I am an itinerant special education teacher working throughout SLO County. Recently a young child suffered a severe seizure in a classroom in which I was working. Within seconds teachers and staff had the child safely positioned and all emergency procedures initiated.
Per protocol for this student, 911 was called and in minutes the fire department arrived at the school. Six firefighter/EMTs came into the classroom — each one prepared, professional and ready to work as a team to assist the student. They worked calmly and intently so that the child could then be transported to a hospital where his care was continued. We expect no less. So to the gentleman who recently wrote to this paper opining that police and firefighters are “whining” because they seek collective bargaining, please stop and think again. What if your teenager wrapped the car around a telephone pole? What if your wife or mother had a heart attack? Or your house caught fire? Or your safety was threatened? Or? Or? Or?
What if the student I saw seizing was your child or grandchild? I will always support collective bargaining. I will always support unions. The quick action of teachers and emergency personnel may have saved this child’s life. And this goes on all day every day, all over our nation.
Teachers today have more responsibility that you can ever imagine and emergency personnel risk more than we can know. Unions have brought safety to the workplace, kept employers from exploiting children and workers, made wages fair and helped fuel the once burgeoning middle class of our country. Maybe the rich can start paying their taxes like you and I both do. Maybe billions spent on unnecessary wars could be channeled into our own country. Then we can leave teachers, law enforcement and firefighters to do their jobs.
I can hear the computers booting up right now to let me have it. Go ahead. I saw a child saved due to the quick action of teachers and firefighters. I have no doubt where I want my tax dollars to go. Marie Favro lives in San Luis Obispo.