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Comments about paid-call firefighters resented

Letter writer R. Garrison has no idea about how much training paid-call firefighters undertake.

Editor: Re: Police constable Garrison’s letter  “Full-time firefighters have much more training,” (The Times, April 22).

This officer is making unfounded comments about paid-call firefighters, who for many years were the only firefighters the Langleys had available for fire and rescue operations. He states that the only training required for paid-call members is an eight-hour first aid course. What rubbish.

That is like saying police officers only get a one-day course to become a police officer. The training for a paid-call member is extensive, taken over a six-month period. Candidates spend weekends at the training ground learning various  scenarios, including live fire training, auto extrication and first aid, to name just to name a few of the skills required to join the ranks.

When Langley Township went full-time several years ago, the firefighters that were hired came from the ranks of the paid-call members, not from the outside. They had been well-trained for the job, by being paid-call firefighters in Langley, some for many years.The day after being hired, these firefighters became professional  firefighters in a great profession, and their training continues every day that they spend at the fire hall.

I resent the comments made by Garrison that paid-call firefighters can pick and choose  the calls they attend. Personally, I missed many family nights and functions while attending calls, lost many nights sleep, and still had to go to my regular job the next day. Whether  I was at home, out shopping or with the family, I would respond, as did the other members.

In closing, I ask him to get his facts straight. To our firefighters, professional or paid-call, I say thank you for the service you so unselfishly provide to our community. Be safe.

I am a semi-retired Langley Township paid-call firefighter, affectionally known to Kindergarten kids as Firefighter Pizza.

Peter Massey,