Fire depart­ment banned from com­mu­nity events, says vol­un­teer

The Compass - - OPINION -

I would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to in­form the res­i­dents of the towns/com­mu­ni­ties served by the Bay de Grave Re­gional Fire Depart­ment that the board has de­cided the depart­ment will no longer be par­tic­i­pat­ing in any com­mu­nity events.

The gov­ern­ing board, con­sist­ing of town coun­cil mem­bers of the towns served — Cupids, Clarke’s Beach, South River, Makin­sons and North River — have de­cided that the depart­ment will no longer par­tic­i­pate in such events as Christ­mas pa­rades, tree light­ings, Re­mem­brance Day ser­vices and any other fes­ti­vals and fam­ily fun days.

As a vol­un­teer, I feel this is an in­sult to all the fire­fight­ers that vol­un­teer and give up their own per­sonal time with their fam­i­lies to at­tend such func­tions, in ad­di­tion to the emer­gency re­sponse calls.

The board is more con­cerned about the cost in­curred “by them” for the depart­ment to at­tend its served town’s events, in which the ONLY cost would be fuel. Yet, the tax­pay­ers of these towns/com­mu­ni­ties are the in­di­vid­u­als at­tend­ing these events. And it’s their tax dol­lars that in turn off­sets for fuel costs, not the board it­self.

I feel that by the depart­ment’s mem­bers at­tend­ing such func­tions in their home­towns, it helps to cre­ate good com­mu­nity re­la­tions, is a great way to boost morale and en­cour­ages fam­ily-ori­ented ac­tiv­i­ties, as most have their own fam­i­lies which join in and par­tic­i­pate.

If res­i­dents were ed­u­cated in the non-es­sen­tial ex­penses in­curred by the board, the cost of at­tend­ing these func­tions would seem min­i­mal in com­par­i­son. But, as for vol­un­teer­ing and will­ing to at­tend, the depart­ment will be forced not to do so.

In say­ing this, I truly feel it’s time for the res­i­dents of our towns/com­mu­ni­ties to de­cide if the proper peo­ple are in place to di­rect and de­cide such fate of our depart­ment and es­sen­tial ser­vices pro­vided to all res­i­dents.

Some­thing to think about.

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