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Cheaper in the Long Run

Sidney Drabkin

Posted on October 27, 2019 20:39

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It might be expensive but cheaper in the long run and we would not have to have blackouts.

I was told by an 80 year old man living in Jamestown, California that when a brush fire or forest fire broke out, after many hours fighting the fire, a call would go out to restaurants of a local town to make several hundred sandwiches for the firefighters' lunch. The state cooks did not, around 1953, have enough time to set up their field kitchens for the firefighters' lunch because they were setting them up for dinner. Since the state had to order lunches from several local restaurants, the owners of the restaurants had to hire extra food handlers.

He went on to say that they would always have ham or peanut butter sandwiches since they were the cheapest to make, and of course, a small soda drink or just water. 

Many of the firefighters were taken off of the street as volunteers, they had no fire fighting training. These volunteers were picked up by a fire warden when they were out walking or when they left a bar.

As an example, when he was ten years old he and his cousin were walking home from a movie when he saw a person forced into a car with three other persons in the car. When they told his father he said that they needed help in fighting a fire and they needed volunteers. There was a warning on the radio about picking up volunteer firefighters to help fight the forest fire that was out of control.

He went on to say that a male at least 21 years old would be picked up as a volunteer firefighter. You did not want to be on the street by yourself late at night, because if they picked you up you have no choice but to fight the fire until it was out. 

Today, you have to be trained to fight fire before they put you on the fire line, this includes women, too.

Maybe we should go back to this time, to have a way to get volunteers to fight wildfire and brush fires.

We were wondering why can’t the P G & E big electrical lines or the lines that they know that are causing fires during windstorms be put underground like they do in big cities. It might be expensive in doing so, but cheaper in the long run, and we would not have to have black-outs. 

Sidney Drabkin

Posted on October 27, 2019 20:39

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