Kudos to our often unsung volunteer heroes of our county's fire departments. You do a great job!!
So some of the fires may have been started by kids shooting fireworks. Are they or their parents going to be held responsible? I think we need to publicize the culprits and make this stupid behavior very expensive for them. Fighting all these unnecessary fires is expensive - and dangerous for the volunteers who must deal with them.
Oftentimes we take advantage of volunteer services without realizing it. A lot of people seem to think that all fire departments are subsidized through our taxes; therefore, we are providing appropriate funding for these services. Please understand that this isn’t necessarily true. Don’t get me wrong, we are providing some funding to every recognized fire department in Wise County, but the funding is inadequate at best. The departments in some of the larger towns (Decatur & Bridgeport) are slightly subsidized by their respective cities; however, funding is inadequate for the services required in the local communities. Through the graciousness of those cities they allow their “city” money to be spent protecting people outside of the limits of the city. Believe me, there is no volunteer department in this county that can operate only on the funds provided by the county. Please don’t misunderstand me; I believe that many of our local volunteer fire departments are excellent, well trained individuals with excellent intentions, but unfortunately that isn’t true for every department. Departments that do not participate in training activities, many due to the lack of funding, could be a risk to themselves and to the people and property they volunteer to protect. Ask your city/county representatives to adequately fund your fire departments and watch your insurance premiums drop significantly. I have been a volunteer fire fighter for approximately 30-years and have witnessed some progress in regards to funding; however, we have a long way to go in order to provide the services the great people of Wise County deserve.
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