Mr. Mayor, shake your head

Ex Fire Chief's rebuttal to the Mayor's response on the heated petition regarding the Hope Volunteer Fire Department.

Mr. Mayor, you sure read the petition differently than I did, suggesting that the hundreds of individuals who signed – tarnish the firefighters – get real your honour. The petition says nothing about the firemen.

We want the 10 we currently have, but need more. We are asking you to look into the policies and management of the Hope Fire Dept.

Why are you, the Mayor, making such a big deal of this? We elected you to look after our town, so get on with the job please.

Socializing in the fire department is a big deal in my mind. I was chief for a time and had 20 members in Hall One and there were 20 in each of the two other Halls.

Glenn Wejr, a long time Hope resident, business man and former firefighter, paid me a very nice compliment last week saying the 25 years he belonged to the Dept. were the best years of his life (wow.)

Things we did while I was chief:

•  kids picnic at 6th Ave park – we let the kids ride on the fire truck with sirens and lights on

•  Christmas parties with Santa – Neil Martin and John Linza looked after the food – we never went hungry

•  golf & curling parties

•  we installed 50 smoke detectors  with the help of the Hope Lions Club, in the senior citizen’s home and homes that didn’t have them

•  Cheyenne Sports organized Slow Pitch with 32 teams signing up. The Fire Depts had four teams. Glenn even let me play a couple of innings in right field. The rest of the time I sat in the dug out and watched Al Trick hit it out of the park and Emil Farlin playing short stop.

•  Booze in the fire halls – at the Fire Chief’s convention, which I attended many times on the taxpayer’s money (thanks,) the topic of alcohol in halls often came up with many positive remarks.

I believe there should be time for a beer in the firehall after a fire to talk over what was good and bad (even the quiet guys talked after a couple of cold ones.)

Mr. Mayor, all we are asking is for you to look into the fire department. The job we elected you to do is to lead not to criticize. We need all the firefighters we have (even the one with the beard.)

PS.  When is the next election?

PPS.  Alcohol – because no great story started with someone eating salad!

Wilfried, shake your head.

Dick Gardner

Hope