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Firefighter Union Boss Says We Have too Many Firefighters (Sort of)

(Chuck Muth) – In attempting to defend the indefensible – Clark County firefighters making more than $200,000 a year at taxpayer expense – firefighter union boss Ryan Beaman inked a guest op/ed to the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sunday. In it, he wrote the following:

“Clark County firefighters responded to more than 123,000 calls last year, 337 calls every day. More than 90 percent of those calls aren’t fire related, they are medical emergencies.”

Whoa! What?

If 90 percent of the calls firefighters respond to are medical emergencies and not fires, doesn’t that mean we have too many firefighters and not enough emergency medical technicians?

Doesn’t that statement indicate that we should have more ambulances and EMTs instead of all those expensive firefighters, firehouses and firetrucks taxpayers are funding?

Which raises other questions:

Since Clark County already has private ambulance services which are competing with the government ambulances, do we really need the government ambulances? After all, how many times have we seen a government ambulance and private ambulance show up at the same time? Why not just contract out to the private service and save taxpayers a bundle?

For that matter, when a 911 call comes in for a medical emergency, such as a heart attack, why do we so often see fire trucks show up? In case the victim spontaneously bursts into flames when hit with the defibrillator?

Seems to me Mr. Beaman is making the case for getting rid of most firefighting operations and instead focus on beefing up our emergency medical and rescue operations. I think we might agree.


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