Sunday, April 17, 2011

Maybe four elections in seven years isn't such a disaster after all. Think about it. The stereotypical politician doesn't wake up from hibernation until an election looms and his or her job is on the line. Then suddenly we get promises of tax breaks, $300,000 benefits for families of fallen firefighters, and to top it off, a prime ministerial promise to increase the number of volunteer firefighters in Canada.

I say we need an election every month. Before you know it, we'll have new trucks in every hall, turnout gear that actually meets a standard, and armed guards at the door to keep the swarms of wannabe volunteers from mobbing our training sessions. It would almost be worth the agony of listening to our honoured candidates stab each other like voodoo pin cushions on a weekly basis. Almost.

[Side note 1: I hasten to add that not all politicians are stereotypical. MP Rafferty put a good deal of time and effort into supporting the volunteer service last year, and all kidding aside, it was much appreciated.]

While we're on the topic of politicians stepping up to the proverbial plate, the Alberta government has pledged to pay for four permanent staff at the Wandering River Hall to respond on Highway 63. I find it interesting that less than a year ago they stated that this was a local problem. While I doubt that Hector Goudreau read my blog, I'm glad that he and his henchmen finally acknowledged that the province has some responsibility to help out. I hope that this is just the beginning.

[Side note 2: I don't think the Wandering River story has anything to do with the federal election, but I'm not entirely sure. Mixing provincial and federal politics is kind of like mixing metaphoric gift horses while changing them in mid-stream and looking in their mouths. Very confusing to say the least.] 

The Fire Marshal released a preliminary report about the Listowel tragedy that says the firefighters saw no significant smoke or flames when they entered the store that collapsed and claimed the lives of two crew members. I am still reluctant to comment much on this story, but I think it is safe to say that the final report (when it comes) will likely confirm my belief that we need more federal and provincial support than just thanks and a handshake. 

I'm in beautiful Fort Frances this weekend helping a team of instructors run the local volunteer recruits through the gauntlet of firefighter training. I seem to be running a week behind on my photographs, but I will hopefully have a few to post soon. As a consolation prize, here are a shot from last weekend's ice rescue in Atikokan.  
And a shot of me in an Ocean Commander standing a respectful distance from the Shark. Not that I'm afraid of him or anything, but the ice was pretty rubbery by late afternoon . . .
You may remember my harangue about the March Lynx. In true lynxish style, the March lion came roaring in today, April 16th. We trained in the snow all day, and I'm told that 20 centimetres or more was dumped unceremoniously on the fast-receding winter snow that was left in Upsala.

Next week we're planning yet another ice rescue course in Dryden. I wonder if Northwestern Ontario is the only place in the world where people volunteer to go swimming in ice water on Easter weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a comment? Go for it! It's lonely out here in bloggerland . . .

Search This Blog