Firefighting in Downey

Dear Editor:I just read in The Downey Patriot that the firefighters' union is asking for a feasibility study to determine any cost effectiveness to contracting with L.A. County for fire protection services. I think the city would be better served by those firefighters actually going to work for the county and leaving the employ of the city of Downey, since that's their ultimate objective. We voted on this a few years ago and the decision was overwhelmingly in favor of keeping our city fire department. Do we have to suffer through this again and again every few years, because some in our city's fire department would actually prefer to work for the county fire department? How is it that an employees union has the ability to determine what study is best for the citizens of the city that employs them? That should only be determined by the City Council after having open discussions with city residents at council meetings. A union is not a citizen of this city. I understand the budgetary belt-tightening that's necessary these days and hope that soon our FD is back up to four engines, as I'm sure it will be. L.A. County won't keep our four stations, four engines, two paramedic units, plus all the other assets Downey has, within our city's borders if they were deploying their assets here and that would leave the city and all the residents at risk. They will keep all the former DFD firefighters employed, and I think that's their plan. Our city would lose services in such an arrangement. We are much better served by maintaining our own control over our own FD. Our city maintains its own fire department to protect our community and the residents who live here, it's not a stepping stone to a perceived better career position. This brings us back to the question of the loyalty of those union members who wish to have an LACoFD patch on their shoulders instead of a DFD patch. If they are unhappy here and want to leave the Downey Fire Department, by all means, let them go. They can be replaced. Richard McAllister Downey

Dear Editor: The city of Norwalk, approximately the same size as Downey in terms of geography and population, has two fire stations to service its residents. Bellflower also has two fire stations, while Pico Rivera has three. Downey has four fire stations. Let's keep it that way. Let us not downgrade our public safety services. Please keep Downey independent and keep our police and fire departments local. Abel Mendez Downey

********** Published: July 19, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 14