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I was reading about the terrible accident in New York yesterday and I was reminded of an old quote from Alexander the Great he said, Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all. I was reminded of the quote because of the weird reaction the article got from some readers.

What happened was I saw this article ( on a terrible fall by a great firefighter who was doing his job and doing it well. We have all accidentally unlatched a bucket door or had one appear to be completely shut when it wasn't. Sometimes terrible accidents just happen. Our thoughts and prayers are for Brian's speedy and complete recovery.

But what really upset me were the ignorant and cruel comments by some of the folks who read this piece. Without any knowledge at all about what happened, they have jumped to the conclusion that Brian was somehow incapacitated. It drives me nuts that just because some of us have problems with the addictions and illnesses associated with alcohol and drugs (just like many other Americans), it does not mean that we all do.

It just goes to show you how fast bad news travels and how much damage a bad story or inaccurate portrayal on TV or in a movie can hurt our noble profession. When you are held in such high regard as we are by the public, it brings out the knives when one of us has bad conduct--as old Alexander said, it effects us all. But Brian did not participate in any bad conduct. He was righteously doing his job. We know Brian was sober and extremely competent in his job. We know he will be upset by these ill-informed creeps. We who know better just hope he heals fast and these fools who are making unfounded accusations grow up and display a little respect for a man who is willing to risk his life to protect them.

posted by Bobby Halton
11/20/2007 12:56:00 PM

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