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Firefighters In Hot Water Over Cold Water Challenge

Something making its way around Facebook is the Cold Water Challenge for charity. The idea is to post a video where a participant nominates other individuals to either take the challenge or donate to a specified charity, before they themselves jump into cold water. Hundreds of firefighters have posted videos of themselves being dumped with water or sprayed with hoses online in recent weeks and months, many in attempts to raise funds for national charities to remember fallen firefighters and help their families.

When Washington Twp. firefighters posted this 16 second video of their own participation in the Cold Water Challenge, it caught the attention of fire officials who are now looking to punish the firefighters. The following statement has been issued.

“Recently, a video surfaced on social media involving several firefighters at one of our stations utilizing department equipment to ‘deluge’ water on a firefighter in an open field. This action was NOT sanctioned by the department, the use of the equipment was not approved and the individual firefighters involved behaved inappropriately and outside of the boundaries of department policy, procedures and standing orders.”

The video, back up on Youtube at least for now after already being taken down once, shows two Whitman Square Fire Company trucks and firefighters directing hoses at another firefighter standing in a field with his arms outstretched. The water quickly takes him down, knocking him in the head and laughter is heard. The fact no one was hurt doesn’t seem to matter to Board of Fire Commissioners Chairman Sam Micklus who said, “The hose they used could’ve killed someone. I’m still shaking my head. They should’ve known better.”

He says district officials are concerned about the use of public equipment and use of water for the challenge which violate their policies. Suspensions are possible.

Suspensions?

I can’t get past the fact that hundreds of other firemen across the country have taken part in this Cold Water Challenge for charity without incident, or that no one here was hurt. I can’t believe that taxpayers would get upset over a one time use of water and hoses that was raising money for a good cause. Is it just me? Or is this department being way too heavy handed?

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