The following is a letter I wrote to the Bay Area News Group, (including the Contra Costa Times) yesterday, I don't know if they will publish it, but I hope they do. With all the talk about the high benefits
that firefighters have, etc. they might gain a new perspective on the caring and necessary, services that your local firefighters provide, beyond their most important job of fighting fires. I feel so strongly about this because I, unfortunately, have
used their services, way too many times, not frivolously, we were in dire medical need. We have an aging population that requires more help and thank God the firefighters can come to our rescue. Firefighter’s job's require being on duty 24 hours a day,
and don't get Christmas, New Years, etc. off because it is a Holiday. Please let’s stop "knocking" firefighters and get that money from overpaid administrators, commissions, etc.
After months of debate, & negative dialogue, I feel obligated to respond. Months ago my firefighter son was badly injured on the job and may soon require a second surgery and possibly his career will
be over. As a mother, & grandmother of firefighters and frequent user of services that firefighters provide I feel obligated to respond to all the rhetoric concerning firefighter benefits. The benefits paid to firefighters deserve to be paid; you
are getting the "best of the best"! I don't think the public realizes the years of training, physical mental testing and in some cases, advanced education that is required and when one or two positions open up for a department, and most times hundreds,
apply for that spot. During those interim years most are unpaid, volunteer, firefighters till they get hired as a permanent firefighter. When one is finally chosen, believe me, you are getting "the best of the best"!
Firefighters respond to many emergencies, traffic accidents, medical, gas leaks, etc. and of course fires. Every call requires skill and expertise, strength, courage, and compassion.
may think at this point, "she is only a proud Mom", I am, BUT, unfortunately 911 was called and I used the services of firefighters at least 17 times over the course of 25 years. All resulted in hospital stays, starting with a head on auto collision (not my
fault) that resulted in a broken neck, my husband’s serious heart condition, (cardiac arrest) and several hip dislocations, (excruciating pain). In every instance, the minute I heard the sirens I breathed a sigh of relief. In every single
instance, in Santa Clara and Contra Costa Counties both, I felt like "I was saved". Every firefighter that treated us was well trained, in addition to being kind, compassionate, polite, knowledgeable, and just wonderful in every way. I wasn't thinking
about a parcel taxes I may have to pay or benefits to the brave firefighters, I was just praying I would be soon out of pain and still alive when It was all over. In my mind, they deserve the benefits, they have earned them. Trust me, if your life, or your
child's life, or any loved one is in danger you will be grateful there was a fully staffed fire station and trained firefighters close by, I felt they deserved an Olympic Gold Medal, because they were "the best of the best" taking care
of me until I got to the hospital.