Tiny Fire Trucks

I don’t know why, but I have always had an aversion to the whole size issue especially the idea that, “bigger is better.”

I guess it’s because I acknowledge that sometimes it’s true, sometimes, it’s not. It all depends.

When it comes to rescue equipment, I feel that this notion is a false one.

Long time readers know that my nefarious, hidden agenda is to create safer, quieter streets with cleaner air.

One of the biggest obstacles to this has been fire codes which are based upon equipment which seems more to feed the egos of the departments than to actually be necessary.

OBLIGATORY STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I have nothing against firefighters in principle. Some of my friends have been firefighters. Also, I have a great deal of respect for what they do. They save a lot of lives each year in the US, and I think that they should be proud of the work that they do.

But like, my doctor friends, I have found that the biggest critics of the field are actually practitioners. Thus, I’m sure there’s a lot of firefighters who’d actually agree with everything I say here. In short, this isn’t personal.

(I hate writing disclaimers, but later on, I’m glad they are there).

That being, said, let’s get on with it.

First of all, contrary to popular belief, fire is not that deadly in the US. I know that some people will never grasp this, but according to the CDC, only about 3,000 a year die in fires. Even firefighting doesn’t kill that many people as only 85 firefighters die per year.

http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Fire-Prevention/fires-factsheet.html

While every life lost is a tragedy, it only makes sense to put our money and effort into areas where the most people can be saved.

I do think we should continue to fund our brave firefighters, perhaps increase their budgets, but while doing this, we can’t let our primal fear of fire blind us to greater risks.

Also, we must ask ourselves whether such a small number of deaths should cause us to completely lose our minds and totally redesign the way that millions of us live.

I’m not advocating for less safety, but with fire fighting consuming so much money, the fact is, 3000 people are still dying. At this point, it doesn’t seem like more money is the solution. We can’t save everyone. It’s sad, but the sooner we face this fact, the quicker we can start to make adult decisions.

The only way we’re going to save more people it to completely ban smoking and cooking as they account for most deaths. To go a bit further, we can do without electricity to eliminate electrical fires.

Seeing as a society, we can’t even get people to stop being proud of speeding, which kills more kids than drunk driving, we’re hard pressed to force people to eat raw meat and do without a good smoke once in a while.

I think it’s OK because I like a little risk, a little randomness in my life. I have to die of something, and I’m OK to die after someone had a decent meal or a good smoke.

What I’m really getting at is, if wide streets make people speed which kills people, and the streets have to be wide for fire trucks to fight fires where almost nobody dies of, we are we totally unconcerned about the 16 people who die in collisions for every fire victim?

Because they have bulky equipment which needs to be on bulky trucks. Right?
Fire Chief Paul Dextras said the city will benefit from using the QRVs because they are smaller and safer than regular firetrucks and they will save the city money over time.
I’m not so sure. We’ve been fighting fires for a long time. Plus, we are supposedly really intelligent and technical. It only makes sense that we could find a solution that could still save the same number of lives, cut costs, and reduce traffic collisions.

This might sound utopian, but I ask, if we can’t at least try to make the world a better place, why are we even here?

I propose that the city buy smaller fire trucks. I know that this will be seen as a bad idea by many especially firefighters, the good guys.

Billings, Montana tried to buy smaller trucks, and the Fire Chief agreed:

“Fire Chief Paul Dextras said the city will benefit from using the QRVs because they are smaller and safer than regular firetrucks and they will save the city money over time.”

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_e9bb1a9a-46b0-11df-b8a9-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1QJ6pOIVg

That’s right, the Fire Chief said that smaller trucks were SAFER.

Then I looked to see how I could get my hands on one of these babies:

http://www.alibaba.com/product-free/118268508/Narrow_Field_Fire_Truck_Small_Fire.html

These trucks are actually pretty sexy.

Thus, the first step, towards truly livable streets, is to get the city to purchase smaller fire and rescue equipment. Only then can we change the childish laws that make every road, no matter how minor, completely out of proportion to the actual human beings who walk along it.

Narrower streets encourage people to get more exercise which helps with obesity.

People are happier when they have slower traffic, and they have less stress. Commute times will NOT increase; they might even go down.

Peace will reign on earth for a thousand years and a thousand flowers will bloom.

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