The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Monday, August 22, 2005

Fighting Fire With...?

The head of SA's firefighter's union wants more and better equipment for his fellow firefighter's:

San Antonio firefighters need more equipment, and at no time has that been more apparent than when crews faced three apartment complex fires in four days, the head of the firefighters union said Sunday.

The need for more equipment was clearly apparent after the third such fire since Thursday. The most recent blaze displaced 10 people early Sunday.

That fire began shortly after midnight in the 3000 block of Hillcrest Drive at the Woods of Brookhollow Apartments. No one was injured in the blaze.

The San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association said delays in getting needed equipment to fires like the one Sunday often mean significantly more damage at the property.

"In our business, death is delay," said Christopher Steele, president of the union. "Minutes really do count."

Steele said fire trucks from other stations often have to be called as backup.

Fire officials agreed with Steele.

Fire Chief Robert Ojeda said "$13.5 million is going towards new equipment, and as far as fire (equipment), this is unprecedented."

Although more equipment has been ordered and is scheduled to arrive early next year, firefighters must do their best with what they have until then, Steele said.

And that's where the problem lies, he said.

"We feel like the level of safety provided should not just be adequate."

You know if I was a firefighter, the last thing I'd ever want to say about my equipment is that it's adequate.