With the September 11th ten year anniversary, we decided to acknowledge the fire departments as our public health issue. We placed our sticker at the Temple Terrace Fire Department, one of the many departments across the country helping citizens in their community. Every year fire departments across the country are responding to fires and various kinds of emergencies to help protect the health of civilians. They are the first to appear after a car accident and have firefighter EMT’s and Paramedics on standby for medical emergencies. They also do routine fire inspections for businesses, schools and even our homes while also advocating fire and safety rules to the community. Not many people realize the risks that firefighters are exposing themselves to everyday, to better the health and safety of others. What people do not realize either is that there are many volunteer firefighters who do the job as any paid firefighter, without compensation. Firefighters, EMT’s and Paramedics go through extensive training and are very educated to ensure our public safety. The main issue is that many firefighters are losing their jobs, or many people are not being hired due to budget cuts. Although there are thousands of volunteer firefighters to help out the situation, it is becoming more difficult to recruit new firefighters or volunteers. One of the main reasons is the time and commitment required for the job especially being only a volunteer and doubts on whether an upcoming firefighter is going to be able to obtain a job. Many fire departments are becoming county wide instead of being local, as part of the budget cuts as well. Cutting back on the number of firefighters means less help and slower response time for civilians in the community who are in need. Overall, having Fire Departments in our community is beneficial for our health and safety. Without them, our lives would seriously be at risk.
By: Elissa Kozey, Brittany King, Matt Newberry, Erica Laza (Photographer)