THE BEST AND THE WORST
Once again we are in the midst of a bad fire and once again, like any disaster, it brings out the best and the worst in people’s attitudes.
The best is people helping people, offering help to residents suffering from smoke either in the form of giving alternate shelter or assisting with shopping and other services that means people can stay indoors, with doors and windows closed, during the worst of the smoke. Helping out by dropping supplies of fresh fruit, etc, to the airport were the exhausted crews come in to eat and sleep. Helping out in the very simple way of keeping the roads clear, instead of parking illegally to take photos of the air crew at work.
The worst happens with the armchair firefighters who think they know the best way of handling the fire. Calls to bring back the Martin Mars water bombers and the full sized planes from Penticton, wonderful machines when handling flat terrain or mountain sides but hopeless around narrow canyons where the smaller skimmers and helicopters can manoeuvre.
Firefighting is a skill requiring much training and the spotters, who can dip into the canyons and get a real idea of what is needed, can use their expertise to get the correct equipment to each site where it can be most effective. The dark hours prevents the aircraft from working and it must be so disheartening to see the flames have spread even further during the night, but these guys start the day early and just go non stop until darkness prevents them from working, what more could anyone do.
The aircraft are a visible sign of the work being done but over a hundred people are facing long, hard days of being up close and personal to the fire, the conditions must be so hot and tiring. These men, along with the aircrew deserve a huge vote of thanks from us all. Most of them finish a day’s work and sleep in a tent, probably too tired to notice the hardships of daily living.
The fact that the prisoners are being moved out may seem to be a case of looking after the wrong people but we are a civilised society and even though most of us would prefer to think of the inmates being put to work fighting the fires, it is the responsibility of the prison services to keep the inmates safe. Yes it is taxpayers money funding the move of the inmates but would we really like to live in a society where people where deliberately put at risk through neglect. The idea of having the prisoners working alongside the firemen on the ground sounds good but untrained persons would be a hindrance not a help.
Any person who took the tour of the prison prior to it opening would realize that our local corrections unit is not a holiday camp. I thought conditions looked very harsh compared to what we see on t.v. I have no sympathy for convicts and think that prisoners rights are a farce, to be convicted you have usually taken away another persons rights, so I don’t think that prison is place you should expect to be given all the rights and freedoms of law-abiding citizens. I am sure there are millions of people living in much poorer conditions than that of a Canadian prison, where three meals a day and a clean bed are sure to be had, but I still do not want to live in a country where people in a locked facility would be endangered. If the prison has to be evacuated, it would take far too long to do it all at one time, so the authorities have been doing it quietly and gradually.
I am sure that none of us would wish to be firefighting ourselves and would be very anxious if our family members were putting their lives on the line, so lets give a cheer to these hardworking people and let them get on with the job with no negative comments from those of us sitting in the comfort of our home doing nothing but play on our computers.