Letter was insult to firefighters, people working for safer community

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To the Editor:

(Re: “West Creston fire service will be ‘absolutely useless’ ”)

I have no problem with someone exercising their democratic right to oppose fire service but I do have a problem with the venomous spirit this letter contained. I was at a meeting recently arranged by the writer. I agreed with a lot of what was said. The guest speaker at the meeting suggested that love and honesty were at the core of all good efforts to work for betterment in out communities. I agree wholeheartedly, but Vladimir Certik’s letter failed both. It was an outright attack on everyone who opposed the writer’s view. No love there!

I appreciated Rachel Beck’s assessment (“Lines were crossed in debate of West Creston fire protection”) regarding the poisoning of the Binks family’s dog and harassment of the family. I believe lines were crossed in Vladimir’s letter, also. It’s this kind of expounding that fuels the fire of those who would do outrageous things.

I do not know what went on with the incident regarding the forest fire, but I do know I do not appreciate the attack on firefighters in general, as put forth in this letter.

To make a stand that we also do not need fire service is selfish and short of good sense. I have been in the Yahk fire service for about 10 years. It takes lots of training and hard work. We saved building from two brush fires and the start of a forest fire, one beside Yahk itself. As we cleaned up on the fire, the forestry people arrived from Cranbrook — time is of the essence. If we did not have local service, more damage would have happened in both than the entire cost of our fire service. We prevented another fire from destroying a row of mobile homes.

As far as Creston Fire Rescue not saving adjacent structures, that statement is totally untrue. As a youth, I saw the entire northwest end of town saved when the Overwaitea Foods burned on the corner, which is now the Royal Bank.

I personally was on the firefighting team that saved what is now the Kokanee Inn and other buildings adjacent to the three-story building that was located on the present-day parking lot.

Recently, I have seen protection as Sunset Seed Co. burned, and as a friend’s home caught on fire on 16th Avenue and was contained. It was in the midst of a row of homes.

For the record, Creston Fire Rescue has 25 volunteers, not 70. The $2 million in equipment boils down to $400 per year per town resident, which, amortized over 20 years, is $20 per person per year. That’s very inexpensive protection.

The comment to have unpaid leadership lacks any common sense. Lives depend on the decisions these leaders make. They need years of training and experience, they have put their lives on the line and they also need to pay their bill — and have earned the right to a decent paycheque.

Regarding fire insurance, my taxes in Yahk increased $100 for fire service and my insurance dropped $500. Insurance companies are not going to knock on your door. A good suggestion (not of my origin) is to invite them to a community meeting to bid against each other for the combined community insurance rates.

This letter was an insult to me personally as a volunteer firefighters, an insult to all firemen who lay their lives on the line daily and an insult to a lot of people who work toward a better, safer community.

Doug Knight

Yahk

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