Criticism of volunteer firefighters unfounded |

Criticism of volunteer firefighters unfounded

In reply to recent destructive criticism of the response of Washington volunteer firefighters to our tragic fire of last Sunday, critics failed to mention:

1. The young men spending the night at the residence that caught fire went to the nearest phone at a nearby home (the home of a critic) to summon help. It seems he was difficult to waken and seemed to not want to be involved. By the time these young men had gone the half mile to the home and spent 15 minutes banging on the door, their residence was totally involved in flames.

2. Our Washington fire chief and the assistant fire chief were not contacted at their homes or their pagers by the 911 operator, for whatever reason. Several guests at the Washington Hotel reported the phone ringing in the hotel bar at about 5 a.m. Our little hotel does not have a night clerk available.

3. Our Washington fire truck weighs seven tons. The maximum weight recommendation for the bridge at Canyon Creek is three tons. When contacted, our VFD has risked life and limb and crossed the bridge in the past on rescue missions.

4. Just in the past few years, our Washington volunteer firefighters and paramedics have saved the lives of at least seven residents and many grateful tourists. Washington residents feel very fortunate to have such selfless, dedicated people as our neighbors. They have sacrificed many volunteer hours in training and have always responded to an emergency call, often putting their own lives in jeopardy.

5. People living east of Canyon Creek know the chances they took when they purchased their property, such as availability of water, electricity, telephone and emergencies services.

We Washingtonians truly rebuke any unfounded criticism of these sterling citizens. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or move to Big Town!

Dave Barber


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