Letter: Former firefighter speaks out- part 2
May 14, 2012
(Editor’s note: Mr. Chapman’s letter exceeded the 500-word limit in the newspaper’s letters policy. The first part of the letter appeared in the Saturday Morning Press.)
To the editor:
At this time, Craig Fire/Rescue has 30 members who have to pass an agility test.
In the old days, we had 20 members of which two were well overweight.
Did we stick them on ladders or send them into burning buildings?
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But guess what?
Those two men were the best pumper operators anyone or any department could ask for.
Oh, did I mention common sense? And, they served for many years.
Also, whenever we had a fireman leave the department because of moving or for any other reason, word got out that we were shorthanded and we’d have people inquiring immediately.
A couple of times we had new members who would probably qualify as “nerds.”
But, you know what?
Those members, within a year, were some of the best firefighters we could ask for.
Once a month, a professional firefighter would come from Grand Junction to train us.
One thing he mentioned often times was our excellent equipment.
We had it because we were volunteers.
He said never become a full-time department.
The money will go for wages rather than new equipment.
I read words from the current board president where he thought Craig would need a second station in the proposed area.
In the old days, we had two brush trucks, which were also our quick response attack trucks.
One was a three-quarter ton pickup with a 250-gallon water tank in the utility box that had a gas pump and reel hose.
The other held 400 gallons and was equipped the same.
These two attack trucks put out 90 percent of the fires before the large pumper arrived.
We had a standing rule: when we unlocked the fire house, one of those trucks would be leaving within 30 seconds to the fire.
So, the new second fire station would be within two minutes of the present one.
How about that common sense thinking?
One more thing.
A retired firefighter recently wrote that he’d like the firemen to have enough training to guarantee they would return home safely to their families.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful to have for all of those who serve in harm’s way, even our military?
No amount of training is a guarantee.
God Bless America.
Carl K. Chapman