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Get training, please!

Date published: 1/13/2013

Get training, please!

Regarding "Training deadline pushed back," [Dec. 20, Star Weekly]: The Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors is putting its foot down, telling volunteer firefighters and EMTs to complete hundreds of hours of training before 2014. Otherwise, desk jobs could be in the future.

What's wrong with that? If my house is burning down and my family is covered in second-degree burns, I want the right people on the scene. I want qualified professionals and qualified volunteers, not good Samaritans.

According to some, however, standards shouldn't be administered to everyone equally. Apparently, running multimillion-dollar companies covers the training requirements. Apparently, years of experience are all you need to be qualified.

If I suffer a stroke and first-responders arrive, I don't have the luxury of picking my caregiver. I trust that the guy in charge of my life is qualified and fully prepared deal with any complications.

Instead, people with leadership experience running companies feel they should be waived. They deserve special privileges.

Now I'm wondering if the EMT is just a Wall Street suit in a costume. Does that volunteer know what he is doing, or is he just living a childhood dream of being a firefighter?

Volunteers must step up and accept responsibility for their position. From firefighters to EMTs, these individuals are expected to be fully qualified and prepared to take someone's life in their hands. If the training proves too difficult, I guess it's a good thing these people are volunteers: There's no need to get fired.

Christopher Weber