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Local Firefighters on NY Firefighter Shootings

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email

They responded to a routine call to fight a fire when the unthinkable happened. A 62-year-old ex-con ambushed and killed two firefighters and wounded two other firefighters in Webster, NY, a suburb of Rochester.

"We try to prepare for all the hazards there is on a fire scene and something like that to happen... it's just, it's just, something you're not ready for," says Belpre Fire Department Lieutenant Jeff Bucy.

Here at home...local firefighters talked about what happened in New York and how the hazards of the job can't be underestimated.

"It's an unfortunate tragedy but firefighters are typically placed in dangerous situations, either with domestic issues or just general violence, especially in urban areas," says Eric Taylor, chief of the Parkersburg Fire Department.

With one random act of horror, do firefighters have new safety concerns to contend with?

"I don't feel that we're in anymore danger now that this has happened," Bucy says. "I think it was just a tragic thing, a senseless act."

"On a local level, I don't feel too much concern from it and I'm just basing it on past experience," Taylor says. "I know there are a lot of urban fire departments that actually issue body armor to their firefighters when they're in a neighborhood that is prone to violence."

The inherent job of a firefighter is never really knowing what they're walking into when they get the call.

"Every fire I've ever been on has been different in it's own aspect and firefighters never know what they're going to find when they get there," Taylor says.

A heartbreaking story that hits close to home.

"I know everybody in our department, all the departments in the area... are thinking about 'em," Bucy says.


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