What is not difficult to appreciate is that the real losers in this mess will be the civilians that both firefighters and politicians swore to protect. Judging by news reports, the situation there has gone from bad to worse.
In short, many of the county firefighters were at odds with the emergency management coordinator and fire director to the point that they wanted him removed from the post — eight chiefs went so far as to walk off the job to force his removal.
Up for debate is if these chiefs were going on a leave of absence or resigning. In at least one case the county fire board voted to view it as a resignation and moved to lock down that fire department.
Other volunteer departments and Carlsbad's career department are providing coverage for the closed fire department, but that's hardly a good solution.
Much like last week's piece on striking firefighters and repossessed apparatus, there should be no place in the fire service for the "I quit, well, you're fired" nonsense. And while on the topic, I should have made it clear last week that while I don't think banks should be allowed to repossess fire trucks, neither should fire departments be allowed to skip out on their debts.
When these things are allowed to happen, the big loser is, again, civilians.
The situation in Eddy County is probably so far gone that the two sides will not be able to settle things. One solution would be to bring in an outside arbitrator with no affiliation to either side to hammer out a fair agreement.
In the end, I'm hoping that firefighters, politicians and appointed officials can set aside their pride and bad feelings to do what is in the best interest of their public. It is their sworn duty.
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Anthony BurnsFriday, October 18, 2013 2:35:24 PMWhat is the matter with these "leaders" doing this school yard bully crap. Please don't feel the need to come back. The fire service needs Real Leaders not people who refuse to work in adverse condition and tough budgets. Where are the leaders that are suppose to step up and rise to the occasion. You can work around anything. Never let them see you sweat or get upset as a leader. Leaders need to go watch the band of brothers series. Those were real leaders. To walk out and put the public at risk only hurts the position and point you were trying to make. You made the point to the public we won't be there for you in your time of need. This is the same kind of crap Washington is doing holding the public hostage and it's 100% unacceptable in the fire service. We don't leave our post or walk out on our citizens.
Max XavierFriday, October 18, 2013 2:49:13 PMThe article said that when a particular Fire Chief walked out, they moved to shut down the station. I am curious as to why they felt the need to shut it down. Why not let the fire fighters belonging to that station work it? It sucks the chiefs decided to walk out, but it was just the chiefs, not the entire body of the stations. Something very fishy is happening there.
Friday, October 18, 2013 2:59:55 PMYes Firefighters swore to protect their community but if nobody is going to protect them then the deal is off. If I felt as though my department was not getting a fair deal from up above I would go public and make the citizens aware that if nothing changes then they will not get the service they expect unless the citizens act.