After reading the Sept. 28 article by Karen Rarey, "Fire staffing shortage causing delays," I find it hard to believe that the county is not giving priority to the fire department, which is crucial.
It is embarrassing to see that houses were burning and no staff were available because they were attending other medical emergencies. Citizens are expected to get services in a timely manner; they need to feel safe in the environment they live in.
There is no way that people will be safe where the fire department lacks staff.
The county needs to make a plan for the budget. It cannot simply deny that it doesn't have enough money in the budget to hire more staff. It should be putting citizens' safety first.
I believe that it is also beneficial to have one paramedic on each fire truck, as they are usually the first ones to respond to incidents. If paramedics are available, they will be able to save people's lives, as they will start basic and advanced interventions in a timely manner.
According to this article, firefighters can perform CPR; however, if paramedics are available, they can provide both basic and advanced life support, including comprehensive assessment, invasive airway management, cardiac monitoring and administration of medications.
I like the fact that the Board of Supervisors provided $44,000 to support a public opinion survey. The public's opinion is important to decide if they want to pay more for these services. The survey will be one of the ways to find out what people think about the importance of safety and having a fully staffed fire department available that will be readily prepared to respond to any kind of fire emergencies.