Book sales must be down for Douglas Gantenbein's book " A Season of Fire: Four Months on the Firelines in the American West.
He has written a piece o Slate trashing the Fire Service. Among his allegations:
- Firefighting is a cushy job.
- Firefighting isn't that dangerous
- Firefighters are adrenalin junkies.
- Firefighters have excellent propaganda skills.
- Firefighters are just another interest group.
In July 2001, I witnessed the tasteless spectacle of Washington state firefighters staging a massive public display to "honor" four young people killed in a forest fire
(one absurd touch: hook-and-ladder rigs extended to form a huge arch over the entrance to the funeral hall).
For the families of the four dead firefighters—three of whom were teens trying to make a few bucks for college—the parade, the solemn speeches, and the quasi-military trappings all were agony.
"It's just the firefighters doing their thing," one bystander said to me later with a shrug.