Anonymous Is A Kick-Butt Firefighter

Remember, for every time you point a finger at some department there are three more pointing back at you.

“Mr. FireSlayer161, in your many years as an aggressive firefighter, would you please tell the audience how many fires you’ve been to?”
“Been to or put out?”
“Well, let us restrict it to ‘put out’ so we may have a manageable figure.”

Yes folks, the time has come that Dave and I have decided to follow the example of Brotherhood Instructors and no longer allow anonymous comments to our posts. It is not as though we receive a ton of comments, well, me anyway, but it has been something that has been on my mind for at least a year only to resurface after following the comments on recent D.C. fires on STATter911. Brotherhood Instructors had this ‘policy’ years ago when they were just starting out. It’s a good tool that fosters better and more respectable discussion. Briefly speaking to Chris Collier on the decision, I agree with his view that it is easier to respectfully disagree with someone when they sign their name to their comments. We try to provide you with information that challenges you to think more, think deeper, about “the job” and an integral part of that challenge lies in the comments afterward. We’ve had no problems with our comments but it concerns me that so many people are anonymously vehement in their opinions in other blogs and forums. In most of these occurrences the discussion nose dives into a mess of adolescent name calling and general stupidity.

So, before it even begins to happen here, all comments must include your name or the name of your department. Either one, it makes no difference. If you don’t, well we can do nothing for you. It’s one of the best ways we can all learn from each other in this increasingly technological age as well as show your true grit.

Bill and Dave

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  • Jamie Goodlet says:

    Friggin’ A! That’s the way it should be!

    Jamie Goodlet
    Youngstown, Ohio Fire Department

  • Bill Carey says:

    Thanks Jamie, we appreciate the encouragement.

    Bill Carey

  • michael says:

    Every now and then I get a sharpshooter on RP. I let them rant, then post a comment explaining that this is not the place for that kind of thing, constructive criticism always welcome but the insults definitely are not. Things have been pretty civil, I’ve been fortunate, I’ve seen things get out of control on other sites.

  • I actually like the Stats thing Bill (& Dave but this is really smart so it’s probably bill’s idea). I may start requiring people to post how many fires they have been to in the last calendar year

    Your Crazy Friend
    Chris “Ted” Brennan (19)

    • Bill Carey says:

      You’re not crazy, just highly literate like the rest of us. I think it humbles the conversation some if guys know that they’re joining in without a veil of secrecy. No fireground is perfect, and I’m sure you’re familiar with the fact that no after-action report comes with anonymous soldier comments.


  • Jamie Goodlet says:

    Hey guys,

    The thing that gets me is that we could learn from positive feedback just as easily as negative feedback.

    If there is one good thing in the video we could point that out and learn from it instead of absolutely destroying it with criticism!

    That’s why guys usually don’t post their names. They are embarrassed! Let’s be great fireman by learning and building each other up with compliments.

    Jamie Goodlet
    Youngstown, Ohio Fire Department

  • Bill Carey says:

    Jaime has a good point. The discussions can take off well if readers would hold off slamming the people depicted first.

    Bill Carey

  • Shawn Donovan says:

    I like the idea. Discussions do tend to stay civil when your name is involved. Sometimes the discussions after an article are more insightful than the article itself, and many times that is the pont.
    But I do like to be anonymous when I’m saying things that may make my department look bad or when it might generate backlash from my coworkers if they don’t agree with me.
    I’ll play by the rules though, I own my comments.
    Shawn Donovan
    Boston Fire

  • Art Zern says:

    Nice job as usual. Never used anything but my name thanks for providing us with an environment that allows for a “fair fight”. Keep up the good work, hey Dave!


  • This is a good idea, Brotherhood is right on with that policy and so are you guys for following suit. Leaving anonymous posts is cowardly and allows an individual to stir things up even if they do not stand behind what they post, wasting all of our time. Our service is pervaded by people with massive ego’s who like to critique from the comfort of their own home and disallowing the anonymous post is in my mind the best way to curtail an ignoramus who brings nothing of validity to an informative conversation. None of us has all the answers, and like Jamie says we can all become greater firefighters by helping educate one another thru our experiences.
    Stay Safe

  • Rob Mitchell says:

    I am coming late to this post, BUT I love it!!! The Keyboard Safety Squad and Super Firefighter that post comments on the other sites are just that they are the internet warriors. Thanks Boys keep up the good work.

  • Kevin Story says:

    If you don’t have the balls to sign it you probably don’t have them to back it up.

  • Jerry Hanson says:

    Kudos. I too am late to this column, but not to the principal of full disclosure. The fire service is steeped in integrity and honesty – we expect and tolerate nothing less from every person at the firehouse. Why have we allowed others to stray from that principal so often w/ fire service / EMS blogs? I have always signed my full name, even when the subject matter was “delicate”. Take care. Stay safe. Jerry Hanson

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