The NTH recently reported a “break-in spree” to “nearly two dozen cars belonging to firefighters” in Coweta. “According to Fire Chief Pat Wilson, the break-ins are becoming a common and unwelcome occurrence for many fire stations…”
So, where is Coweta’s response? What will be done to protect the vehicles of those who risk so much for us?
Firefighters (underpaid for what they do) shouldn’t have to suffer the aggravation and cost. Nor should they have to make a claim on their insurance (concomitant with future premium increases). Nor should they worry about their vehicle while on the job: removing one of us from vehicle entrapment, responding to our health emergency, saving a wayward animal that has fallen into an old well, or any of the other myriad tasks they are called upon to do – for us.
The reporting made no mention of safeguards at the fire stations. Is that because there aren’t any? Chief Wilson said, “I hate that Coweta has to taste this bitter situation. Firefighters come to work everyday [sic] to serve and take care of the community. To have someone … targeting firefighters, it's disappointing and disturbing.” Disturbing… (no offense, Chief) it’s unconscionable and criminal.
Clearly these widespread break-ins suggest there is no security. “We're hopeful to acquire video surveillance from nearby areas…” Coweta County shouldn’t be relying on “nearby video” to protect firefighter vehicles. Consider night lighting, high fences, surveillance cameras, a gate the last vehicle out can close with a garage-door type remote. Commissioners, put a crowbar in the county wallet and provide adequate security.
Sen. Mark Udall referred to firefighters as, “those on the front lines of one of the most grueling and dangerous jobs in the country.” Coweta should be proactive (not reactive) for the folks that do so much for us.