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TBO
12-01-2004, 19:56
Firefighter faces DUI charge for fire truck accident during fatal house fire

ROSTRAVER TOWNSHIP - State police in Belle Vernon claim a firefighter was found to be intoxicated after he wrecked a pumper truck while en route to a fire.
John Michael Kimball, 36, of 513 Lebanon School Road, Belle Vernon, faces a criminal charge of driving under the influence. He also faces summary counts of careless driving and driving on roadways laned for traffic.

Kimball, who has since been expelled from the Rostraver Central Volunteer Fire Co., was on his way to a house fire Sept. 24 in South Huntingdon Township.

According to court documents, Kimball, rounding a curve on state Route 3029 in South Huntingdon, strayed off the road and hit a concrete wall with the right side of the truck. Rostraver Assistant Chief Vince Campbell said the accident caused some cosmetic damage and forced the truck's water pump out of place.

Two other firefighters were on board. One was taken to a hospital, where he was treated and released.

The truck and Kimball were driven back to the station, and Campbell left the fire to attend to the accident. Once at the station, and after talking with Kimball, he called the police.

Police said they noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Kimball and that his eyes were glassy and bloodshot, and his speech was slurred.

Kimball was taken to a Monongahela Valley Hospital for a blood test, which revealed he had a 0.12 percent blood-alcohol content. In Pennsylvania, a driver is considered to be legally drunk with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent

Kimball declined to comment, except to say that he has "mixed emotions" about the accident and that he is confident the DUI charge "will be beat."

The fire gutted the house and killed the man who lived there, 53-year-old Nicholas Reed Szary, of 1049 Barren Run Road. His dog, a black Labrador retriever, also died. A state police fire marshal ruled that the fire was accidental, caused by unattended food cooking on the stove.

Szary died from smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:25 p.m.

Several fire departments were called, including Rostraver. However, Westmoreland County 911 dispatchers had asked only for its ladder truck, which arrived long before Campbell's accident. As a result, Kimball didn't have to drive over with the pumper, Campbell said.

Nonetheless, Kimball, who Campbell said wasn't drinking at the station and was permitted to drive the truck, showed up at the station and went out to see if the others needed help.

He said that given that the township covers a wide geographic area, Rostraver firefighters carry their gear with them and usually report directly to fires and traffic accidents. So, generally, there's nobody at the station to direct traffic, Campbell said.

"It's something we couldn't prevent," said Campbell, who added that Kimball meant well but used poor judgment.

Kimball has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 6 before District J. Bruce King, of Scottdale.

article (http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/newssummary/s_270901.html)


Responding Firefighter Charged with DUI

BELLE VERNON, PA-November 9, 2004 A Westmoreland County volunteer firefighter is charged with driving drunk on his way to a fatal house fire and crashing a pumper truck.
Thirty-six-year-old Michael Kimball of Belle Vernon has been kicked out of the Rostraver Central Volunteer Fire Company since the September 24th crash.

State police say Kimball was legally drunk when they arrived shortly after the crash.

Kimball says he'll beat the DUI charge in court. Although a man died in the fire, authorities say Kimball's wreck wasn't a factor.

The truck he was driving wasn't even summoned to the scene by dispatchers. Instead, authorities say Kimball simply showed up at the station and decided to drive an extra truck to the scene to help out.

He faces a preliminary hearing December Sixth.

article (http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/news/11092004_nw_firefighterdui.html)

;T

DaleGribble
12-02-2004, 10:57
So are you insinuating that this guy is representative of the typical volunteer firefighter?

What was your point in coming in here to post this article, to elicit outrage from us or was it to come in here and show us how evil volunteer firefighters are?

One more question, how many regulars from this forum come in to CopTalk and post articles about police misconduct?

Glock-A-Roo
12-02-2004, 18:47
You know, if a similar article regarding a cop was posted in the LEO forum, TheBadOne would be making some type of snide comment regarding anti-LEO sentiments. Why this type of enciting behavior on the Fire/EMS forum?

ClydeG19
12-02-2004, 23:35
;2 Turn the pager off when you drink! :(

TBO...looking at what you've "contributed" to this forum thus far, it does seem that you are simply looking to rile people up as others have already mentioned. Every group of people is going to have bad apples or people who do simply stupid things. No one is exempt from this. The vast majority of people from all groups know and conform to the limits of acceptable behaviors. Pointing out the ones who don't really does not serve anyone any purpose.

DepChief
12-03-2004, 10:37
TBO actually makes a very valid point. I dont know if he posted this artical just to rile the masses or not, but when members of the fire service drink and then take it upon themselves to respond to calls, not only do they put everyone on the road in danger, but i dont want someone under the influence operating my pump panel or backing me up on a hoseline. And if you are offended that someone posts these type of articles in a forum that is primarily a firefighter/medic "area", then apparently you have never been to www.firehouse.com, the most viewed fire service web site in the world. I cant remember a month ever that they have not posted articles about what happens when firefighters drink and drive. And because these idiots take the lives of other firefighters, I wouldn't care if they published these articles in every web site and magazine on the planet. Do you think that you would ever see an article about firefighters drinking and responding to calls if none of us did it! Not only should we be held to a higher standards in the eyes of the public, but we should also hold ourselves to higher standards!

pizzaaguy
12-03-2004, 10:39
Originally posted by DaleGribble
What was your point in coming in here to post this article, to elicit outrage from us or was it to come in here and show us how evil volunteer firefighters are?

He was having a slow news day regarding cops! ;Q

Firefighter631
12-03-2004, 19:39
Seems TBO's MO is the same from Cop Talk, he posts an article that he knows will incite negative responses and then doesn't stick around to debate his posting. Thanks buddy, but go troll someplace else