Arthur Herk: No second thoughts here on firefighter vote

Glenn Carstens-Peters/StockSnap

Glenn Carstens-Peters/StockSnap Glenn Carstens-Peters/StockSnap

Published: 10-04-2023 5:34 PM

I recently read the letter to the editor trying to make the people of Athol feel guilty for voting down the hiring of eight new firemen and would like to provide the information that was left out [“Second thoughts on firefighters,” Athol Daily News, Recorder, Sept. 14]. 

First of all, I have lived in Athol for over 50 years and have never known of a person to perish in a fire for the lack of firemen to fight the fire. The writer tried to make the voters feel like a woman who lost her life in a recent blaze would still be alive if they had voted to hire the eight firemen. What was more likely the case is that that the fire was so bad when the first responders arrived that there was little they could do to save a life. 

Next, if the writer was concerned about the number of firemen at the fire, he didn’t tell you that 11 other fire departments responded to the fire and with at least two firemen per truck, which provided at least 22 more firemen.  How many firemen do you need to fight a house fire? You can’t even get all the firetrucks close to the fire.

If the intent of the letter was to make the 56% of voters who voted against funding eight more firefighters feel partly responsible for the loss of life at the fire, that message is totally wrong.  I definitely have no second thoughts about voting against it and the people who also voted against it don’t either.

The overtaxed citizens of Athol have had enough and I was proud of them for finally stepping up and saying “No.” Enough is enough. Trying to make them feel guilty is just wrong.

Arthur Herk