Monday, June 20, 2011

Uncharted Territories

Changes are coming to the Los Angeles Fire Department in July 2011. Budget cuts have forced the Fire Chief to shut down several Fire Companies and this has caused great concern amongst Firefighters. There will be less Firefighters on duty everyday, meaning there will be less coverage for all types of emergencies.

There will be domino effects when one Company is helping someone in their district, and another emergency will have to be covered by another Company from another district farther away, thus creating gaps in coverage. If you could schedule emergencies, this would not happen, but we all know that anything happens at anytime.

Besides the inherent dangers to the public, there will also be dangers to Firefighters. When I taught fire safety to Elementary school children, one line we used was, "Big fires start small." When a fire starts, the more units you send to fight it and prevent it from getting bigger, the faster it is put out. With less companies, that means the potential for more danger is there.

Personally, it also means changes to life at affected Fire Stations. I myself, am working at the Fire Station that serves the area where I grew up. Yes, I work and serve in my hometown neighborhood. I thought it would be the last place that I would work, and that I would retire from here. But I don't like the changes that are coming, so I put in transfers to other Stations. Others felt the same and have already left. This is happening throughout the whole LAFD.

For the past few years, I thought my future was planned out. Now this, along with other recent disappointments, have caused me to question what the future has in store for me. Things that I know, keep me sane. Things that I'm unsure of, makes me think too much. Thinking too much makes you second guess yourself.

I guess I'm not patient enough. Getting older may be making me desperate, as if I am running out of time. I should have more faith in what fate has in store for me, as it really hasn't let me down so far. Still, this not knowing is really getting to me. Transfers come out Wednesday......

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