Two Firefighters Killed from the Same Department. Don’t Mind Your Own Business.

By Billy Goldfeder

Within just a few days, a fire department in West Virginia lost two members in off-duty crashes. Another crash left a firefighter dead in the NE-leaving three little kids and a wife behind. The second one (in West Virginia) happened this morning at around 0300, killing 22-year-old Firefighter Brandon Mooney.

22 years old. 

Mooney was driving a Jeep when he lost control, causing it to roll over several times before landing over a hillside. The Jeep went several hundred feet before stopping. All four of the people inside the vehicle were thrown from the Jeep. None of them were wearing seatbelts. Three women were taken to the hospital for treatment. No word on their conditions yet. Cops say alcoholic beverages were found in the vehicle and that may have been a factor in the crash.

Mooney is the second Firefighter the Glasgow Fire Department has lost in little over a week. On June 22, Firefighter Michael Clark, 21, died in a crash near Glasgow. His crash was likely due to the weather conditions while driving. 

21 years old.

Also earlier last month, a NY Firefighter was killed driving home from a fire service-related social event on Long Island-it was a single vehicle crash and he left three little kids behind. There have been other “off-duty” firefighters lost as well in the last several weeks. North Carolina, Missouri. Others.

Be it speed or drinking or whatever, the families and these departments took one heck of a blow, knocking the wind of of them-for a long time. It’s a reminder that we need to look out for each other-and given most of our “personality types” and connected risky behavior-we REALLY need to watch out for ourselves-and one another.

Slow down. If you are with other members who are partying, take their keys. If you are driving-put your seatbelt on-and make sure everyone else is belted. DON’T mind your own business. Be a jerk. Speak up and stop the actions-whatever it takes and it may piss those involved off. Good. Piss’m off.

So many people in the last few weeks are “what if-ing” these horrific losses. Pay attention. Don’t mind your own business…Firefighters normally don’t-so why should this be different? Stick your nose deep into their business and maybe save one of them from themselves. 

BILLY GOLDFEDER, EFO, Billy Goldfederis deputy chief of the Loveland-Symmes (OH) Fire Department. He has been a firefighter since 1973, a company officer since 1979, and a chief officer since 1982. He serves on the International Association of Fire Chiefs board of directors, the September 11th Families Association, and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. He has taught at FDIC for 30-plus years and is a member of the Fire Engineering editorial advisory board and the FDIC executive advisory board.

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