Forgive me for borrowing a line from Shakespeare for a post title but in these "lean" times it fits. The economy is all the rage now and budget cutters are gleefully looking to cut staff, stations and training. It's not much different from any other day except now they can point to Wall Street and say, "See!"
Oh the woes of budgets. Already doing more with less firefighters now must worry about the purchase of items essential to the functioning of a fire department. In this case I mean ladder trucks and coffee. (Don't worry, no one touches the coffee.)
Truck work is an under appreciated diamond. For the departments who get it ladder trucks help to prevent the spread of fire, search for victims and perform the tasks essential to life safety, incident stabilization and property conservation. Yet, if the bard were writing for the fire service he would note the absence of appreciation for truckies.
We must battle tooth and nail to preserve the basic elements of the fire service. If we fail recovery will not take place until a decade after Exxon is again posting record profits. The money is there and we must assume the position of defending the fire service. In some respects the gloom and doom is "much ado about nothing."