A reliable, better fire department

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2006

I would just like to make a few comments regarding the article "Fears of fire" dated July 30. In March my home and the Holy Trinity Church was destroyed in an arson fire that had the potential of burning up a large part of downtown Juneau. Fortunately the winds that night were not gusting as they were the night before and the night after the fire. I'm sure in some circumstances a sprinkler system would help in a fire, but not in circumstances such as mine. I am not pleased with the way things were handled by the fire department that night and I think we need to focus more on the root of the problem, such as better planning and organization during a large fire, faster initial response and better training for our firefighters.

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In the past Juneau once had a great fire department with lots of well-trained, motivated and dedicated volunteers but politics, re-organization and budget cuts forced most of them out and now Juneau has to rely only on a handful of firefighters. Instead of hurting our small businesses with more regulations and excessive costs, let's use some of that tax money we so generously contribute each year to building a better and more reliable fire department.

Shelby Edwards


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