City firefighters deserve praise

Published Aug. 18, 1995|Updated Oct. 4, 2005

(ran LA edition)

In reference to the letter from Denise Shedler regarding the merger of Seminole Fire Rescue with the city of Seminole, I am very angry that anyone would even attempt to compare a city employee to a firefighter, paramedic or fire chief. I am more angered that there has been very little positive publicity for the fire department.

Let's discuss the daily shift routine of these individuals, the average calls per day, the average response time, the average hours worked per week, the average time spent in training, the average time spent in schooling.

Let's talk about how firefighters can be awake for a 24-hour shift, being up the night before for a house fire and two car accidents, or about the stress involved with some of the accidents and having to go through debriefing because they couldn't save a child.

A firefighter works an average of 56 hours per week. An average firefighter's yearly salary comes to approximately $10 an hour. That seems low considering these individuals are risking their lives every day for people they don't even know and for some people who don't even appreciate them.

They even respond to accidents or to people who need medical assistance on their own time (without pay) on their days off.

The majority of men and women in this department are not there for the money. It truly takes special individuals to risk their lives to save others. No amount of money would be enough to compensate them if it were my child who needed to be pulled from a burning building, or my sister who needed to be extricated from a car accident. I hope others would feel the same.

Let's start hearing about how our department is ranked in the top five departments in the state, and how their equipment, training and personnel are all top notch.

Yes, I am biased. My husband has been in the fire department for 15 years and I have never come across individuals who are more professional, more skilled and, up until recently, more dedicated.

Because of department changes, morale is dropping and many are wondering if it is all worth it.

I would like them to know that there are people who think they're worth it.

Holly Kinsey