77% of the firefighters in Texas are volunteers.
Governor Rick Perry slashed funding for Texas volunteer firefighters by 75% to help with the Texas budget crisis. While men fight the raging wildfires without the gear they need to protect themselves, Perry languishes in a $10,000/month mansion.
If you would like to learn how you could help out, visit TexasWildfireRelief.org.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Westchester Neighbor says
Isn’t it all just one big Ponzi Scheme?
Austin has been under a smog for the last 3 days and the fires surrounding central Texas are simply devastating.
I think the governor’s mansion is under renovation…
Mike H. says
If Rick Perry is down on big Government, why doesn’t he take a page out of the California Gov. Jerry Brown book, and mothball the Governor’s Mansion, and live in a lower rent place?
Cesar Arzayus says
This is really bad thing. I think all the emergency services have the first line of precautions”Safety First”.
Sr. Elizabeth Riebschlaeger, ccvi says
Re Firefighters–also called “First Responders” along with EMS and law enforcement officers–all of whom put their lives on the line for us, some of whom have died doing just that. We wept for the hundreds who did not hesitate to rush to help, and who died in the Towers Disasters of 9/11/2001; we wept with and for their families. New York belonged to us all that day. But rural First Responders do the same thing, unheralded, day after day, night after night.
Amazing and inspiring that 77%/volunteers are willing to do this work in our local communities. We remember the Firefighters and EMS workers who died in tiny West, TX trying to save a local business and town. Little did they know. . .Everyone is just as big a hero as any NYC firefighter, because each one’s life is equally precious. And now, in spite of all the bragging from our “public servant” Governor about the billions pouring into pockets, banks and state coffers from oil and gas development, Texas doesn’t have the money for the very firefighters who are expected to show up at a very toxic and dangerous scene to help fight oil and gas field fires. If I had used this line of argument in my own life, my mother would have said, “Somebody doesn’t have their head on straight.” Seems to me this applies here. Fact is, we all have money for the things we consider are important in life, or what we want for ourselves. That’s where we “speak” our values most clearly. My mother would also have said, “Put your money where your mouth is”, and “What you are doing speaks so loudly, I can no longer hear what you are saying.” Here’s a story of one of my very top heroes: a certain local Fire Chief responded in this way to the request of one of the bigger companies who showed up in his office one day with the question: “So, what are you all willing to do to help us out?” He meant, “Can we count on you to jump in your trucks, filled with gratitude that we are here, without any equipment, and help save our workers’ lives and our investments ASAP?” To which the fire chief, unimpressed with what obviously was being presented as a “grateful obligation” replied: “Well, first of all, we don’t know what we are facing if we show up there. We don’t know what chemicals you all are using because you don’t want to tell anybody. And second, we are not equipped for fighting hazardous fires. I’m not sending my men out to what could be a fatal situation without the proper equipment. And third, we don’t have the money for buying the equipment or for training in fighting hazardous fires. And fourth, I am not about to ask our city or county officials for the money to take care of these needs. We are not a rich community, but we know how to manage our money. So, I tell you what: you guys are taking billions of dollars in profits out from under our town and county. So you go back to your buddies in the oil companies here and talk it over with them, then let me know what you all are willing to do to help provide the hazmat equipment and training for us. And when you have a plan, then y’all come back and we can talk about this then.” Now that’s my kind of hero: someone who can look power in the eye, “speak” a sense of truth with a clear sense of justice; and a willingness to stand and demand it for his men and his community. It is an honor to know him. God bless him and his volunteer fire department, and all first responders everywhere.
They are great examples for any elected and publicly paid official. Y’all listening, big oil and gas companies, legislators and Governor Rick Perry?? Can we trust you to put public safety and health first?