I just finished reading, with absolute disgust, the “Another View” article in your July 16 edition. Given the argument, I am compelled to speak on two important points.
Firstly, while Mr. Lewers is certainly afforded the right to his own opinion on the definition of “hero,” what I find so disappointing is the clear intent behind the timing and subject of the thinly veiled attack. The article has taken aim at the tagline of the most recent recruiting initiative launched by Sooke Fire Rescue Service – an initiative with the objective of increasing the number of volunteer firefighters and, subsequently, the level of fire protection service provided to this community. The act of degrading firefighter reputations and actively working to denigrate their role in the community, all in an effort to reduce the success of a volunteer recruiting program, is mystifying to me – and should be endlessly offensive to all who call Sooke home. Mr. Lewers’ remarks not only do a disservice to the fire department, but a disservice to the entire community by taking actions that encourage the continuation of a deficit in fire protection.
Secondly, Mr. Lewers identifies the status of hero as reserved for one who takes actions that most others would not in a given circumstance. In a community of about 10,000 people, there are approximately 30 men and women who have stepped forward and volunteered to fight fire on behalf of their neighbors and community. That is 0.03 per cent of the population. By Mr. Lewers’ own evaluation, this made each of those men and women a hero the moment they came forth. I agree.
If Mr. Lewers is waiting for Batman to arrive when the people of Sooke need help, I hope he’s not holding his breath.
A/Lt. Ben Temple
Sooke Fire Rescue Service