Keep Downey Fire

Dear Editor:Scrap the Downey Fire Department? Whoa! This is a move that should not be pursued without extensive discussions and community input. Has anyone asked if fire insurance rates might increase? Has anyone asked the opinion of residents who have experienced needing Fire Department services? Here's mine. When I realized that the sudden unexplained exhaustion accompanied by profuse sweating were symptoms of a heart attack, I asked my wife to call 911. The professionalism and skills of the responding Downey paramedics along with their obvious attitude of caring were reassuring to my wife, while the communication capabilities with the hospital meant that I was prepped and in surgery less than a minute after arrival. That was eight years ago, and the damage to my heart was minimal. My doctor says I was lucky. As far as I'm concerned, the luck was living in Downey. It seems that some members of the City Council are looking only at costs and not considering benefits. The cost of our fire department needs to be considered only as it relates to its value to the community. And I encourage those in the community who have experienced this value to make their voices heard. It might also be enlightening to hear from some department members who provide this value. Yes, cities are experiencing budget problems and contracting with the County could possibly save money. But the county has budget problems of its own, and if they decide to reduce the level of service there will be no opportunity for community input then. Meanwhile, the city contracts to spend over $40,000 for a lobbyist to look after city interests. I thought that was the responsibility of our elected officials. But speaking of those elected officials, if they try to shut down the fire department without extensive community input and approval, drop by and say hello. I'll be the guy holding the recall petitions. David Mathews Downey

Dear Editor: What is the City Council thinking, jeopardizing the lives and property of Downey residents by considering transferring responsibilities of the Downey Fire Department to the Los Angeles County Fire Department? L.A. County Fire has enough to handle. Have any of the council members ever had to depend on the fire department or paramedics for help? What will become of the fire trucks and equipment and buildings that house them? Will all this be torn down to make way for yet another shopping mall that is not needed? Will our property taxes go up? Then what will be next? The police department? To leave us vulnerable to all elements of destruction? Without a lifeline to hang on to? Come on people of Downey, wake up. Do not allow this or any council to dismantle Downey Fire or Downey Police. We do not need anymore trees, flowering plants, street lamps, shopping malls and/or expenditures for a golf course. We do need lifelines. Gertrude Suhy Downey

********** Published: August 02, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 16