High Fuel Prices & Driver Shortage-Threats to VFD's
Since the price gouging at the fuel pump seems to be here to stay for who knows how long, I see that together with a driver shortage at some volunteer fire departments a serious threat to those departments' very existence, not to mention a serious threat to ALL emergency services abilities to do their respective jobs unimpeded. That nothing has been done to control the spiraling fuel prices, in my opinion demonstrates the utter contempt that George W. Bush actually has for emergency responders. After seeing pictures of him posing with an FDNY member on top of the WTC rubble from several years ago strikes me as hypocracy of the first order, when he would rather be pouring money into a reckless war that he started (not to take anything away from our troops and I support our troops),but to try to screw our emergency responders every which way but loose by pretending to be supportive of the Fire Service and other emergency services and turn around and propose cuts in grant funding to emergency services, particularly the Fire Service. That worthless moron ought to try outfitting one firefighter out of his own pocket and see what the volunteer fire service is up against. Add to the price gouging done by the oil companies, a driver shortage at some volunteer fire departments, including some in my own back yard that shall go unnamed. The driver shortage is so accute that some departments rolling on a call are lucky to get even one truck out the door, unless a line officer takes one out himself, which some line officers are loathe to do. As to the cost of outfitting a single firefighter for his job, figures given me in a fund raising mailing from my department tells me it costs upwards of $1500 to outfit just one firefighter with full turnout gear and that includes turnout coat, bunker pants, boots, airpacks, gloves and whatever else a firefighter needs. Try outfitting a volunteer deparment with 51 active members with the reduced funding Mr. Bush, this pathetic excuse of a president, has proposed, cope with price gouging by Big Oil and a driver shortage at the fire hall. It is time the politicians knock off the tradition of treating the Fire Service as their favorite whipping boy, both volunteer and paid professionals. The same goes for the other emergency services. Keeping the rigs fully fuel takes money and the more it costs, the greater the threat to VFD's and ambulance corps ability to do their jobs. Price controls should have been slapped on the Oil Companies long before now. When a volunteer fire department has to shut down, one can only appreciate the damage being done to emergency services by sky high fuel prices and a driver shortage. Not only that, but rein in the speculators who have driven the price of oil up far higher than supply and demand warrant. The way this administration has treated both the Fire Service and Emergency services with contempt makes me wonder, at times, was 9-11 an INSIDE JOB? Given the lawless nature of the Bush team, I have reason to wonder.