Monday, October 22, 2012

Why We Pay Taxes

It's nearly a weekly ocurrance; a fire engine backed up 
by an ambulance enters my apartment complex, 
sirens screaming, lights flashing, and horns blaring, 
"Get out of my way! Get out of my way! 
Somebody needs help!" Someone in the neighborhood 
must have respiratory issues, because a few minutes later, 
the fire apparatus leaves, while the EMTs remain behind, 
presumably to check on the person for whom 
they were summoned.

This afternoon, however, they all came, 
from the station house about a mile away, 
as well as other stations two or three 
miles distant. Someone had reported a fire
in their apartment, where the firefighters,
clothed in Nomex, oxygen masks, heavy boots,
 and electronic gear swarmed upon the blaze.

Here, a battalion chief dons his turnout gear 
and gathers his equipment, while three firefighters 
from one of the more distant stations, 
walk towards the scene.

Adams, Able, and Ardizzone, stride in step, 
intent upon the task that faces them.

In coordinated, well-rehearsed routine, the men and women
entered the home, the aerial ladder was deployed, hose laid out
and charged. Additional men went to the roof, where they cut
through with a chain saw to get any flames that may have
escaped detection from inside. 

It really was over within a short while, all but the checks 
of the residence, the paper work, and the clean-up.
With a multi-person dwelling, they take no chances, whether
the number of lives involved is one or one hundred;
I have been awakened at 3 in the morning to evacuate my
building because of a blaze just around the corner.

It is a mission. They come when we are in dire need 
to provide medical assistance, to put out fires, 
to save us, our loved ones and our pets from misfortune
and misadventure. They are paid with our taxes. 
There are people who want no taxes to be collected, 
who would be very indignant if no one came to put out 
the grease fire, to splint up a broken arm and take
them to the hospital, to rescue a cat from a tree.
Today, the firemen brought out three red-tailed boa 
constrictors that belonged to the women,
a mother and daughter, who kept them as pets.

It is already happening in communities in our area.
There's no money to pay EMTs, so they are laid off.
Some towns have disbanded their police forces
due to a lack of funds. The bureaucrats are doing their
best to break down our educational system, too.
Money keeps them in office, while they ignore 
the needs of the community that paid the revenue.
"My way or the highway" is not good for people,
but it may just get its narrow-minded self elected if 
thinking people do not vote in the coming elections.



dive said...

Hoorah for real heroes! They're kinda sexy, too.
It never ceases to amaze me how half of Americans would happily give their wages to a congressman so he can put it in an offshore tax haven rather than paying for teachers, firefighters and police.

Stefan Jansson said...

They do a great job. Nicely photographed and written.

Valladolid Daily Photo said...

Always at the service of citizens.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could read this commentary in the Indianapolis Star.

Meghan said...

We live in a "volunteer" fire department area so we have the option to pay, or not, a yearly donation to keep up the equipment. We choose to give at least the minimum, knowing that our home and lives could one day be in the hands of these brave men and women. Nice tribute.

Speedway said...

I agree, Dive. Gone are the firefighters and cops I knew growing up, fat and smug in their authority as they got older. Every damn one of the men and women I saw the other day was fit, underlining the efforts of those I see downtown jogging along the Canal or along the streets.

Thank you, Stefan. Yes they are well-trained and efficient, purposeful in their actions.

And f1f3, (I can call you by your first 4 figures, can't I?) I'd like to have contributed it, but I can't even put it on the FB page.

Yes, Meghan, it's one of those "just in case, cause you never know" situations. They'd come to your aid, anyway, but it's a good use of your funds to support them for the work they do for everyone who needs them.

Anonymous said...

Put it in the Letters to the Editor (minus the pictures, of course)like I did today about the notion that a pregnancy as a result of rape is God's will and hence must be protected.