10 February, 2009

Fires

A firefighter in New York City has been fined after parking in front of a fire hydrant.

No, that's not the weird news. The weird news is that he did it on purpose.

And left a note asking not to be fined.

AND used the fact he's a firefighter as the reason they shouldn't fine him.

"I'm really a fireman," the guy wrote. "I work in Engine 46."

...although generally I post crazy news stories to help us all have a laugh at the bizarre things in life, this one has me furious with anger. This guy needs to be permanently fired as a firey. You may quote me on this one. It's blatant disregard for someone's life. It's not understanding, as a FIREFIGHTER, that he knowingly put someone's life at risk for his own personal parking convenience. And it's using his occupation to freakily excuse it?

Huh. Sorry for the rant. It's just that this week we've had more than 135 Australians die in fires, and the death toll is still rising, and the fires are still burning out of control. People are desperately fleeing a 100km-wide wall of flames (60 miles wide) and they're dying in their cars as the fire is too fast for them to outrun. Doctors have described the horrific burns as worse than bomb blasts. Kids are in burns units, some people have lost their parents, some have lost their children. This is our worst peacetime disaster in history. It's a little hard to feel any sympathy for such a mindblowingly-idiotic and selfish piece of behaviour as intentionally obstructing a hydrant.

The Australian Red Cross - www.redcross.org.au is accepting donations online from anyone in Australia via cheque or credit card. The Australian Red Cross are not using a single cent for administration costs and the entire amount will go to people in need. You can also read information there on who are coordinating things like billeting / homestay and accommodation offers for the 6000+ survivors who are now homeless.

People in the USA can donate via the American Red Cross online, by selecting "International Response Fund" or by mail, to, American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 (include a note "Australian Bushfires" with your check) or in person to your local American Red Cross chapter. Donations can also be made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS. The Red Cross honours your preference if you nominate which disaster relief program you would like the money spent on.

~ Elisa

cross-posted to Crazy Odd News