Congratulations to former Tucson city firefighter Mark Ekstrum, a 28-year veteran who retired last month as the world’s worst firefighter because he, according to the Associated Press, refused to respond with his crew to the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. He’s officially the world’s worst firefighter. Why? He said “he had different political views than his colleagues and ‘did not want to be part of it.’” Yeah, if a group of people are shot, and your job is to save people’s lives, you shouldn’t be a part of it. Shooting victims should be very careful not to be political in any way, because if they are, they shouldn’t expect any first responders to show up. Also: “Mark Ekstrum’s insubordination may have delayed his unit’s response because firefighters had to stop at another station to pick up a replacement for him.” Always good when people are bleeding to death on the pavement.
This story is a bit more odd, however:
Ekstrum also said in the statement that he had no problem with Giffords and even voted for her in the last election.
Yes, no problem except for that problem he had helping her when she had a bullet shot through her head.
Capt. Ben Williams wrote in a report that when Ekstrum first said he would not go on the call, “he mentioned something about ‘political bantering’ and he did not want to be part of it.”
What exactly does he mean by “bantering”? He didn’t go because his crew mentioned something about politics on the way over? What if one of the shooting victims liked cats? “I will not be a part of this bantering about cats!” What if one of them was a fan of Star Wars? “Let them bleed to death! I’m not going to respond amidst all this talk about Wookies!”
Seems like perhaps somebody was just a little afraid to go to a shooting. But knowing Arizona, he probably shouldn’t be surprised if a person angered by this story shows up on his doorstep and shoots him in approximately five minutes. Because most Arizonans aren’t cowards. Just this guy and John McCain. [AP]
UPDATE: From Wonkette operative “DoktorZoom”: I think you may have gotten it wrong on this morning’s post about Mark Ekstrum, the Tucson firefighter, largely due to some very incomplete reporting in the AP story you linked to. As commenter “Cicada” notes in the comments, the Arizona Daily Star ran a more complete story which points out that it was a follow-up call, 90 minutes after the shooting, that Ekstrum declined to go on, not the initial incident–no lives were at stake, but some post-incident tents may have taken longer to set up. More significantly, the article suggests that Ekstrum decided not to go because he was too distraught over the news to be an effective responder, not that he was chicken or that his choice was motivated by his politics. Still not a terribly professional decision, and he probably was right to resign, but very it’s also very different from how the Wonkette post depicts it.
Okay! But somebody in Arizona will still shoot him, because many of them are crazy, and they all have guns. In any case, it’s probably unfair to compare anyone’s level of cowardice to the most current iteration of John McCain.