Editorial: What have we learned?Published 8:47am Friday, June 22, 2012
Today wraps up a six-part series by City Editor Sarah Stultz on the Albert Lea Fire Department.
What has been learned?
We have learned that the Albert Lea Fire Department does so much more than fight fires. The firefighters assist in medical calls. They extract people from crashed automobiles. They rescue people and machines from water, in cold and warm weather. They take the lead in search parties looking for missing people. They inspect buildings to see if they meet building codes. They clean City Hall. They do all sorts of fire prevention work, from changing batteries in smoke detectors for folks to going to schools to educate our children. The list seems endless. They even check blood pressure for people.
And on top of those tasks, they fight fires, as today’s story clearly depicts. It is worrisome how cuts in a fire department can impact how swiftly firefighters can save structures and, more importantly, save lives.
They are just as essential to the safety and welfare of the people of Albert Lea as the police officers and any other department in the city. Albert Lea wouldn’t be the same great place to reside without a quality and property trained and staffed fire department.
That is what we have learned from this six-part series. Quality of life is about more than good schools, low crime and nice parks. It also means peace of mind, knowing there are firefighters ready to help in a wide array of emergency situations.