Monday letters: Fire District funding, thank you COGCC, relief package, shop locally
To the taxpayers of Colorado River Fire Protection District
Today I witnessed a call where a young lady had her leg run over by a motor vehicle in a parking lot of a business in Rifle. Rifle Police Department, CRFR crews and an off duty Advance Life Support (ALS) member of CRFR responded.
As a retired firefighter of 32 years and, for full disclosure, a member of Rifle Fire Protection District for 10 years and CRFR for 2 years, it was interesting to see this call unfold in light of the voters declining the mill levy request by CRFR and the resulting closing of a fire station in Rifle. For the record, I respect both of these actions and it is important to know that I don’t have a dog in either of these decisions, because I don’t live within the boundaries of CRFR. The call happened close to the fire station that has been closed, so there was a delay in response of fire crews who had to come from a greater distance and through numerous busier intersections. In an emergency, time is critical! Point No. 1 — there was a delay and thus a decrease in service on this call.
The first CRFR person on the scene was the off-duty ALS member who stated that they were the only ALS person in the Rifle response area, so they responded in their private vehicle. This indicated to me that all other initial, on duty responders were Basic Life Support (BLS) trained. Point No. 2
— Advance Life Support response is sometimes delayed. Point No. 3 — thank you for the response of the off duty ALS person on this call. Point No. 4 is that although I have been retired for a little over six years now, of the seven CRFR personnel I saw on the scene, I only knew two. Recognizing that CRFR has “grown” since I was there, I also know that when trying to pass the mill levy, a concern by the Fire District was the loss of personnel to other departments. Witnessing this call seems to add more validity to this concern for me. My hope for this letter to the editor is not to judge but to inform. I truly believe the level of service should be determined by taxpayers. This level of service is not good or bad, just different.
Thank you COGCC for safeguarding Colorado residents
I want to thank the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for the rulings they have made to safeguard Colorado residents. As an environmental scientist, I know how dangerous the pollution from drilling can be to a community. As a resident of Battlement Mesa, I also know how unpleasant it can be to live in an area where drilling is happening. I am very pleased that the commission has made the ruling that the setback must be at least 2,000 feet from homes and schools.
Relief package would not be enough
The Democratic Party leadership has once again caved to the demands of Sen. Mitch McConnel, who basically owns the U.S. Senate right now. According to major news sources, the non-partisan panel including five Republicans led by Sen. McConnell and five Democrats led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer are close to agreeing on a relief package that will not give the American people any kind of stimulus checks. There are news media reports that President-elect Joe Biden has urged the passing of this short-sighted relief bill. This is unacceptable and irresponsible on the part of all of these Democrats and Republicans.
They may provide an extension of unemployment benefits that expired at the end of July, but that will only help about 11 million unemployed Americans. The number of 11 million unemployed is the number that the Department of Labor claims are unemployed. Common sense tells most of us that is not the real or true number. An estimate of 50 million unemployed would be a more realistic number. So our government leaders choose the cheap way out of only helping a few million unemployed rather than helping all Americans on Main Street America who are hurting in many ways. So now, if this relief bill is approved by Congress, millions of Main Street Americans will starve or be evicted by the end of December.
Congress should forgo the unemployment benefit and give all Americans a stimulus check of at least $1,200 right now. Overall, this move would benefit the most people possible and the economy as well. Even economists agree that this would be a much better plan. It would be a WIN-WIN for all of us.
The bottom line is that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party do not care about the American people. If you have the strength, call or email the Colorado members of Congress and plead with them to do something right. How long could members of Congress survive on one $1,200 stimulus check?
May God bless all of you out there during these rough times.
Shop locally this holiday season
This has been a challenging year for all in the community, and many have been struggling and impacted in different ways. Challenging times allow opportunities for our community to come together and support what we have created in our wonderful small mountain town and local small businesses.
I would encourage everyone during this holiday season to shop and dine locally. Every year these small businesses have donated funds, time and much more to our community. It is our turn to be there for them. Opt out of big box stores and Amazon holiday shopping and buy 100% local. Let’s continue to support what makes our town so special — small businesses!
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