published on Thursday, December 11, 2008
A debt is owed to all who volunteer to fight fires
America’s volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians are extraordinary people. Why? That’s simple – they work at this nation’s most dangerous profession for free. And you will likely never meet a group of individuals more consumed by an avocation, because theirs is a mission of supreme importance – to save lives and limit damage to property. They are dedicated to the core and prove it day-in and day-out by placing their own lives on the line to protect those of others.
The controversial decision as to what level of protection a volunteer fire department provides is not one that firefighters make, but a choice that falls smack dab on the laps of the citizens that they serve. Without the level of dedication provided by local community volunteers, fire rescue services in Delaware would be forced back upon local, state and possibly federal government,
And the thought of inviting federal emergency management at the local level would be disastrous.
We must take stock and the populace must make up its mind of which way they want to turn. If the community wants a higher level of fire protection, they’ll have to pay for it one way or another. Money makes the system work, and that is the bottom line.In a very real sense, the antagonist in this story is not the stubborn volunteer or the head-strong career advocate – it is public apathy.
View my photo essay on Delaware's Volunteer Firefighters