Reader enlightened by letters about ESDs

To the Editor:

The past few weeks I have been reading your “Letters to the Editor” and became concerned regarding Crosby’s EMS and Fire Department. I must admit, I have never, in the 13 years I have lived here, given any though to these Departments. Probably, because I have been fortunate enough to never have had a need for these for them. I had always assumed out Fire Department was paid. As a resident of Crosby and homeowner in Newport, I decided it was time to educate myself on these organizations. I have found that the majority, if not all, of the blatant accusations being written are totally unfounded.

EMT’s, I believe Mr. Houston Hooper’s Letter to the Editor spoke volumes. Allow me to reiterate “…our vehicles are not equipped with X-ray machines…” These EMT’s are not Doctors and when it comes to my personal safety I would rather them “err on the side of caution” also.

The Crosby Volunteer Fire Department consists totally of volunteers. The Fire Chief and his Safety Officer place all volunteers through extensive training before they are released to “run” calls. Many of Crosby’s volunteer firemen are full-time firemen in the surrounding areas. Fire trucks are dispatched to motor vehicle accidents through the Harris County Dispatch Services. Usually, when a fire truck has been requested it was by the initial 911 caller. If there is a fire truck on scene there is a reason for them to be there, whether Joe Q. Public is aware of it or not. Entrapped passengers, First Aid, oil leaks, and gas leaks, are among the few reasons that the Fire Department may be needed.

As for the complaints regarding dispatchers. These dispatchers dispatch for 16 departments, the entire East Harris County area, and some West side areas. They are located on Beltway 8 by I-45. These dispatchers are from all over Houston and the surrounding areas, how can you expect these dispatchers to know the difference between Reidland Road and Reidland Avenue, they are not residents of Crosby. These dispatchers type in the address given them, ore the cross street, and the computer automatically communicates the Key Map Number. Despite their extensive training, they can only rely on the information given them by the caller. Harris County Dispatch is paid by each department they cover on an annual basis based on the number of calls they dispatch.

These are volunteer firemen and some EMT’s. No matter what time of day or night, these brave men and women are leaving their families (and sometimes their jobs) in an attempt to get to their station as soon as safety possible. I personally have seen these volunteers in their personal vehicles with their lights flashing and most drivers are not considerate enough to move to the shoulder. I have often wondered, if it were their home, or their family member in a car accident would they give them the right-of-way?

After educating myself on these two wonderfully dedicated departments I am now in favor of the sales tax increase. There is no price too high for the protection of my family and loved ones and $.02 for every dollar I spend in this wonderful community is not too high a price to pay.

To Mr. Joe Price, thank you for your letter enlightening me on my ignorance, I hope I have paid the favor in return.

Candice Richter,
Crosby Taxpayer