Do the best with what we have
To the Editor,
When people first get jobs, most are happy because they have a steady income, most likely benefits, and a new found purpose and sense of well being. In other words, they are grateful. But as time lapses and human nature gravitates toward our lesser Angel’s, they become discontented. Why? I believe it is because they begin to notice and then concentrate on what they don’t have as opposed to what they do have. And it is difficult not to in this culture when we are constantly bombarded with ads showing us what we supposedly lack!
Now the younger, physical, outdoor types when getting hired as a Weirton fireman I”ll bet are ecstatic: What better job is there in this town where you show up two days a week (albeit 24 hour days) and have the remaining five days off?
Yet, not everyone can be a fireman. You have to have strength, courage, and endurance because fire fighting can be dangerous and demanding work. So it has its risks. But so does working in construction, or being a trash collector, or working in the public works garage — all of whom have had fatalities in the last 30 years. How many Weirton firemen have perished on the job in the same period? One could make the case those jobs have more risk for mortality than being a Weirton fireman!
It has been said that we don’t care about the safety of our firemen because we won’t fund additional men to man the trucks to national standards. That brings up the issues of safety and trade-offs.
Safety is a relative term. Things can always be made safer, just look at our vehicles. We have gone from seat belts to front air bags, to side air bags, to collapsing bumpers, approaching car indicators, and back up cameras. What’s next, bubble wrap? Obviously, it is inherently risky driving a vehicle, yet millions take that risk daily! Do they not care about their own safety? Of course they do. They take the calculated risk as a trade-off for more efficient mobility.
Speaking of trade-offs, we subsidize the recreation department $600,000 a year; less than what the fire department would require in additional funds following the expiration of the SAFER grant they wanted to apply for. Would the fire department wish to deprive those who use our recreation facilities those funds to increase the level of their own safety in the few instances it may be compromised per year? Again, of course not, but they don’t mind having our taxes increased.
In the last five posted years, the fire department’s budget increased 63 percent, way above the inflation rate. An additional $680,000 infusion would have nearly doubled it.
The way I see it, we can be like children, never happy for long because we always want more or what someone else has that we don’t; or we can be adults, grateful for what we have and do the best we can with it.