A first-place ranking to be proud of: Boston has lowest fire-death rate among big cities

The Boston Fire Department reports that for the second year in a row, "the City of Boston recorded the lowest number of fire deaths for large cities nationwide."

In 2012, only one person died in a fire in Boston, compared to 12 in Baltimore, 25 in Philadelphia, 8 in Milwaukee, 6 in Phoenix and 7 in Washington, DC.

The department credited full staffing, active training, regular inspections and a well maintained fleet of firetrucks - much of which was assembled due to the outcry following the 2009 death of Lt. Kevin Kelley in a poorly maintained truck going down a steep hill with failed brakes.

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    driven by an unqualified firefighter...

    much of which was assembled due to the outcry following the 2009 death of Lt. Kevin Kelley in a poorly maintained truck going down a steep hill with failed brakes.

    Which was being driven by someone who had no training in how to drive an airbrake-equipped truck, and had been maintained by firefighters whose union forced the city to hire them over qualified, trained mechanics, because the firefighter union was more interested in protecting jobs than safety.