America is at the banks of the Rubicon right now. I’m not sure if people know it. I’m raising the alarm as if your lives depended on it, because they do. Our leaders are marching us toward disaster, and we must not follow.
Incidents of understaffed, underfunded fire departments are increasing in frequency. You hear about them when someone suffers a preventable death or loss of property. Unfortunately, civilian reporters generally don’t have the training and background to analyze these stories in context. What usually ends up happening is the public perceives an inadequate response and blames the individual firefighters and police involved, such as we saw in Obion County, Tennessee and Alameda, California.
Those of us who work in uniform see a much different picture, more in keeping with this incident in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The idea that there are overstaffed fire stations wasting money all over this country is simply not backed by any sort of reality checking.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, John Boehner and Eric Cantor are calling for even deeper cuts to public safety and emergency response. The idea that civilian politicians better understand how to staff and run fire stations is absurd, yet it appeals to many in this time of recession. When you're not sure of the facts or how to analyze a conflict, look at the parties. Ask yourself, who do you trust more – politicians or firefighters? Which group would you trust with your life?
Ohio is a battleground. If their firefighters – who know from firsthand experience which policies save lives and which ones cost lives – are silenced, people will die. If you’re in Ohio, vote NO on Issue 2. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell everyone you see.
If you’re not in Ohio, pay attention. This war on public safety is coming soon to your home town. Firefighters need your help. Fight for your homes and families now, while you still can. Empower us to save you.