November 14, 2009 was a beautiful day, my 34th birthday and the worst day of my life.
November 14 was the day my beautiful mother was brutally murdered. The events of that gruesome, horrid day have never been released to the media or press. Only the victims involved, the Houston Police Department homicide investigators and the District Attorney’s office knew the exact details and prosecution evidence of this sensationalized case. Now am I able to share the true confidential information: my story, but more importantly, my mother’s story. She was a victim and my hero, because on that day my mother sacrificed her life. By doing so, she saved mine, forever changing it. The very core of Houston and our state shook at losing one of its finest DPS [Department of Public Safety] officers, my mother, my hero, Brenda. Continue reading “Love You More”→
by Bill Bays
Fireman, Medical First Responder and Chaplain
Keyesport (IL) Fire Department
Firefighters are rescuers. We like the adrenalin rush of a call, driving the big trucks through traffic with lights and siren calling upon everybody to get out-of-the-way. We like saving life and property. We like the feeling of being able to bring a big blaze under our control. Even simple things like directing traffic and bystanders carries with it the element of authority and control. We like the authority that being in charge brings and the idea that we are in control. These are not bad things, but instead, are essential in a crisis situation. The vast majority of those in our ranks are upstanding men and women who want to make a positive difference in the world and use the power they possess for the benefit of society. Sometimes though, these personality traits are used in wrong ways. Misuse of power and control is obviously not exclusive to firefighters, just the focus of this discussion.
It is common sense that certain occupations are more fertile breeding grounds than others for the abuse of power and control. The armed services, law enforcement and prison guards, firefighters and yes, even the clergy, are some occupations where it is reasonable to assume there is a high risk of individuals with power and control dysfunction. First, we know that there are no statistics to quantify the problem within these occupations. Secondly, power and control is accepted in such occupations and it’s exaggeration or abuse is often overlooked as a byproduct of the high stress factor of these jobs. But unfortunately, what is seen in public is often only the tip of the iceberg as to what happens in private at home. There are some built-in restraints out in society that abusers might not cross over because they like or need their jobs. But the home front is often more private and such misbehavior is empowered by secrecy. Continue reading “Domestic Violence in the Fire Service”→