Letter: For us, volunteer service is appropriate

There is something that is just plain wrong about last week’s letter “Every minute counts!”

The Sealocks and Smoots are families with deep roots in this county. They have lived and worked here for generations and know full well that we live in the country. We live in a rural county. Our fire and rescue services are provided by volunteers. Those volunteers don’t live at the firehouse.

They come when they can, from where they are at the time, any way that they can, when they are called, as soon as they can — and they do so because they want to. And I am fine with that! That is the kind of place we live in. That is the kind of place I want to live in.

So, for the “questions” raised in the letter:

1.) “Is this acceptable emergency/rescue service?”

Yes! What we have is appropriate for where we are and what we are! We are not a fully staffed, 24/7, paid fire and rescue service! And we are not some urban town/city with a concentrated population to support that kind of expense!

2.) “Could the . . .” etc. etc.

Anything lies in the realm of “could.” It also amounts to Monday morning quarterbacking without any knowledge of what went into the decisions which were made at the time by the professionals involved.

3.) “What if . . .” etc. etc.

If that is one of the deciding parameters that guides your decisions in life, then it is your responsibility to cover those “what ifs” in your planning and choices about where you are, where you go and what you do!

4.) “Are we the only family who wishes for a paid full time response staffing in Flint Hill?”

Wishing for and “being willing to pay for” are quite different things. Flint Hill isn’t Front Royal or Warrenton or Culpeper. And being willing to pay for something isn’t the same thing as requiring everyone else to pay for it so that it will be there for you when “what if” happens to you.

I do not have expectations that there will be a guaranteed service 24/7 to “rescue” me or “save” me when something goes awry. I don’t want the expense which would be required in order to provide that kind of service, nor do I expect my neighbors to have to bear that expense for me. That is one of the reasons why I live here and not in the city or the suburbs.

Emergency geo-locational  services may well be a boon to improve services and response times at times of trauma and need; but it isn’t a mandate to provide instantaneous, fast as humanly possible, anyplace in the country, services 24/7 just to cover what ifs.

When you move here, or even visit here, you don’t get to have any more than what is here. (Unless, of course, you plan and bring it with you.) The Smoots and Sealocks should know that too.

That letter is all wrong! The volunteer service we do have is excellent and appropriate for where we are and what we are!

Tim Pagano

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