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Letter: Fire Academy staff does impeccable job

Fire Academy staff does impeccable job

A recent article in The News concerning racial profiling at the Fire Training Academy in Cheektowaga was quite disturbing. First and foremost, a retired firefighter with no connection to the present fire administration or the firefighters union confronts and assaults a fire instructor, who is a newly appointed lieutenant and a decorated firefighter with an impeccable record and 19 years of experience. This is something the accused perpetrator has none of.

Second, isn’t it getting old that whenever someone is let go because he is performing below the expected standards that he screams racism? The Fire Academy is supposed to be mentally and physically challenging for obvious reasons. Firefighting is a physical job, but you still have to have common sense and a certain degree of intelligence.

Another requirement for firefighters is that you need a tough skin. There is a lot of ribbing and offhanded joking that goes on while at work. Over the years, this has held true. I was told that it is an outlet for firefighters, who witness death and destruction on the job. So if someone is offended by a simple remark about flipping hamburgers, maybe this person is not pursuing his true calling.

I personally know all of these instructors at the Fire Training Academy. Most of them have been on the job for 20 years or better. Every one of them worked the streets with honor and distinction for years before being assigned to the academy.

Last but not least, the fire chief of training is one of the most respected chiefs in the department, by both the administration and the rank-and-file. This chief would never stand by while any recruit was being abused verbally or physically. Even the fire commissioner, who came on as a black recruit years ago, has investigated and concluded the charges are baseless.

Phil Ryan

Retired Buffalo fire lieutenant

West Seneca