Defunding Pleasantville, NJ Fire Dept Putting Lives in Danger
If, God forbid, your residence or business in Pleasantville catches on fire, keep your fingers crossed that it happens during a "fully-staffed shift" at the Pleasantville Fire Department.
One of the Pleasantville Fire Department Unions posted this on Facebook several times over the last few days:
(I'm told there are actually two firefighters unions in Pleasantville - one for firefighters, and one for officers in the department.)
So, after seeing that post, I reached out to a member of the Fire Department in Pleasantville to find out just what is happening - and what it means to the hard-working, taxpaying residents of Pleasantville.
I was told, off the record, that the City of Pleasantville has made cutbacks in the fire department.
Usually, I'm told, there are a minimum of seven firefighters on duty for each shift. At that minimum number, each firefighter has a specific job. One firefighter drives this unit, another drives that unit, these two fighters are in charge of this, and so on and so forth.
As I mentioned, seven is the minimum. Now, because of funding cutbacks, some shifts are running six firefighters, instead of seven. So, basically, someone's assigned task is not being filled.
If a person is in a building that's on fire, and they're hanging out of a third story window, the firefighter who's assigned job is to climb the ladder and save that person, isn't on the fire scene because of a defunding decision.
Obviously, firefighters aren't happy, and the residents and business owners of Pleasantville shouldn't be happy.
That sentiment was expressed over the weekend, in comments that followed the posts on Facebook:
*Let’s buy a million dollar fire truck but nor have the manpower to staff it
Now, let me make this perfectly clear: The firefighters in Pleasantville are dedicated human beings, willing to put their lives on the line. If the time came to rescue that person hanging out of the third story window, I have 100% confidence that they will sacrifice their own lives to get it done. They - and all firefighters (paid and volunteer) - are heroes.
The point here is that they shouldn't be stretched beyond minimum levels. If the city is going to collect taxes and promise a firefighting service they MUST fund that service to meet minimum levels at all times.
I'm hearing that a firefighter union meeting in Pleasantville is happening today, and an official statement is expected sometime thereafter.
In the meantime, please show your support to the Pleasantville Firefighters, and if nothing else, say a little extra prayer for them tonight.
NEVER FORGET: Images from 9/11 and the days after