FACING UP TO AN ETHICAL CONUNDRUM!
Editorial by Frank Kurz
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” -- John F. Kennedy
“A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away.” -- Gene Roddenberry
Vancouver, British Columbia - “Surely you’ve got to give us more than just one chance!” exclaimed the voice on the telephone in an often repeated phrase I hear when I’ve called to inform yet another recipient of their addition to our wall of Burning Bricks.
A valid request? You tell me. Would Jovel or Phillip (Galarosa) have enjoyed such a second chance? Would Garland (McKay), Stephen (Yellowquill), or any number of the victims of PREVENTABLE house and apartment fires, have jumped at the opportunity if it was presented?
In Canada, we live with a justice system that’s most notably famous for second chances. Why do I not extend the same courtesy to fire equipment service companies (or their individual Registered Technicians)? I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to recognize there’s a world of difference between a judicial second chance and one that could actually wind up costing a life.
When I conceived the Burning Brick Awards, I thought very carefully about how I should proceed. I knew that many of my peers would look at something like this as being not only confrontational, but incredibly controversial. It could also, very easily, cross the line between fair comment and libel (and believe me, I’m very conscience of exactly where that line is!).
Then thoughts of Jovel and Phillip came to mind, and the decision to proceed became, what my sons would term, a no brainer. Personally, I can’t imagine losing one of my children (let alone both).
I started this website as purely an information resource; one that, I hoped, would help fill a major gap between the efforts of ASTTBC and CFAA. As time went on however, I came to realize that I could extend my influence to the companies that actually employed our membership - and in so doing, elicit a positive reaction that would benefit the greater good. One such company, Levitt Safety, did, in fact step forward to do just that. For me, it was a watershed moment and I remain hopeful that the other companies we’ve singled out for our rather unique and unorthodox award will step up to the plate much like Levitt has!
It’s easy to lead. It’s far more difficult to lead by example.