Letter: Plan for paid firefighters needs more thought

To the editor:

The recent controversy concerning the hiring of several full-time firefighters for Nashville begs further examination.

The hiring of full-time firefighters will change the National Fire Protection Association legal status of the Nashville department, and hidden costs then will accompany the new, stricter requirements for upgraded equipment and training.

The problems currently being faced by the Nashville department regarding staffing shortages historically have been faced by every volunteer fire department in Brown County, not just Nashville.

The big problem for firefighters in rural Brown County is the availability of enough water with which to fight fires, not the availability of one full-time firefighter coming all the way from Nashville.

Anecdotal evidence also indicates that the hiring of paid firefighters in volunteer fire departments is accompanied by a corresponding loss in the number of volunteers.

I am in the very far northwest corner of Washington Township. Any fires I have are probably going to be answered first by the Helmsburg fire department. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to give my fire tax levy to this nearby volunteer station?

If a full-time firefighter is added in Brown County, it should be an administrative job, to coordinate training, logistics and equipment procurement for all of our Brown County volunteer departments, not just Nashville.

Rather than add a perk for Nashville residents only, why not help all the courageous Brown County men and women from all our volunteer departments?

Let Nashville raise the money themselves.

Please don’t do it at the expense of other rural residents with little regard for our common safety.


Charlie Cole, Brown County

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