For all of you who scream insanely when a firefighter is missing his gloves on a Dave Statter video, why don't you get mad about this? This is a paragraph from an AP article featured on FirefighterNation.com.
"Despite the lives at stake, the recommendation to improve radio interoperability for first responders has stalled because of a political fight over whether to allocate 10 MHz of radio spectrum … directly to public safety for a nationwide network, or auction it off to a commercial wireless bidder who would then be required to provide priority access on its network dedicated to public safety during emergencies," says the report, whose authors include 9/11 Commission chairmen Lee Hamilton and Thomas Kean.
I distinctly recall the shouts of support from the American public for firefighters everywhere after the Towers fell, and how shocked people were when we let them know that one of our biggest problems is communications interoperability. Then, in 2005, when Katrina blew through, the politicians were adamant that we needed the tools to combat this problem of communications interoperability. And here we are, in 2011 and the politicians still will tell us one thing and do another.
Congress seems to find the time and support to help out their fat cat buddies when times are tough. Banks and corporations get bailed out and corporate big-wigs continue to get record bonuses. In the meanwhile, public servants I work with get lacerated over getting a miniscule pay raises over the last three years, like these firefighters, cops, EMTs, teachers, and city administrators are sitting at home, counting the dough in their offshore accounts and laughing maniacally. Really? And many other people, not just our brothers, are losing benefits, taking furloughs, or worse, losing their jobs altogether.
It makes me sick when I see our politicians sucking up to the ones who shout the loudest on the right or the left while forgetting there are many more of us out here in the middle who are just trying to get by. These are the same individuals with the nerve to take government pensions, government health care, and government paychecks, the whole while saying "government is bloated".
This proposal was meant to make our job safer, to improve our ability to save lives, and to combat disaster in our communities, but instead, our politicians want to continue to discuss the possibility of awarding the block to a commercial wireless company who, of course, stands to make billions off our first responders and probably still give us communications that suck.
If you really want to get mad about something, find a battle worth fighting over. I'm throwing you the ball now, you are supposed to swing at it. Here's one: Call your representatives today and tell them what you think of their continued stalling and their greedy tactics. We need support. This would be the support the politiicans continually promise us when the news cameras are on them and they're hawking their platform on the graves of firefighters, cops and EMTs. It's the same support, of course, that is quickly forgotten when the lobbyists show up and when the big money is up for grabs.
If you don't know who represents you, try this link: ContactingtheCongress.org. It makes it easy for you; there are phone numbers and comment links. Put your money where your mouth is. Or better yet, get some balls and tell your representatives what you think. Your representatives are supposed to be representing you. Instead of taking a few minutes away from your valuable Facebook time posting an anonymous rant against a brother who had a lapse in judgement caught on video, try venting against the real enemies: the political hacks who tell you they support you but can't work together to fund necessary things like fire departments, fire education, and firefighters. Here's a message you can send them: If they want that photo op with dirt on their face, shovel in hand, and helmet on their head, tell 'em they have to earn it first. Support the brotherhood. FTM.