Vacationing firefighters, stranger things may happen

As hard to believe as this concept is, one wonders what will come next with no end in sight to city financial woes

Editor’s Note:

Editor's note: Chief Adam K. Thiel ponders just how bad things can get given the revelation that Detroit is considering allowing vacationing firefighters to fight fire in its city — for a fee.

To be completely honest, when I first read this story I had to double-check the date and make sure I didn't miss the months between September and April; and that's not a criticism.

Needless to say, it's inspired a lot of FireRescue1 reader comments and discussion about the relative merits of the proposal.

Beyond the pros and cons of potentially allowing tourists to ride-along and help fight fires (at some level) for a fee, what really strikes me is that — given the current fiscal environment in Detroit (and elsewhere in the United States) — we're in a place today where it's not beyond the realm of possibility!

Could you ever have imagined that, 11 years after the 9/11 tragedy, we'd be seriously debating this concept?

To some it may seem like a far-fetched notion, but what are local fire departments supposed to do when their budgets have been cut, firefighters laid-off, the fires keep happening, and there's no end in sight?

Any other ideas?

Stay safe!

About the author

With more than two decades in the field, Chief Adam K. Thiel — FireRescue1's editorial advisor — is an active fire chief in the National Capital Region and a former state fire director for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chief Thiel's operational experience includes serving with distinction in four states as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, hazardous materials team leader, paramedic, technical rescuer, structural/wildland firefighter and rescue diver. He also directly participated in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tropical Storm Gaston and Hurricane Isabel.

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