Friday, 15 April 2011 00:00
(Editor’s note: This letter is in response to “The Showroom” letter by Paul Manton that appeared in the Friday, April 8 edition of the Levittown Tribune.)
I read the Letter to the Editor in the April 8 edition of the Levittown Tribune and I feel that a misleading fact was stated. When speaking of increasing salaries, of superintendents and police chiefs, fire commissioners and fire chiefs cannot be grouped into this category.
In Nassau County, fire commissioners are elected by the taxpayers of their fire district and do not receive any salary, benefits or any other form of payments.
The fire commissioners are responsible for the “business” portion of the fire service. This includes ensuring the buildings; apparatus and equipment are purchased and maintained. There are paid positions, but they perform the duties of maintenance of the above aforementioned and dispatchers to receive the calls for help and then alert the appropriate fire stations to respond.
The members of the fire department elect the fire chiefs for their respective departments. Their responsibilities are to ensure the members receive the training to perform their tasks, whether Firematic or medical, and then perform command duties at the scene.
It should also be pointed out that fire commissioners and fire chiefs, as well as all of the firefighters and EMS personnel, attend classes on their own time throughout the year.
And as “Murphy’s Law” would have it, many alarms occur during mealtimes, family functions and bedtime causing the members to leave their homes to help someone from the community…again, without a salary.
In closing, firefighters and EMS personnel perform their duties not for monetary reasons, but to help their neighbors through some very rough times, such as in the case of a fire in their home, or an injury or illness to a loved one. We are always looking for volunteers; so if you would like to give something back to your community, join your local volunteer fire department or ambulance corps.