Editorial: Respect our firefighters

How many of you would like to run in­to a burn­ing build­ing and risk your life to try to save the struc­ture or more im­port­antly, people in­side the struc­ture? Odds are, not many of you raised your hands.
Thank­fully, enough men and wo­men in Phil­adelphia are brave enough to put everything on the line as mem­bers of the Phil­adelphia Fire De­part­ment. Sadly, though, those cour­ageous her­oes — every uni­formed mem­ber of the de­part­ment — are es­sen­tially get­ting kicked in the teeth by short-sighted, heart­less, pig-headed city of­fi­cials who care more about their egos and sav­ing money than sav­ing lives — a point high­lighted by fire­fight­ers’ fam­ily mem­bers at a rally in Burholme last week.
By re­sort­ing to tem­por­ar­ily clos­ing fire sta­tions throughout the city — a pro­ced­ure called “brown­outs” — fire of­fi­cials, par­tic­u­larly Com­mis­sion­er Lloyd Ay­ers, are put­ting cit­izens in jeop­ardy. They’re bank­ing on the hope and pos­sib­il­ity — and yes, per­haps the prob­ab­il­ity — that nobody will ever die as a res­ult of re­duced man­power and slowed re­sponse time res­ult­ing from brown­outs, but they are play­ing Rus­si­an roul­ette. They’re lit­er­ally play­ing with fire, and shame on them.
Some day their luck is go­ing to run out. When some­body dies be­cause the short-staffed, ill-equipped fire de­part­ment can­not get to the scene of a fire in time, there will be hell to pay in Phil­adelphia. And in this city of 1.5 mil­lion people, that is likely to hap­pen. If fire of­fi­cials think that’s OK, it’s time to get new fire of­fi­cials.
Send let­ters to the ed­it­or to: pronews@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at staff@bsmphilly.com.

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