Wednesday, July 21, 2010

legal tightropes, artistry, and semi futile rantings

If you've been reading, you know what I think about the precarious legal tightrope that firefighters walk, sometimes without even a proper safety net. Turns out I'm not the only one that feels that way. Check out this link to Paul Combs blog and also his website. You can read (or reread) my latest article on ludicrous liability issues here.

I like to sketch. Paul Combs, who resides in a different creative solar system, is a true, honest-to-goodness, real artist. My art is a kindergarten drawing exercise. His is the Sistine Chapel. It's awesome that Michelangelo was reincarnated as an Ohio firefighter with a message. He tells as much of a story with one picture as I do with a thousand words. You'll likely see more links to his work on my blog down the road.

Somebody must have heard my whine that the media and the world were ignoring the Wandering River dilemma. I found an article about how the good firefighters from northern Alberta have successfully gained a few new recruits, but I don't believe they are completely out of the woods yet. The politicians make noises about helping, but I'll believe it when I see it. The general attitude of government toward volunteer firefighters is, "You've been doing this since the time of the dinosaurs. Why stop now?" and "Police and ambulance don't have trouble recruiting, what's your problem?" It could have something to do with the dollar figure poured into one police officer being more than the whole annual budget for a department like Wandering River. This article contains vague promises of "short and long term solutions" and the Alberta government being "committed to this department," but again, I'll believe it when I see it. Prove me wrong, Fire Commissioner Trent West.

Someday when I'm king of the world, this will all change. Volunteer firefighters will have state-of-the-art equipment, and shiny new apparatus, and mansions with three bay carports full of Mercedes Benzs and Lamborghinis. But for now, you'll have to be satisfied with an ant-sized fire chief jumping up and down on his peripheral edge of the universe blog platform, shaking his tiny fist, and threatening to unleash fury from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and the Great Lakes to the Arctic unless governments wake up and realize that volunteerism is going extinct faster than the brontosaurus.

Did I just hear Ed Stelmach, Dalton McGuinty, and Stephen Harper yawn in unison?

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