Skip to comments.Patriotic helmet needs to go, Newton Fire Chief says (Massachusetts)
Posted on 12/16/2008 9:03:18 PM PST by buccaneer81
Patriotic helmet needs to go, Newton Fire Chief says
By Ben Terris, Globe Correspondent
A veteran of the Iraq War, Richard Busa is used to fighting for the American flag. But never quite like this.
After more than three years of rushing into fires with his signature red, white and blue helmet, the Newton firefighter has been told to paint it black. Newton Fire Chief Joseph LaCroix wants the patriotic decoration gone, saying it does not conform to the department's rules.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
If the chief was a Viet vet, I’d say it’s about time he retire and let a new dog take the lead dog role.
Colin Powell was a Vietnam vet, too.
You're absolutely right.
Thanks for posting that.
I understand the need for standard uniforms. Who knows what some yahoo might do to push the envelope if you start making exceptions. As much as it pains me to say this, from what I know of the story I’d have to side with the chief on this.
...what happened to free speech/expression?
> Newton Fire Chief Joseph LaCroix wants the patriotic decoration gone, saying it does not conform to the department’s rules.
What an unpatriotic pencil-pushing plonker.
> LaCroix, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, said that his decision has nothing to do with the flag, but with how he wants his department to conduct business.
> “We run a quasi-military operation here,”
Mistake #1: no you don’t, sir, or at least you shouldn’t. Fire Brigade is an Emergency Service, not a branch of the Military.
If my late Dad were to hear about what is happening in his home state........
You’re right. Here in Ohio, the only quasi-military organization recognized is the Ohio Highway Patrol (aka the State Police.)
I hear you. My dad has been buried in Massachusetts since 1972.
I escaped forever in 1991.
I do understand your position. But this isn't like painting Cartman or a NASCAR logo on the helmet. His helmet art is indicative of the finest American emotion.
Check out US Naval aviators and USAF pilots helmets. Not exactly "uniform."
Although the answer given by the chief is pretty pathetic, and these won’t be a popular points, I think they bear consideration...
How about the Massachusetts flag, to show that you support the States’ Rights inherent in the Constitution, our primary allegiance before the national one? Or how about the UN, since we’re a member of them?
How about if a member of the Cincinnati Bengals decided to paint his helmet Red, White, and Blue in honor of his nation?
Fire helmet colors can indicate very specific things, depending on where you are. In many cases, the privilege of wearing a special helmet is earned...so this would be like someone pinning on a Colonel’s bird just because he thinks it looks cool and patriotic, or calling yourself “Doctor” without becoming one.
For example, many places use white for chief (some places make the shield white but the helmet still black for chief, and all white is district chief), red for captain, yellow for lieutenant (or engineer), blue for medics or safety personnel, and orange for newbies who need to be watched. Sometimes the color indicates professional vs volunteer. Although these color codes are differ from place to place, in one area they tend to be known amongst departments and agencies.
Emergency scenes are not a place where a person from another department or agency should have to try to figure out that the blue flash they see is only the field of blue in a flag, etc.
That was what struck me most about his comments.
I say if you’ve earned it you should be able to wear it. If you haven’t served, no flag helmet. Wouldn’t that solve the ‘what’s next?’ problem.
And he’s been wearing this for three years? Why now is it a problem?
How about a compromise?
Make it part of the uniform regs for the fire department to have its helmets painted with the American flag. Only optional variation would be for former honorably discharged service men to have their service branch painted into the scheme.