Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Government In Action

It's fashionable in some quarters to bash "the government".

If you ask the folks just up the road in Columbus how they feel about government, you may get a mixed bag of answers. If you ask them how they feel about their fire department, I’m pretty sure nobody will have a bad word to say, particularly after the big chemical fire.

Yes, the Columbus Fire Department is the government. Most of them true volunteers. Patriots. Responsible for covering 280 square miles. Acting Chief Tom Perry can be very proud of his department. It took them a mere seven minutes to be on the scene of the chemical fire.

While some will toss brickbats at them and second-guess their initial offensive response, to attempt to douse the fire with water, I’ll do no such thing. They recognized quickly that this was a part of the chemical plant where using water would be dangerous, and they adjusted their approach to defensive mode in an instant.

They trained for this, they actually had a working plan set up with company officials, and they executed the plan efficiently.

And the other firefighters who immediately responded and helped, from Dane and Dodge County? Government.

While the ditto-heads bash government and Reverend Limbaugh preaches about the evils of government, and while it does have spectacular shortcomings at times, on a very personal and very daily local level it works.

Stamps cost another two cents, but it’s still a bargain for the service we get. For millions of Americans, the postal service delivers those Social Security checks every month. EVERY month. Another government program that WORKS.

Police still patrol our neighborhoods, protect us, and do their best to catch the bad guys. And when emergencies arise, like the fire at the chemical plant in Columbus, the government swings into action and deals with the problem.

The fire gets controlled, people get warned and are evacuated by local police and sheriff‘s deputies, and it’s all because the government in Columbus works.

Next time you feel the need to bash the government, remember not to paint with too broad a brush. Sometimes the government is the young father down the street who leaves his home on a moment’s notice, dons his turnout gear, and runs TOWARD the danger.

1 comment:

  1. I won't second-guess their initial offensive response. They were informed (erroneously, it turned out) that there was nothing in that part of the plant that would react badly to water.