Sunday, December 25, 2011
Fireman Murphy--Letter to the Editor of the Ocean City Patch
To the editor:
Your story about the efforts of Ocean City Councilmen Keith Hartzell and Scott Ping’s proposal to save millions of taxpayer dollars over time without reducing any personnel while maintaining the same level of service was interesting on more than one level. First, it revealed that it is possible to do by assigning EMTs to do EMT jobs instead of Firemen. Significant savings would result by reducing firemen overtime while still maintaining three dual role EMT/firemen where needed to run the ambulances for all shifts.
It was also interesting on another level. Union President, John Murphy’s comment: “It’s hard to see how a paper salesman and a butcher can come up with a proposal without any further expertise.” However Councilman Hartzell had clearly put much time and effort in his study of the department, including information he obtained from Fire Chief Foglio. Besides being intelligent businessmen dedicated to serving their community, Hartzell and Ping appeared as if they were the only Councilpersons who were not intimidated by the Firemen in the back of the room mumbling occasional heckles. Not a single other Councilperson uttered a comment or question. Were they afraid? Uninterested? What?
Fireman Murphy’s comment seems to reveal an attitude that the elected people’s representatives should stay out of their business. I hope I am wrong. We appreciate the services our firemen provide. But it should be made clear that they are employed to serve the public, not the other way around.