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.
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