Show appreciation

I would like to appeal to residents about our local firefighter/paramedics. In our house, when the tones go off, everything is dropped. The rush is even more imperative when children are involved in the call. We listen and pray for protection, safety and wisdom.

Our fire chief has to balance helping residents while keeping his people safe. When the firehouse is put back in order, sadness sets in as the adrenaline stops pumping. Days, weeks and months after, the effects of the job carry on. Seeing things no one wants or should ever have to see is just one of the downsides of the job. Being desensitized to pain, suffering and even death is something they have to deal with regularly.

The station is always busy. There is training continually. After each run, there are reports to put in and squads to re-stock. Duties that need to happen each day. The vision of firefighters making chili and playing cards all day is not accurate.

The mayor and city council have not made it a priority to show their appreciation to those who protect our city. A raise hasn’t been seen since 2008, and they have given concessions. Our family has personally seen less income which makes it imperative that my husband work two jobs. Most at the station do. He has left that job to go into a fire. That isn’t always possible which makes it a safety issue for residents. When only three people show up, the residents are less safe. Without a deputy chief, most have taken on more duties.

I ask residents to pray for the safety of our protectors. I also ask our administrators to show their appreciation to those who protect our city. Sometimes being fiscally conservative means objectively looking at the situation and making best decisions to show you value employees. I ask city leaders to sit at the station for a day and see firsthand. When a call comes in at night go with them. Run all night and go to work the next day. See the effects of a fire firsthand on their faces. Walk in their shoes and see if they are being paid what they are worth to our residents.

Erin Morgan,