Fire Starter recently reported regarding Joint Fire Administrator Hrustich's reckless and high speed driving. Of significance was the fact that neither incident involved an emergency in the Villages of Johnson City or Endicott. Despite this, Hrustich drove at a high rate of speed with lights and sirens and endangered the lives of Endwell Volunteer Fire Fighters and in one case, placed his own children in harms way. Hrustich sped to the scene of a body recovery from the river at a high rate of speed with his young children in the fire command vehicle. He then had the arrogance to photograph his children in the command vehicle.
Fire Starter has done a little amateur lawyering and found some suprising information. Under New York Criminal Law, Hrustich may well have committed a crime by proceeding lights and sirens and at a high rate of speed with his minor children in the vehicle. Under Section 260.10,a person is guilty of a crime if he:
"knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 or directs or authorizes such child to engage in an occupation involving substantial risk of danger to his life or health"A reading of some of the writings on this law reveals that actual harm is not necessary. Rather, merely placing a child in a potentially dangerous situation is sufficient to result in a conviction. A violation of this section is a Class A midemeanor and can result in incarceration.
Proceeding to an emergency scene is always a dangerous propostition. Many fire fighters have lost their lives long before arriving at the scene of an emergency. Add in reckless driving and a high rate of speed and there is more than the potential for injury. It was mere dumb luck that somewone has not been injured or killed by this unprofessional yahoo.
So why would Hrustich place his own children and the lives of citizens and fellow firefighters at risk? Especially when he was responding to a call where "his men" were esentially waiting for a body to float by? Hubris.
Hrustich is the grand high exalted poobah amongst chiefs. No emergency scene can operate without him. So much so that the prior no confidence votes taken by both departments complained of him giving orders before actually being on the scene.
And of course, if there is the possibility of media being present, Hrustich needs to arrive as quickly as possible to "address his public" When Hrustich is at a fire scene, the most dangerous place to be is between him and the television cameras.
As foolish and pathetic as this over paid and under worked joint fire administrator is, he is not to be pitied. It is those who must follow the orders of this arrogant and reckless "public servant" who deserve our concern.