Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Why the Dog in Fire Department?

It was that dreaded time of year when the city council had to approve the new city budget.  The city council chambers was packed with members of a local group known as C.A.N.T. - Citizens Against New Taxes

As the Mayor opened the budget hearing, members of CANT began chanting, "Eliminate government waste - eliminate government waste - eliminate government waste -eliminate government waste." 
Having heard enough of the chanting, one city council member spoke up.  "We have cut all the waste in our city government.  If your group believes there is any waste in our city government, tell us were you think it is."

The leader of CANT stood up from the back of the room and yelled, "The fire department." 
Shocked, the mayor asked, "Where in the fire department do you see waste?" 
"The dog." replied the CANT leader.  The fire department has a dog.   Why?  That dog must be fed, groomed, housed, trained, and exercised, all of which cost local tax dollars.  Why is our fire department so damn special that it needs to have a dog?  I have personally checked with several surrounding cities and none of their fire departments have dogs."  

The mayor saw the fire chief sitting in the room and asked, "Chief, would you come forward and respond to this issue?"
"Sure," replied the chief and he walked up front.

"What exactly is your question?" the fire chief asked the members of CANT?

A member of CANT yelled, "Why does your fire department have a dog?"

Before the chief could respond another member of CANT yelled, "Does that dog help you fight fires?" 
"No," said the chief.

Another member then yelled, "Does that dog help with crowd control when you fight a fire?"
"No," said the chief.

Well, does the dog bring your fire department good luck when you're fighting fires?" another chuckled. 
"No again," the chief said.

"Well then, why in heaven’s sake is your department so damn special that it needs a dog when other cities don't have dogs in their fire departments?" the CANT leader asked.

"That's easy," said the chief.  "Three years ago, because of your organization's concerns to lower local taxes, the city council voted to terminate six full-time fire fighter positions.
Two years ago, because of your group's demands to reduce taxes, the city council voted to eliminate the global positioning system (GPS) software in our fire fighting vehicles.  And last year, because of your organization's demands to freeze taxes, the city council passed a resolution banning all city departments from purchasing new maps, reference guides, and plat books," said the chief.

"What does any of that have to do with our question tonight about the damn dog in the fire department?" asked the leader of CANT.  "Will you please tell us why your fire department needs to have a dog?"
"Sure," said the chief.  "That's simple; we need the dog to help our volunteer fire fighters locate the fire hydrants when they arrive at the scene of the fire."

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