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Letters to the Editor - Jan. 22

January 22, 2013

Who are the 78 applicants for Fairplay Fire Co.?

To the editor:

In the editorial on Fairplay Fire Co., the Herald-Mail states that change is the only option for Fairplay Fire Co. It states that there are 78 applicants ready to join if the company is placed under new management. I question those numbers. Are these firefighters, EMT techs or social members? How do these numbers break down to benefit the company’s problem? Let’s not tell half a story here. Where were these 78 people when the company needed them to begin with?

Is it my understanding that this all began over missed ambulance calls and has escalated into the current situation. Rumors persist of mismanagement and internal problems. But the company’s equipment and building are paid for, and there are no outstanding bills. How is that horrible management? If our government, including the county, could say the same thing, this country would be in great shape. But the fact remains that it took a great deal of devotion to this fire company, and a commitment that was second to none to accomplish that feat. How many other fire companies can say the same thing?

I ask how many of these 78 people would come forward to do the fundraisers, to work long hours to prepare the hall, to cook food and to serve every banquet until late at night. Who will go out when called in the middle of the night after a long day at work to put out a fire, go to the scene of an accident or pump basements after a severe storm? Just how many of these 78 are prepared to do whatever it takes to see to it that the fire company succeeds? How many will see to it that the company is as well off as it is right now? How many of these 78 are prepared to be blasted like these individuals are being blasted now? Because, rest assured, no matter who is in charge, there will be some who are never satisfied with the boss. After all, we all know we can do a better job than our bosses.

Lastly I ask how a committee appointed by county government can overthrow or replace individuals in an all volunteer fire company, whose officials where duly elected and are governed with their own bylaws for their operation. This clearly oversteps the bounds of this committee and our local government, and I would encourage others to speak out against this idea. After all, what community service organization is safe when local government can step in and replace its  officers and dictate its internal operations?

Greg Culler
Sharpsburg


Banning guns will not solve our violence problem

To the editor:

Here we go again. Let’s ban guns and there will be no more mass murders.

Did Timothy McVeigh use a gun to destroy a building in Oklahoma? No, he used a truck bomb. Should we ban trucks? According to a Bible story, Cain killed his brother, Abel. I am sure he did not use a gun. Maybe we should ban rocks, the mostly likely weapon.

The major problem with the majority of these incidents is that the people who did them likely suffered from mental illness. This country does a very poor job of dealing with mental illness. Let’s shove it off to the back room and maybe the problem will go away. If these people had been treated as they should have been, perhaps the majority of these crimes would not have occurred.

The main problem is that there is very little understanding of mental illness, and the main treatment is to drug the patient up until they appear to be cured and release them back to society. Until there are better treatments developed and real cures found, this problem will continue — and banning guns will not solve the problem.

Bob Wilson
Hancock


Let’s look at facts involving Fairplay Fire Co.

To the editor:

This letter is in response to The Herald-Mail editorial (Jan. 14) titled “Change is the only option for Fairplay Fire Co.” I am amazed and very upset with what was written. Let’s look at the facts.

 Fairplay’s volunteer fire department was shut down for “failure to respond within at least 10 minutes to 26.3 percent or 44 of 167 of its service requests from Jan. 1 to May 31.” I feel that the statement should have included the types of calls missed and the time of day that those calls were missed. Most of those calls were for EMS assist.

It makes no sense to send a fire engine to the prison complex for a medical emergency when an ambulance with first responders and EMTs has already been dispatched. A fire engine, by definition is to fight fires. And, yes, the majority of missed calls were to the prison complex where an ambulance w/EMTs and first responders had already responded.

Who feels they have the authority and are justified in telling any private volunteer organization that they must do anything? These firefighters are well trained, certified by the State of Maryland and risk their lives when responding to any fire emergency, and they perform that service for their community without charge or compensation.

Nobody outside of that private volunteer organization has the right to demand anything of the organization. The community overall is not dissatisfied with the Fairplay fire department’s ability to provide fire protection service. If they were, they would stop donating money and renting the event hall that the fire department has.

I received my EMS and fire training in 1979 from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services. I have served in both Frederick County, Md., and Adams County, Pa. I have saved many lives, and have put my life at risk on many occasions. I have and always will give of my time, my training and myself  to help those in need. I have and continue to be properly trained to handle emergency situations and provide emergency care.

My wife and I just recently officially tendered our applications for membership, to the Fairplay Volunteer Fire Co., with its current administration. We completed the application in person and were presented to the membership in person.  There was no question as to who we are and if we truly want to help Fairplay Volunteer Fire Co. help our community.
 
James J. Kaiktsian Sr.
Fairplay

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