great jobs under difficult and dangerous conditions. A few firefighters, though, seem determined right now to distract their department, demoralize their colleagues and disgrace themselves.
A poster on a local website recently complained about the costs of an investigation into a series of incidents in local firehouses. Wouldn’t you rather spend the money on new firefighting equipment, he asked.
The answer is Yes.
However, I have asked Public Safety Director Charles Bryson to refer every reported incident — no matter how farfetched to law enforcement authorities for investigation.
Whatever the tradition of "merry pranksters" the Fire Department has, practical jokes and false reports are not laughing matters right now. Here’s fair warning: people who don’t understand that sparks and gasoline don’t mix well will not be firefighters very long.