Saturday, August 04, 2012

Takin' It To The Streets

Tower-Ladder 2 operating at a 3-alarm blaze along the Riverfront

Firefighters and Supporters Must Educate Citizens

Wilmington, DE -- (August 4, 2012) -- There was a time in my life when Fire Departments were set-up to handle worst-case scenarios, but unfortunately those days are long gone. Today, city administrators are content to operate with just enough resources to mitigate a single room and contents fire. They claim that the BIG blazes of the 70's and 80's are a thing of the past. So, they play a numbers game and each time a box alarm is toned out, someone at city hall is shaking his fist and rolling the dice. This drill will continue, with half of the city's current fire-rescue resources, if a certain democratic candidate wins the primary here in Wilmington, Delaware.

The general public isn't privy to this never ending, high stakes crap game.The wager? Their lives and the lives of their families, friends and neighbors. Unless the community wants to see another Scranton or Chester right here in Wilmington, firefighters and firefighter supporters MUST take their important message to the people. Share it on the radio, in the news and go DOOR-TO-DOOR.

William Montgomery -- from Google Images

Drastic cuts to the Fire Department are being recommended by Democratic candidate, William Montgomery, an administrator who is no stranger to cutting firefighters and fire-rescue services. As Mayor Jim Baker's Chief-of-Staff, Montgomery implemented "Rolling Bypass" (closure of an engine company each day) and disbanded the State's ONLY career staffed Heavy Rescue, Rescue Company-1. Montgomery makes no bones about his disdain for firefighters -- and one can assume that a Montgomery administration would bring hard times to Wilmington's Bravest. One plan is to cut the WFD by 50% -- to a 3-Engine, 1-Ladder Department. That would leave 16 firefighters - citywide - to protect a daytime population of 100,000. Another idea places 2 engines out of service, and converts the existing Ladder Companies to multi-purpose Quints.

Montgomery and his mission must be discredited publicly if the Wilmington Fire Department is to remain at its current strength -- 6 engines and 2 ladders -- which is 2 companies short as is. There are just a few weeks remaining until the Democratic primary -- and there a lot of neighborhoods for firefighters to canvas. 

For Wilmington firefighters, this is the MOST IMPORTANT election of their careers. With cutbacks of 50% awaiting Wilmington firefighters, and under a Monty Administration, there will be mass layoffs, dozens of demotions and a once proud department will lay in ruins.

Keep the Wilmington Fire Department a mufti-faceted, well staffed emergency agency -- That's the message that needs to be taken to the streets and shared with the citizens of Wilmington!

Lou Angeli

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