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April 26, 2005

Fallen Firefighter Justin Wisniewski

"SOUTHINGTON -- An 18-year-old resident training to be a firefighter died Sunday at St. Mary’s Hospitalin Waterbury after falling off a 20-foot ladder at the Wolcott Regional Fire School.

Justin M. Wisniewski was at the fire school on Boundline Road in Wolcott Saturday when he fell at about 1:30 p.m., according to Paul Perrotti, president of the Waterbury Area Fire Chiefs Association, which runs the Wolcott school.

Wisniewski was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital with head injuries, Perrotti said, and died at the hospital on Sunday.

Fire school administrators and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the accident, the president said.

Wisniewski, who was working with Volunteer Engine Company No. 1, was training to become a volunteer firefighter for the Southington Fire Department. He hoped to become a full-time firefighter, said Fire Chief Richard McDonough. He began at the Southington department Jan. 18.

Wisniewski’s family declined comment........"

God bless Justin's family as they cope with this terrible loss.

April 17, 2005

Tankers falling apart--NO EXCUSE

"...WHETHER the 2005 wildfire season proves to be major or minor, it's likely to strain our state and the West's firefighting capabilities. Money's short, and aircraft counted on to battle blazes aren't all airworthy.
Only seven of the federal government's 33 four-engine tankers are sound enough to fly this summer — and three others are so rickety they must avoid populated areas. A couple of dozen contracted aircraft were literally falling apart while aloft.

Though California's 23-plane fleet is in much better shape — thanks to a $70 million infusion of funds a decade ago — at least three planes are to be grounded each day to save our cash-strapped state $1 million.

All of which has forestry officials praying that the Golden State's wet winter stymies the combustion that comes with our dry summers...."
  • InsideBayArea.com

  • April 11, 2005

    A Day In The Life Of A Firefighter

    By Artie Kutsumitis
    Apr. 11, 2005

    "In a recent interview, I talked in depth with a firefighter from my hometown, about a typical day at work. What I found out, is that there is no typical day. I am friends with quite a few of these brave men, (and women) and as the Law and Order promo says. "These are their stories."

    John wakes up each morning at five AM, to be to work by seven thirty. A shower, a cup of coffee, and he's ready to go. He kisses his wife and two girls, and he's off. It's a five minute ride to the station. He arrives at six fifty to begin his twenty-four hour shift. (He and his union voted on the twenty-four hour shift) It's what the "Members" wanted. He logs on at seven twenty five, all is quiet.

    At eight fifteen a call comes in about an elderly woman with trouble......"
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