It’s time to give this fundraising strategy The Boot
A Lansing, Michigan, firefighter is dead, and it breaks my heart to have been a seer on it happening.
Dennis Rodeman was in the middle of a Boot Drive, when he was run over by a motorist. The allegations are that the death intentional, but that will be for the judicial process to sort out.
Throughout the country, firefighters engage in charity Boot Drives, often for burn victims, but not always. They usually stand in the middle of controlled intersections, a bunch of good-looking men and women, in their uniforms, badges showing, and often with their structural firefighting pants on — with the suspenders, of course.
They wander up and down the stopped-vehicle lanes, and/or the turn lanes, looking askance at all the occupants for their money. Fundraising in itself is not a bad thing, but the methods they use are wrong — plain and simple. Do any other fund raisers get to wander in traffic on public roadways?
Do any other fundraisers get to wear their official uniforms, which in all jurisdictions, includes at least some legal authority, when, in fact, they are not on duty?
It is a special privilege based upon their work as public employees, and it violates every ethical principle imaginable.
For years, every year, I argued with a series of my bosses about modifying the process to exclude traffic areas.
They ignored me.
I knew it was only a matter of time before somebody was killed, and probably any — and there has to have been some — injuries that have occurred did not make the news or the newspapers.
This should be treated as a “Charleston Church Shooting” moment for fire personnel throughout the country.
Raise funds. Support charities. Be involved in your communities.
BUT GET OFF THE ROADS!
Do it at your malls. The big box stores. City Halls. Libraries.
Have pancake breakfasts, or fish frys, clambakes or musters.
Get Rotary involved, or the Lion’s Club. The Elks. The Moose. The Masons.
The possibilities are endless.
Use your imagination — our job requires us to be some of the most creative and imaginative workers on earth- and often under pressure.
One man is dead, his family and community devastated.
Let there be no more following in his footsteps; let nobody else be killed or maimed by what can only described as ego-driven stupidity and carelessness.