On Friday, a veteran Boston firefighter was killed when the ladder truck he was riding in crashed into a building. The truck was returning from a “routine medical call.” I don’t understand why large, cumbersome, expensive-to-operate, one mile per gallon ladder trucks are used to respond to medical calls. Is this a firefighters’ union way of increasing the work for firefighters so they won’t get laid off? Is this the equivalent of police working at road construction sites? Does this not pull a ladder truck out of action in case a fire happens? Why do firefighters need to respond at all to “routine medical calls.” And if they do need to respond to routine medical calls, in addition to ambulances, why not respond in a car rather than a truck? If this firefighter had died as a result of fighting a fire, it would have been an understandable tragedy. But for him to die as a result of using a large fire-fighting truck in a non fire-fighting situation makes no sense to me at all.
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