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Thanks for Reporting on Grants for Alameda Firefighter Wildfire Training

Dear Editor,

Thank you for reporting on the grant that Alameda’s firefighters received to learn how to fight wildfires. Once as children, my brother and I accidentally ignited some dead grass with a magnifying glass. We were able to put it out before our mother caught us. We have lived in fear of wildfires in Alameda since that day.

Anyone who has lived here for any period of time knows of the terrible horror wildfires have caused, as they raced from one end of the island to the other, wreaking millions of dollars in destruction, displacing wildlife and families before finally being stopped at the water’s edge. It is great to see that this new grant will guarantee that Alameda firefighters have finally acknowledged this shortcoming that has existed for decades, and are now focused on eliminating it, even if it means having to train on “overtime.”

I heard from a former City of Alameda official that when they closed Fire Station #5, over 2,000 hours of pornography were found. So I will be proud to vote for Measure C and a new fire station next door to an all weather lighted sports field, with an indoor swimming pool and other needed training facilities for water rescue and fighting “wildfires,” and waiting for the next major earthquake even if it takes 50 years. (1906 – 1989 = 83 years, so 50 more years?)

The book shelves in the new fire station will be filled with porn e-books to fill the wait. New fire trucks can be painted to look like Safeway home delivery trucks to fool the residents. Haa Haa. The firefighters will be laughing all the way to their homes in counties that do not have to pay the sales tax. This is what they got for their $40,000 effort to elect their own private City Council – legislation on demand, to make up for the 3% pay increase the Council was going to vote for until that silly incident where Raymond Zack showed what tax dollars really bought under this Council.

The firefighters’ loyalty rightfully is to their union, and the generous benefits it has extracted from the City of Alameda. 48 hours on (sleeping for 16 hours, shopping, cooking and eating for 8-10 hours,) then four days off to recuperate from such an ordeal, while earning a minimum of $175,000 per year.

They need time to plan and shop for their next meal instead of cross-training to fix their run-down, seismically unsafe, buildings the way residents in Alameda do. So what if Newark and San Leandro can save 10% or more, over $3 million to $4 million per year, by contracting with the County? What could Alameda possibly do with an extra $3 or 4 million dollars a year?

Anyone who thinks the bought-and-paid for Alameda City Council should do anything for the meek-minded citizens with Measure C funds, before providing each and every item the firefighters need to do their jobs to serve and protect the citizens, has mistaken loyalties and facts.

Please keep the Council from LOCKING PRIORITIES IN BEFORE THE VOTE. That way, the Council and City Staff can promise each special interest group that which each special interest wants most, whether it be a museum, swimming pool, sports field, fire trucks, fire station, fire training fields etc. without having to deliver on any of them. It can dupe unsuspecting voters into going for it. And it can convince voters to ignore those words parents, educators and others said when they were growing up:




(The author of this submission is known to Action Alameda News, but they asked that their name not be published with the letter.)

2 comments to Thanks for Reporting on Grants for Alameda Firefighter Wildfire Training

  • John Thomson

    Great way of putting it. However we should not minimize the earthquake risk! The USGS tells us the Hayward fault could rupture at any time. The USGS indicates that there is a 31% chance of a 6.7 or greater quake virtually underneath Alameda on the Hayward Fault in the next 30 years. ( ) and 21% chance of a similar quake on the San Andreas Fault. Don’t forget that the Hawyard fault had an estimated 6.8/7.0 quake in 1868 (“The Great San Francisco quake” before 1906), with ground rupture from San Leandro to Warm Springs. ( and look at the PDF report about risks ) Those recent “bumps” that we felt were all on the Hayward fault in Berkeley and Oakland and indicate the Hayward fault is active and under stress.

  • carol

    Yes, we do live in Earthquake Country. Everyone lives with some kind of risk. I’m glad we don’t have tornadoes!
    However, this projected statistical quake risk is being used to help justify Measure C because the current 911 basement location is “seismically unsafe”. Guess what happened to it during the Loma Prieta? [which knocked the back off of MY house] ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! [from a conversation with Doug DeHaan]. If Alameda’s EmergOpCtr rode out the 1989 quake w/o a scratch, it will be OK in anything short of one that dumps Alameda completely into the Bay. In which event, no EmergOpCtr will be adequate anyway. The “FAQs about Measure C” implies that the Police Bldg sits on soil subject to liquefaction. NOT TRUE. It sits on Alameda’s original land mass, right next to where the railroad was in the 1800’s, not on fill. Government is once again using quake scare tactics to get you to approve an unnecessary tax. Don’t fall for it!

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