tention that some people in the fire department think I was or am actively trying to damage their recruiting campaign.
Let me be clear, this could not be further from the truth. My letter was written over three weeks ago in response to a Times Colonist article not related to fire departments, and was intended for both a national or regional publication, but it exceeded the word count. I had no idea about the “Community Hero” campaign that was about to be launched.
As an ex-member of the fire department, I have continually fought politically for the rights of volunteers (although not always through spending of cash). I have faithfully backed the fire department via my Facebook account and actively encouraged people to join the volunteer fire service.
Not once in my opinion piece did I attack anyone or intentionally undermine anyone, except perhaps media and politicians. This letter was to address what I perceive as a bigger issue than local, for me it represents an issue that impacts most of North America, and the lack of willingness of politicians to manage our affairs on facts and logic rather than emotion and easy votes.
There are many great reasons to serve as a volunteer firefighter in any community, such as camaraderie, fitness, adrenaline rush, free training, serving the greater good of your community, helping others, being part of a great organization, annual banquets, reduced tax burden etc. and these positives should be marketed to any potential recruits.
I find it very doubtful that my observations of politicians and media over use of the word “hero” to describe such a broad spectrum of groups, acts, or animals, would have any impact on recruiting, and if anyone is wanting to join just so that they can be called a hero, well, I would just question if that would be the right person for the job.