Volunteer Firefighters Aren't Just AmateursWe enjoy the...


January 24, 1993

Volunteer Firefighters Aren't Just Amateurs

We enjoy the Harford County supplement to the Sunday Sun. It is generally interesting and quite good.

I don't mind controversy but not when it's initiated in the ignorance shown in Mike Burns' column of Dec. 20 about the volunteer fire department service of Harford County.

He posed questions of the "Is Sunday the only day you don't beat your wife" type. He obviously doesn't understand the extent of professional training required of fire and ambulance personnel (they are qualified for paid positions most anywhere in the county). Courses and drills (in-house, company, county-wide and annual area disasters) keep them on top.

I fail to see any value to a full-time central county command and staff for planning. What does he think is the primary function of the Chief's Association and the Harford-Cecil Fireman's Association?

To the extent possible, every conceivable emergency response is pre-planned and on file at Emergency Operations which dispatches equipment and personnel based on those "run cards," unless instructed differently.

He stated that drinking at their annual banquet prevented firemen from functioning. At our company functions, ambulance, fire and rescue crews are assigned and neighboring companies offer coverage, if needed. Also, "a chief left on vacation during the mulch fire," how awful. No doubt, paid chiefs never vacation.

As for the "potential traffic danger of racing to the firehouse," that's true, but in 35 years as an unpaid professional, I "raced to the firehouse" several thousand times without accident. Slow response time? He should check the records. It is generally very good (some exceptions, of course). If paid service took over, the sub-stations would probably close, lengthening response time considerably. He wouldn't want a volunteer militia raising funds. Didn't Mike get a letter from our county sheriff requesting contributions? . . .

We all recognize that paid personnel will become necessary and we build our firehouses to accommodate them when that day comes.

George S. Barrett


More On 'Secrets'

am a Bel Air High School senior who saw the Kaiser-Permanente production called "Secrets," and I can't help but wonder if I saw the same play as some of the people I hear and read about.

I am writing, specifically, in response to a letter to the editor of Jan. 3 that Rev. St. George I. B. Crosse wrote, wherein he stated that "the audience couldn't help but conclude that having sex on a first date was typical behavior for a young black teen-ager."

Well, I was part of that audience and I can honestly say that that thought never even crossed my mind or the minds of the other students I spoke with. . . . When I watched that play, I saw two girls. One girl had sex and the other didn't. One girl got AIDS and the other did not. Isn't that all we need to know?

Wendy Polek


Fighting Crime

As founder of the "Families of Murdered Loved Ones" support group, I would like to thank all of the citizens and businesses who helped us on the petition drive. This petition stated that we the citizens want stricter laws enforced for violent offenders, and also, would like to see the death penalty activated.

The petitions have been in circulation since mid-October. In just about 10 weeks, our citizens collected over 8,500 signatures. The petitions will be presented to Senate President Mike Miller and Del. Joseph F. Vallario Jr. on Jan. 26.

As you might have read, the governor has established a seven-member team to serve on a crime task force. This team will investigate the crime problem and try to figure out what to do about it.

Remember, citizens need to show strong support for what the victims' rights groups are trying to do. . . . We need to show our legislature and governor that the citizens of Maryland have had it and now it's time to listen to the citizens on what to do about the out-of-control crime problem.

We will not stop just with the petitions. There will be a "rally" held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 25, on the side of the Governor's House in Lawyers' Square in Annapolis.

So, if you are fed up with all the senseless murders, we ask for citizen support at this rally. The crime problem and petitions will be the main topic. Information: 838-8939.

Betty Romano


The writer is founder of Families of Murdered Loved Ones support group.

Rehrmann Is Right For These Times

There appear to be a few things that the reporter left out in the Jan. 3 article about Harford County Executive Eileen Rehrmann.

First, has there ever been someone in a top management position or political office that everyone has always liked or always agreed with? If so, let me know. I know I'd like to meet him or her.

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