The Missionary Position

The current administration does not seem to care at all about the majority of the fire service.


I have tried to portray the enemies which surround us. Let me now turn my thoughts to what I will call the enemy within. It is my contention that the fire service is guilty of one simple, but dangerous behavior. The fire service has become complacent. They think the FIRE Act, and the other programs from the federal government are cast in concrete; that they will always be there for us. Guess what? It can all disappear with the stroke of a pen in Washington, D.C.

Many among us have come to rely on the FIRE Act as the basis for funding their operations. Many agencies have been successful on multiple occasions. Others have never been successful and have stopped applying. My friends, now is the time to push back at the system. You must continue to battle for the programs and you must continue to use them as well. If the government sees a drop off in applications that will make them think that their perceptions are correct and that the programs are no longer needed.

I am suggesting to you that the time has come to stop letting the other person fight your battles. It just isn't happening. The national fire service organizations can only do so much to educate the members of Congress. The Congressional Fire Services Institute can only do so much to explain our case. We must create a network of personal interaction. We need create a true grassroots-level lobbying effort on this critical issue. We need to create the position of FIRE Act Missionary in every one of our nation's 535 Congressional Districts.

Unfortunately, my words here on your computer screen can have no impact in and of themselves. They are simply my thoughts presented to you for your use. Should you choose to do something, then a multiplier effect can begin to take hold in your area. If enough of you join the battle, we can have an impact. However, I cannot do this for you because I have no actual standing with the political forces in your state.

Your Member of the House of Representative does not care who Harry Carter is or what he has to say. I cannot vote for them. However, they do care about what you have to say, because you, your family, your friends, and the members of your fire department can vote for him or her. If we are to succeed in this battle for our financial lives, you must actively assume the position of FIRE Act Missionary in your area.

Let me suggest that I intend to fire the first salvo in this battle. This campaign will begin with me sending a copy of this article, along with one autographed copy of my 2006 Road Trip book to each of my states representatives. The same package will go to both of our U.S. Senators here in the Great Garden State. How can I ask you to do something if I am unwilling to do the same thing?

It has been written that the journey of 10,000 miles begins with but a single step. Ladies and gentlemen, I am about to take my first step. By the way, I will not need to send any additional copies of my book to Bill Pascrell. I personally gave a number of them to him during a trip to Washington in 2007.

You can order copies of my book from Trafford Publishing at 888-232-4444. You can look at the book's sales page at http://books.trafford.com/06-26431. This book is entitled, Living My Dream: Dr. Harry Carter's 2006 FIRE Act Road Trip

I can urge you to buy my book with a clear conscience. All proceeds from this book, as well as my Leadership: A View from the Trenches book, go to the Colts Neck Reformed Church Building Fund.

I have thrown down the gauntlet. I would hope that you pick up my challenge and do the same in your area. The only way we can win the battle to save the FIRE Act is to become Missionaries for the FIRE Act. If we do not, we may all be asked to assume the position, and it may not be the missionary one. As one who has done battle in the trenches since the Ford Administration, I understand the system and what needs to be done. It is your call my friends, but I am urging you to act.

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