Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Help Sun Valley fight fires

As the fire chief for the city of Sun Valley for the last 35 years, it is my privilege to serve our residents and visitors to make this a safe environment for a world-class community. Keeping it that way is important. That's why I urge you to vote on Nov. 8. On the ballot is a bond measure, part of which will be used to replace equipment essential to our fire department.

Keeping our citizens and visitors safe in the urban/wildlife interface is of great concern to me. I'm pleased this bond would fund improvements to our wildland fire-fighting truck and the safety clothing our volunteer firefighters wear when they respond to calls. Firefighters' safety, as well as that of our guests and residents, is a top priority for us all.

The bond would also fund our share of a new aerial ladder truck. Federal safety standards require us to replace our current aerial ladder truck soon. If the city's equipment does not meet the new federal safety standards, the city's fire insurance rating will drop. A decline in the city's fire insurance rating means that all of us who live in Sun Valley will have to pay more for our personal homeowners insurance.

The aerial ladder truck is important because it is used for all structure fires. It is an essential piece of equipment used in many fire-fighting situations. Without the aerial ladder truck, we would be limited to using ground ladders. Using only ground ladders would severely inhibit our ability to fight fire effectively.

The aerial ladder truck is necessary to maintain our safety standards. Without it, we will not be able to protect our residents and visitors as well as they deserve. Please help me do that by voting on Nov. 8. Thank you.

Jeffrey N. Carnes

Chief of fire and emergency medical services

City of Sun Valley

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