The fire department doesn’t dare shut down neighborhood equipment because of the backlash. Every taxpayer wants what they are paying for. There used to be two squads. A fire department squad is the equivalent of a police SWAT team. They run the city and are in on every fire and normally are the most aggressive and well-trained firefighters simply because they make more runs. We have had a squad for 50 years for a reason. We were awarded 96 combat firefighters daily in the past for a reason.
Since that time we have gained population, area and tax dollars. We need more combat firefighters, not less. Is it logical now to lower the manpower and weaken the department? Before you do this, I suggest each council person talk to your neighbors and ask them what they want. I know that when the only thing separating a child from being saved or perishing in a house fire is their weak whimper from a closet being heard by a firefighter willing to give up his or her life for that child. The firefighter who has been cut from the daily manpower could just be that firefighter. We need all of the experience and firefighters we can get on the fire scene.
Why is it that it takes a tragedy for leaders to understand the importance of combat staffing? What kind of a fire department do you want? How safe do you want to keep the people of our city? Please allow your conscience to be your guide.
Thomas McComb, FWFD No. 310, retired 1995