Friday, August 19, 2011

Thus Saith the Ant

I don't like cat fights, at least not cat fights that I didn't personally start, but I just have to give my two cents on a recent kerfuffle in Toronto.

Ms. Levy has a right as a taxpayer and journalist to spout off about a few firefighters posing with a few ladies for a photo op around a shiny fire truck. It's freedom of speech in action. I don't even fault her for appearing to take pleasure in digging up the old budget grudge that firefighters get paid a lot to sit around and watch television. There's nothing in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that says you can't enjoy spouting your opinions. I do it all the time.

If I had the opportunity to adjust her perspective though, I would say this: few people want to do the "other" stuff that those guys and gals do when they aren't posing for photos or watching television. Very few people need legislation that says if they get certain cancers, it's presumed to be work related. Very few indeed sign up to wade into disasters that are not their own. So if they want to take a few minutes with a few ladies, it's no skin off my nose. But then, I don't pay taxes in Toronto, or benefit from 3 and 4 minute response times when I'm having the worst day of my life.

As for the remark about the decreased number of fires (therefore decreased need for firefighters, hint, hint), I counter with a congratulations to the guys and gals of Toronto Fire for making progress. It takes vision to get the message out there and actually make an impact. In fact, I think the prevention and pub ed folks should get a raise.

In answer to the jibe about [purposely] increasing medical calls just so firefighters can look busy until the experienced guys show up, I say I hope someone gets to me in 3 minutes rather than 8 if I ever go into cardiac arrest. I don't expect Ms. Levy to know that every minute of delay in getting defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by 10-12%. Her job, after all, is ratting out delinquent public servants, so she can be forgiven for overlooking the fact that Toronto firefighters save people every year with their tiered response program . . . in between photo shoots, of course.

Upsala defending Toronto is like an ant defending a moose. Toronto doesn't need me, and Ms. Levy doesn't care about me. Even a peripheral edge of the universe fire chief has the right to freedom of sarcastic speech though, so here is my final word on this kerfuffle: Ms. Levy, if you are going to post a story about naughty fire guys using a fire truck as a photo shoot backdrop, at least try to eradicate that photo of you posing in a fire truck before you publish the story.

1 comment:

  1. I have no comment on this. I do, however, have screenshots of the Flickr post of her in the truck, and of the rant.

    And they're both going on my Facebook page. Isn't the internet great? Even if she pulls them down, they won't go away. Ever.


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