Near the end of August, two firefighters in my area died while fighting a fire in a restaurant when the roof collapsed. The community reached out to their families, and firefighters from nearly every state came to honor them at their funerals. Firefighters are not often lost while performing their duties, and it is always a time of great sadness. This week, a local news station received a copy of the autopsy reports from the two firemen. Before they could report on what was in the reports, the firefighters' union obtained a court order against the news station, preventing them from airing the findings. They were only permitted to say that one of the firefighters was impaired. The station appealed the court order, and the next day was allowed to air the findings. One of the men had a 0.27% blood alcohol level in his blood, along with a positive result for marijuana, and the other tested positive for cocaine. A blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher is the level at which a driver will be arrested for driving drunk, so with a blood alcohol of 0.27%, the first firefighter was quite intoxicated. The firefighters' union is attempting to bring charges against whomever released the autopsy reports to the news station. The families are not only suffering emotionally from this news; they may also be unable to collect benefits as a result of the findings. But I belkieve the issue needed to be brought to light. Police officers are required to submit to random drug testing. But intoxicated firefighters are also placing the public and each other at risk. It's not clear whether these two men would still be alive if they were clean and sober, but I personally feel that their actions have harmed the reputations of all their brothers in service. The politicians seem to be trying to keep a low profile on the issue. Impugning firefighters is not a road to political popularity. But lives depend on firefighters working with sharp awareness and unimpaired judgment.