California bill calls for better firefighter support – Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2022-05-20 21:33:54 –

The young wildfire season is already aggressive, as wildfires burn from California to New Mexico and Texas. And for those charged to extinguish the flames, it’s exhausted.

“Undoubtedly, empathy and compassion are two of the greatest strengths we bring to our work, but they are the path to injury,” said strong responder founder Ronda Kelly.

In California, parliamentarians are looking at steps to dramatically increase the number of people in the state’s Fire Department, and are desperate to ease tensions.

“We will hire additional firefighters to ensure that these fires are addressed faster, safer and more efficiently,” said State Senator Brian Jones. rice field. “This is the government’s main responsibility to keep us safe.”

Jones is one of the authors of the bill that just passed the Senate Committee on Thursday.

With the Governor’s signature, more than 1,000 firefighters will be added to the state roster.

“These firefighters are working 24 hours a day, 48 hours a day, 72 hours a day without any worries,” said Patrick Walker, Vice President of Cal Fire Firefighters Local # 2881. “By bringing in fresh firefighters, they can rest, start over and continue their aggressive attacks.”

It will also make it a constitutional requirement to provide stronger funding to government agencies.

This kind of tension is not a stranger to firefighters in wildfire-prone states.

In Boulder, Colorado, Lieutenant Tyler Capron leads a support group of firefighters to get help when needed.

“Early, it wasn’t easy to talk about the phone that influenced me,” he said. “It’s one thing to say,’I’m here for you.’ It’s another to feel that support. It’s okay if it’s not okay. But it’s okay not to reach out. . ”

As climate change prolongs and intensifies the fire season, the first coast-to-coast responders will need assistance to continue.

“It’s a year-round fire season, that’s what we say now,” Walker said. “We need staffing all year round.”

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