Winston Churchill said, "I never worry about action, but only about inaction." The past five years Fresno County Fire Protection District has been taking action to repair itself from the inaction of the previous 20 years by its former board of directors, which Russ Efird [Valley Voices July 19] was a former board president of.
As a 30-year employee of this district, I remember what a great district it once was. We had three firefighters per engine, a paramedic program that saved lives, five more stations than we have now that provided better coverage and faster response times and modern equipment.
Then Proposition 13 and ERAF decimated the district's budget. Mr. Efird's and fellow board members' form of management became management by crisis. Proactive action and forward thinking were a foreign concept. If the budget could not afford to maintain a level of service, then that service was cut. Stations were closed, the number of firefighters decreased, the paramedic program was discontinued, equipment aged with little replacement and stations went into disrepair.
A new chief and board have and are taking steps to improve service; the benefit assessment will allow that to happen.
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