Bad call

Criticize training expenses maybe, but not fire department calls

You don’t support your local firefighters at your own peril.

It was a passing remark at the most recent Qualicum Beach council meeting by councillor Bill Luchtmeijer. He wondered aloud why the local fire department is responding to so many calls — all in the context of looking at making operational budget cuts this year. He questioned if responding to so many calls was necessary.

Emphatically, the answer has to be yes.

Question the cost of their training destination decisions, certainly, but to question whether those calls are worth the cost? That’s just too much.

Ask anyone who has had need of first responders, or for a rescue on the highway, or when they are facing a fire of any size, in any of the area communities, if they think responding to calls is important.

Their answer would certainly be an emphatic yes as well.

Just ask yourself — would you want to be on the receiving end (or non-receiving end in this case) of a fire department forced with having to make the decision whether the call you or a loved one just made, is worth it?

No fire department should be put into that position. It’s inhumane.

The community had made the decision to make local firefighters first responders.  These are, for the most part, dedicated volunteers willing to help people in some of the worst possible situations in their lives.

People in need of that help do not want to wonder whether anyone will come fast enough, because of a political decision to reduce emergency service.

A municipality’s prime task is to keep its citizens safe and all of council would do well to remember this. So, let’s hope that this comment was made in passing and it stops there.

Municipalities must make sure emergency and safety services are run well and are able to respond quickly, each and every time they are called.

To do anything else would be to place people into harm’s way, if only to save a few dollars.

— editorial by Steven Heywood

 

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read