Posted 07-22-2003 at 12:28:35
[Reply] [No Email]
That is way low..., but I doubt that you will ever see 0%. I bet your pond is losing depth though.
It is real dry here SE of Spokane. I fought fire in the 70's and I don't remember it ever being this dry this early in the season. There was a significant fire over by Cheney on Sunday that really worried a lot of people. The wind was blowing about 15 or 20 mph steady, and the smoke was headed right toward our place. I got into the car to find out where the fire was--I wanted to know if I needed to get ready for the fire to come through. It's really hard to stop a fire under windy conditions, as you know.
You have mentioned your fire fighting. Are you a volunteer fireman? Is your department all volunteer, or do they have some paid people?
Our local fire department is part paid and part volunteer. They have been having trouble recruiting and retaining volunteers, in my opinion because of the extreme amount of training and time commitment that they require. They require 200 hours of training, including EMT certification before the volunteer is ever allowed to particiapte in any calls. And they require further traing--I think it was 40 hours before the volunteer can work on a wildland fire (and get a "red card"). They also require about 5 to 10 hours a week commitment for further training and standby. I was a volunteer for many years and the time commitment was nothing like that--you were busy when there was a fire, and there was some training, usually mostly not in fire season.
We had some fun. The volunteer fire department was almost like a lodge or fraternity. And we got the job done for a heck of a lot less money than the fire department does now. And I think we dealt with brush fires much better than they do now. It appears to me that the persons currently in power in the fire department want to make it a full-paid department and not bother with volunteers at all. I think their method of doing this is making the time requirements so large, and by not really treating the volunteers as if they appreciate them. It all comes down to money and political power. If there is no volunteer fire department, then the citizens of this fire district are at the mercy of the very highly paid "professionals" for fire protection.
What kind of training and time commitments does your department have for volunteer firemen?