Editor's note: Below is the second part of Mr. Slaight's letter. The first appeared in Wednesday's Craig Daily Press.
To the editor:
You can only crawl under so many fire trucks to simulate SCBA, search and rescue, hose advancement and fire streams.
I know a little about quality training as I had the privilege of being in charge of training for around five years. I know how difficult it is to find an abandoned structure to train in and eventually burn.
I know how the NFPA regulations have changed regarding live fire training and burning abandoned buildings. Asbestos abatement. The dangers to firefighters in abandoned buildings set on fire. The danger of burning a structure next to other residents.
Live fire certifications became a part of firefighter 1 requirements when I was in charge of training. We had to travel to Frisco or Rifle for the rookies to be tested.
Hayden's building was just being built if I remember right. Besides rookie training there is also continuing training that must be completed by each firefighter which includes more live fire training to recertify at their firefighter level. It's not, in my opinion, feasible to train as an effective department traveling to Hayden and using their building. Most people have not a clue to the amount of training hours our firefighters achieve in a year.
I am in full support to the fire board's decisions regarding this training center. I made my decision by being informed and asking questions. Not being an uniformed arm chair quarterback.
Do I think they have done the best job at educating the people? No. Is that their job or is it ours as taxpayers? But they have done what they thought was right. I attend almost every fire board meeting and sadly I'm the only citizen there.
The last time I can remember anyone else at a meeting was last July. The last meeting, March 2012, was the first time I can remember a Craig Daily Press reporter there in over a year and he was there for only half the meeting.
Last April, a group of people showed up thinking they knew all they needed to know about the budget and the operation of the fire board and the fire department. How can any of you form an accurate opinion on how the board has come to their decisions by attending one meeting?
I think the fire board has done an excellent job with my money. They have obtained grants when available. Developed a working budget, stayed within that budget and planned for the future.
What more can you ask of them? I encourage everyone to get involved with your fire department. Attend more than one meeting and be informed before you make your decisions. I hope the media will become involved as they are with every other government agency and present an unbiased report of the functions of the fire district.
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