It is comforting to know that fire department personnel have wives and mothers to remind the public how important they are to our safety. Too bad we can’t have discussions, without excess emotion, regarding the excessive costs the fire department charges to the city budget.
Based on figures listed in the San Luis Obispo County grand jury report of 2007, more than 80 percent of the 4,400 response calls the department received were non-fire related. Sixty-three percent were for medical emergencies. So why do we spend money to train and pay firefighters if they rarely fight fires in the city? How about more EMTs that can drive much smaller vehicles, instead of a 75-foot truck?
Like another letter writer, Mr. Harmon (“Fire help not needed,” April 22), I have never required a firetruck to come help me. So according to Carolyn Clinite (“It takes just one call,” April 30), we should get those letters of appreciation ready to send to the department when we need them?
Well, everyone dies, so maybe this is true. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, almost 30 percent of California firefighters are volunteers. Most firefighter disability and workers’ comp claims are for injuries acquired while participating in sports or in the department kitchen. Where do the costs end in these days of city budget woes?