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Shields, of course, doesn't offer any examples of how his comments were "twisted" by Fenske, although for all his careful neutrality, he still makes it clear whose side he's on:
"The mission of our union," he writes, "is under attack from Pat's competitors."
Billy, please, it's obviously your "mission," but the Phoenix Fire Fighters Union's "mission" isn't fucking fellow union members out of their jobs. Cantelme may be an ex-union president and your pal, but he's turned coat.
Shields tried to make nice to The Bird: "This ambulance war has been brewing for years, and it is not our war. . . . These ambulance companies will be fighting this battle for years, and the firefighters will still be working to protect and serve our communities."
But if Pat Cantelme gets his way, a lot of union members won't be able to "serve our communities" on ambulances anymore, Billy boy.
In an attempt to shield himself from those union colleagues who think he and Cantelme are traitors, Shields said he's pledging allegiance to the president of the International Association of Fire Fighters. "Whatever he decides [regarding ambulance companies]," Shields said, "we will do."
And what lesson, besides never talk to a newspaper reporter if you've got something to hide, has the one and only Billy Shields learned in all this? "I will not go into ambulance-related businesses when I retire," Shields wrote in his e-mail to firefighters. "Period."
At least ambulance workers have something to be thankful for.