The Corner

A Note from a First Responder

Ton of e-mail on this Pay to Spray stuff (good! I’m reading it all even if I can’t respond).

This one, from an ex first-responder is sensible even if I don’t fully buy it. I’m also going to resist the urge to Godwin’s Law it:

When someone goes to work for another they, to some degree, relinquish their right to self-determination in action. Their time and efforts belong to the employer for the contracted periods of work. Supervisors and managers establish what behavior is acceptable and how the organization will respond to a situation. Case in point, the Firefighters’ moral choices were no longer between watch the fire and put it out. The Department had removed the second option. The individual’s choice was now watch the fire; disobey orders for which they would rightly face disciplinary action; or QUIT the job. Although it may have galled the Firefighters to just sit there, they held no legal nor moral right to use resources (time and equipment) which belonged to the Department and ultimately to the tax-paying public.

While my sympathies go out to the family and I as an individual would be morally bound to assist if I could, I cannot fault the responders who followed legal orders. The city council should amend their policy. Those who live in the city pay the taxes. Those outside must sign an addendum to their property titles in which they choose to either pay $75 a month or acknowledge that they will be liable for full repayment of costs. They may or may not be given an option themselves of letting it burn so long as others are not in danger.

The city took a logical, if not well thought out, step toward fiscal responsibility and personal accountability.

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