Fix your mistake

Dear editor:
I am just wondering what is going on with the mayor and council in Fort Frances.
I understand they have a lot to consider for the town’s well-being, and making this town a prosperous, enjoyable, and, most of all, a safe community.
I see that they have agreed, after hearing recommendations from Mr. Gillon, to put $3,500 towards a few signs to promote visitors to the downtown core. Great.
We also now have an excellent recycling program because of research and recommendations from Mr. Brown. Wonderful, I’m a big fan of recycling.
In fact, council has made a lot of decisions based on what the recommendations and community interests are. This is why, for the life of me, I cannot understand after listening to so many recommendations from professionals and reading concerned people’s letters and articles in the paper, why are they not keeping a full complement of 10 firefighters?
Or maybe they have not been listening.
As a citizen of this community for the past 12 years, I have been boasting to my hometown all that Fort Frances has to offer, including the comfort of a full-time fire department. I can go to bed at night knowing that if the unthinkable were to happen, I would be confidentially and professionally cared for, and my children and possessions would be safe.
These men display a genuine care and concern for each other and their neighbours. I know this firsthand because I recently had the opportunity to witness the firefighters help my husband with a major project.
The teamwork these men displayed was flawless. They should be proud of their abilities.
I also heard this comment that Fort Frances has a “Cadillac” of a fire department. Wow, what a compliment to this group. We now know we have the best firefighters available.
Why mess with a good thing? Let’s build on that and continue to make it that “Cadillac.” Take one or two firefighters out of the scene and you have a “jalopy” (absolutely by no means meant to offend the volunteers—they know and understand this point).
I wonder if the mayor and council know of an incident that occurred in Sudbury a few years back? Their municipal reps had reduced their fire department, then they did not have enough men at a fire and were unable to go into a burning home.
Three lives were lost, including two children. The firefighters could hear their cries from outside but due to low manpower, they were unable to do anything to help them.
I know that this mayor and council would feel sick if they were directly responsible for the loss of those innocent lives because they didn’t want to hire a couple more firefighters.
One more point. If you want to attract new residents to Fort Frances, create more jobs, don’t downsize—that’s simple common sense.
Please fix your mistake and keep the full complement of 10 full-time firefighters. Hey, better yet, make this department a “Rolls Royce” or “Hummer” and hire four more!
Sincerely,
Jana Riches
Mother of two,
concerned citizen,
and wife of a firefighter
P.S. If council thinks I’m writing this for personal reasons, you bet I am—my family and friends’ lives are at risk.
P.P.S. I know I’m safe at night. How do you sleep?

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