Budgets are not normally the topic of conversation in firehouses across the country. At least they aren't in the same way they are in 2009 in what may be referred to as the year of the cut.
The budgetary process is a mixture of smoke and mirrors, numbers not adding up and pet projects deemed necessary while essential services are cut with barely an afterthought. Two engine companies are shut down whilst a million dollars is set aside for beaver eradication. Firefighters are laid off as a city prepares to invest in cultural events.
This is the world of essential versus non-essential, the failure of local government, and the consigning of human life to a level below that of a dance company. This is reality and for firefighters it's a rude awakening to post modern priorities.