Saturday, May 2, 2015

Here's A Solution: Go Volunteer

Some Kingman area fire depts. are worried about the upcoming fire season in the mountains and other areas.
From the Kingman Daily Miner:
The National Interagency Fire Center predicts the 2015 fire season will be normal in northwestern Arizona, but local fire officials are preparing for a potentially serious one as temperatures warm.
Not surprisingly, the cause for their collective concern has as much to do with dollars as drought.
And while the overall risk of wildfires this year might be normal in the remote areas of Arizona, the risk rises exponentially when wildfire breaks out in and near population centers where lives and property are more likely to be in the danger zone.
We had significant moisture," said Patrick Moore, chief of the Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District. "But we as well have to deal with cuts to revenue because of the recession."
Fewer firefighters and less equipment means there are fewer people available to put down the all-too-common brushfires that blaze up every spring and summer.
Unlike wildfires outside of populated areas, which are most commonly sparked by lightning strikes, brushfires closer to home are normally acts of carelessness or criminality.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of fuel-heavy open spaces throughout the Kingman area. Fires started at any one of them could reach homes or businesses if not quickly knocked down. While Mother Nature and neglectful human acts provide the potential for fire, people who fail to maintain their properties by cutting down weeds, clearing debris from their rain gutters and watering their trees make their homes unnecessarily vulnerable - along with the homes of their neighbors living in close proximity.
"Our job becomes more difficult without help from the community," said Moore. "Create a defensible space around your property, keep your weeds under control. Our call volume is going up every year and people have to help us help them."
Arizona and especially Mohave are about conservative as they come and most people want less government intrusion and low government cost, so it surprises that most of the fire departments in Mohave County are paid fire departments with full time firefighters.
Most fire departments, with the small populations they serve, are volunteer fire departments but here in Mohave County, the vast majority of fire departments are staffed with full time firefighters, no matter the population size.
I can see Kingman, Bull Head City and Lake Havasu having full time fire departments, though, at least Kingman should have a compliment of volunteers to help staff the department.
However, fire departments like Northern Arizona Consolidated,  Lake Mohave Ranchos Fire District, Golden Valley and Golden Shores Fire Departments, Pinion Pines, Fort Mohave Mesa and others have no business being full time or even having full time firefighters.  They have a small population base and not a huge area to cover.  These fire departments should be mostly volunteer fire depts. with maybe a very small complement of career firefighters on a couple on the bigger fire departments.
So, my guess that many of these governments and people who live within their boundaries are big conservative hypocrites- that they actually enjoy big government, especially when firefighting is involved but will demand that government be cut in other areas.
So, if these fire dept.s are complaining that they don't have the resources or money to fight these wildfires, then they should get rid of the full time firefighters and go volunteer- there are many people in this county who will volunteer to be a firefighter.

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