The fire at the Schnitzer recycling facility near to the LNG plant last week revealed that the city needs more fire protection, not less – more firefighters, more equipment, another station and a more aggressive fire safety program.
The city has neither the apparatus nor the firefighters to meet the demands of the many new developments and industrial businesses still operating daily in this city.
Fires such as that last week should not occur – but they do. When they occur, and this isn’t very often, they must be met with overwhelming force or they go out of control.
If the fire at Schnitzer had gone out of control, that entire industrial area could have gone up in flames.
That fire could have led to a conflagration.
Luckily, it didn’t.
The city needs to address the current public safety hazard that exists because the fire department is understaffed and without enough apparatus and resources to make a difference in a fire that goes out of control.
More than one ladder truck needs to be ready to answer the alarm.
This is what public safety is all about – preparing for the worst but always hoping for the best.
The city has been spending more time creating an ambulance service than maintaining a firefighting capability to meet the demands of thousands of new apartment units, and the casino and hotel and everything else in the pipeline by the way of development.
Until the city awakens to the new responsibilities that all this development imposes upon the community and the city government, Everett is at risk, and everyone living here should be aware of this.
We owe it to the firefighters who respond when the call comes in for them to be fully equipped and manned up with apparatus sufficient to meet the demands whatever they are.
To do any less is a failure of city government in supporting its most pressing public safety needs.