Citizens of the Ten-Ten fire district, served by Fairview Fire Department – you did it. You showed up in force. I estimate at least 350 of you were there. You filled every seat and then lined the walls. That made all the difference in the world. If you hadn’t come out tonight to show your support, Fairview Fire Station #2 would be toast. Former Chief Donald Pierce asked me to pass along to you his thanks on behalf of the fire station.
As a result of your show of support, plans to shut down Fairview Fire Station #2 have been tabled — for now. The fire commission plans to “slow down” the process, refer the matter to an administrative committee, and work on a five year plan on how to handle the growth and change in the county. They also pledged to be more open and transparent going forward, and to engage the community. I am cautiously optimistic. To me a key indicator will be how much they include the Fairview Fire Department chiefs and board members in matters that affect them. A big complaint I have is that they were shut out of the process and were unaware until June of this year of plans to shut down their fire station.
I want to especially thank my youngest daughter for making this sign for me:
The sign I brought to the Aug. 16 Fire Commission Meeting – “Criteria: No decrease in service quality”
I was astonished to hear Director Campasano openly say tonight that the criteria that no station should be closed if it would hurt service quality, (the criteria that the Fire Commission and County Commissioners adopted unanimously back in 2005) was obsolete and no longer applies! Perhaps this will convince some of my readers who might have thought that I was exaggerating when I said that Directory Camapasano is Ok with our emergency services getting worse. He’ll talk about “standards” and technical gobbledygook to try and confuse you, but at the end of the day, if they ever shut down Fairview Fire Station #2, your emergency service would become worse. I dispute Director Campasano’s implication that we are complaining about trivialities, that every station change affects somebody and therefore we are just overreacting. The potential harm from his proposed change is measurable and significant. I also dispute that there is a compelling reason to shut down our fire station. From our point of view our service would get worse but our taxes would be no lower — a lose-lose situation. But telling these things to Director Campasano hasn’t persuaded him. It is clear that he has slowed down his plans only because of the public outcry.
Remember, “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” (apparently not said by Thomas Jefferson, but true nevertheless.) Stay tuned.
And thanks for your support!