Monday, 17 June 2024

Bridges: Support Lakeport Fire tax measure

We all need to support the tax measure being proposed by the Lakeport Fire Protection District.

The only thing wrong with the proposed tax is that it should have been brought to us a year earlier. Our lives depend on this measure passing.

Let me explain what is known as the” Rule of Three.”

It is generally accepted by emergency responders that a person can live three minutes without air, three days without water and 30 days without food.

The Lakeport Fire Department is currently staffed by two people who respond to calls as they occur. If you have a heart attack, stroke or an accident halts your breathing, you have about three minutes before your brain starts to die.

If the Lakeport Fire staff are busy with another call, Lakeport currently relies on mutual aid from the Kelseyville Fire Department or the Northshore Fire Department.

While these other fire departments are top-flight emergency responders, they do not have the ability to come to Lakeport in three minutes to save you! If they arrive in four minutes you may be gone.

Every day we are playing Russian roulette whether you know it or not. We need the funding to restore staffing to what we previously had.

How did the situation come to be? Our firefighters are tough, determined people who make do with what they have. They don’t whine! The Board of Directors of the Lakeport Fire Department has grown up in this environment where they don’t waste and they pinch every penny. This mindset can only work so long in a world of rising demands and increased costs.

While you all know I’m the first person to criticize wasteful and unnecessary governmental spending of your hard-earned tax dollars, I’m not worried about the Lakeport Fire Department.

Unlike the city of Lakeport, which spent millions of dollars on projects like street trees that block stop signs, unneeded water meters and extravagant solar projects that could have been acquired without public funds, I feel confident that this won’t happen with the Lakeport Fire Department.

The same mindset that has created our situation will prevent wasteful and unnecessary expenditures. This Board of Directors is frugal to a fault. I’m particularly impressed with one of the new directors who received his fiscal training under past County Administrator Kelly Cox. Mr. Cox always kept the county fiscally sound and I’m sure that his protégé will do his best to do the same with the Lakeport Fire Department.

I urge you to vote for the new fire tax, our lives depend on it.

Bob Bridges lives in Lakeport, Calif.

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