Letter: No need for 2 organizations performing the same functions

Jul. 23, 2013 @ 03:46 PM


In your July 21 paper headlining a topic concerned the Sevier County Rescue Squad, I, like your paper stated, have heard some unsettling comments about their training and competency. As I have had and promoted industrial fire safety and training of fire brigades and rescue operations for plants, those that attempt to do rescue work need considerable training, documented from a reliable training facility or source.

For instance, what type rescue does this group do? Is it just removing a person from a car that is not on fire, or a car that is not in contact with an electric power line, or someone that has fallen into a ditch or stream? What they do matters as to what type training and how often they must be refreshed in it.

Where I have lived, operations I have associated with normally have the Fire Department responding to fires and emergency rescue operations. They also respond to some hazardous spills and extricate people from confined spaces, etc.

They are and must be trained under a number of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations as well as National Fire Protection Association regulations. This is for their safety and the safety of those in or at the scene they are responding to. What organization guidelines does the Sevier County Rescue Squad use to assure they are properly trained and records maintained?

Why have two distinct organizations that do almost, if not the same, type service? Why not have a combined organization that does both services like the fire departments. It seems there is a lot of money spent for an organization that may not be properly trained to do the functions their title says they are competent to do.

And to heck with the politics. I want a well organized trained competent group to respond to my emergency, not a load of Keystone Kops, or the Katz and Jammer Kids. Why not use the funds wisely.

Jackie H. Ward