From Rich Dempsey (aka Fireman)
It’s not the Woodstock I live in (responding to Jonathan), but maybe it’s because I live in the valley.
Let’s talk facts.
The school budget is $15,757,205.00 (that’s over fifteen and a half million dollars) after a $54,000.00 increase this year. The rest of the towns’ budget pales in comparison.
I can speak with some education regarding your “drunk ,redneck” bully fire department. The total fire budget for 2013 is $442,550.00. That’s 31 times smaller than the school dept. budget. Nobody on today’s fire department begrudges funding education; we understand and agree the kids are the future. They are our kids too. Don’t put us at odds with the school department. They learnt us good
The largest chunk of the Fire department budget is the much aligned “apparatus fund”. The $129,000.00/yr fund is split between three departments, or $43,000.00 per station. Some of that money goes to pay off existing loans and some may go into a fund that allows for down payments of newer vehicles.
Note I said newer not new. While it may be best in some cases to purchase new fire apparatus, depending on the task the vehicle will be providing, the station officers will many times find a “like new” truck. I can speak from experience that the last two trucks that Bungay bought were used vehicles. We were able to pay “cash” for each from the fund and avoided financing, thus saving the town money. Each station relies heavily on that fund and will often put off a seriously needed purchase because the fund is too low.
Fire apparatus, just so you know, isn’t cheap. Expect to pay $300,000.00 for a new truck, properly equipped.
I don’t know what has happened in the past but there is no playing footsie with those funds now. Screwing with that fund will kill people, mainly us, plain and simple. If the folks that volunteer their time didn’t have reliable equipment at the ready to save your life and property you’d be one of the first to complain.
There have been several serious structure fires recently in this very town where property was saved due to the right equipment, with the right crew. Additionally, Woodstock EMS and the fire department volunteers are responding to medical calls daily.
I know nearly every member of all the fire departments in this town. I regard every one of them as a hero. I’ve seen the sacrifice, hard work and dedication they put into keeping themselves and the equipment up to date and ready for the next run. Did I mention this is all unpaid?
Their families also share in that sacrifice, while mom or dad or sis or brother are either at a drill, going to school or a meeting or out on a call, they wait and hope they come back.
Did I just describe the ignorant, drunk, angry rednecks in your post? These people?
You clearly don’t get out much.