To the Editor:
Who will carry your water?
Our community is being asked to support the construction of a new fire station in John Day. The decision to move forward with a bond proposal is never timely. Often our first reaction is simply say, “No”, forcing those who ask to make do with what they have. Unfortunately, simply making do with our old fire station is no longer an option.
The fire department facility is in poor condition and is woefully inadequate to house the larger, more advanced equipment required to train and support a modern fire department. As our community and our infrastructure ages, we need to ensure that our firefighters, who faithfully respond to our calls for help, have the apparatus, training and facilities to meet the ever changing needs of our community.
Decades ago our mothers and fathers, grandparents and neighbors recognized that in order for their community to thrive and grow, they had to develop and invest in their community. From schools to fire stations, those initial investments came with what I believe to be an unspoken obligation to those that would follow - an obligation and responsibility to maintain and, when necessary, rebuild the facilities as they failed, aged out or became outdated and unsafe.
They did, and for over 60 years their investment has paid off. They built police and fire departments, schools and a hospital during these times of boom and bust, investing even when times were hard. We have reaped the benefit in the form of a fire department which, without fail, has responded to every call for service we have asked of them.
Let’s continue to demonstrate the same pride and sense of community as our predecessors. Let’s honor their legacy and our future. Let’s carry our own water and build a new fire station in John Day.
(John Day Rural Fire District)