1 min read
Posted on 12.13.07
  • 1 min read
  • Posted on 12.13.07


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.