A tribute to Jerry Fisher, our brother, husband, father
To the Editor:
In August of 2012 , the Fisher family, St. Johnsbury and the State of Vermont lost one of it's most loved and humble citizens. Our beloved brother Jerry Fisher was killed in an "industrial accident" or as so described, while working for the Myers Company the "Red Can Family," or as so advertised in many of it's commercials on WCAX- TV. Long story shortened, Jerry Fisher was thrown from the back of a garbage compactor truck and died two days later from massive head, brain and bodily related injuries. In later years it was our feeling that our brother Jerry had become more or less the apple of the eye of a humble and caring God. It is however here on earth that the worst traits of mankind can be seen. And possibly quite THE worst trait of man kind's behavior of all is apathy! Yes, the apathy our state, county and government employees, namely VOSHA, the esteemed Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The Department of Labor which oversees them, to be included as well, the Barre Town Police Department, the Washington County 911 system, and the very office of our esteemed Governor Peter Shumlin.
Jerry Fisher was thrown and killed from the back of a work truck while on the highways of Vermont and an ambulance was called to the scene where Jerry was taken to the Fletcher Allen Hospital where we all would await his slow death two days later. Accidents happen, right? And yet, do these "accidents" happen without the notifying of local, state or county police in a timely manner? When at the scene of the death, there may need to be an investigation to protect the integrity of proper labor and a highway related laws. Especially involving a highway death? Apparently not in Barre Town, Vermont, who was notified almost a week later. All of this mind you, with rumors of possible foul play by the operator of said truck?
Both during and after this tragic time, dealing with the loss of a truly loved one, I made inquisitions about how these circumstances could happen, I contacted and met in person with the Barre Town police chief, I contacted the VOSHA office and its state officials, I even wrote a letter to Gov. Peter Shumlin's office. Each of course promising a "thorough investigation." The Barre Town's police chief's office hasn't done anything, the VOSHA officials sent me a few standardized form letters, nothing much going on there! My letter to Gov. Shumlin's office was returned with a promise to have "an official from the Vermont Department of Labor" contact me, which hasn't happened to date! And as to this date nothing! Not a word from any of them!
So Jerry, our brother, I am sorry that not only have I failed you, but the Myers Company has too! As has the VOSHA officials, who would seem to have cared enough and protected your rights to work in a safe and caring work environment and to have investigated an untimely death, the police in Barre Town failed you too, didn't they! And last but not least the Vermont Department of Labor and as well the office of Governor Peter Shumlin.
I am truly sorry Jerry, that to all of these listed above, your death doesn't seem to hold much importance. Know this however. That losing you has affected many, many people, we love and miss still, always! Your family, your friends! We love you Jerry!
West Burke, Vt.