Friday, October 28, 2005

Your Fire Department

For those of you who have been trying to watch the lid-lift ad on the station computers, we should be getting Quicktime installed soon - thanks to Kristy. Until then, here's a movie from 1949 that will have to do. Maybe we should do something similar...

Spokesman-Review Slideshow of 10/27/05 Warehouse Fire...

Never really mentioned in this morning's SR article was the impact that next year's potential layoffs and station closures will have on fire suppression. I heard that the first-in to the house fire on Alice (which was called in at the same time as some crews were going back into service from the warehouse fire) was a South Hill rig.

This is what happens when a fire department is understaffed. Engine and ladder companies, if available, come from further distances. The success rate for fire suppression and EMS procedures plummets.

So, right now voters have a choice to maintain their level of service at this insufficient level, or to degrade it even further.

We've lost buildings that we wouldn't have lost last year, due to the layoffs. And like I've said before, very seldom does the news cover our daily successes. What would they show? A knockdown confined to one room? We're usually picking up, by the time they get there. And there's no story. But, when we have to go defensive on a fire, it's quite a photo-op. One can only imagine the volume of heart-breaking stories and the hours of spectacular footage we'll see on the news and in the paper next year, if there are more layoffs and station closures.

For those of you in the public reading this, this isn't a threat. It's just common sense.