LETTER: ECFR has Great Balance

October 13, 2011

Ask yourself, if you owned a chicken ranch would you hire foxes for security? Union, non-union, or volunteer fire fighters don’t make the best fire commissioners due to the potential for conflicts of interest when voting on issues that affect compensation or working conditions. A commissioner would have to abstain from voting on all such issues, creating a dysfunctional organization unable to conduct business in an efficient manner.

A balance of volunteer and full time paid fire fighters is the key to an efficient and cost effective fire department as demonstrated by ECFR, Washougal, and most fire departments in the County. Conversely, Camas’s problems began when that balance tipped too far after a prior fire chief allowed an excellent volunteer organization to die on the vine due to union pressure. Rural departments used Camas as a model when it had that good balance.

28 years as a volunteer fire fighter and Chief for 20, has given me firsthand knowledge of what  makes a successful fire department. ECFR Commissioners Clancy, Hoober, and Larson have earned my respect and support to continue their excellent leadership. Learn more at <fcomm.org>

John Straub