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Company 2000

Clarksburg
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P.O. Box 2000,
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City firefighters not allowed to volunteer services

Recently, the Clarksburg Fire Department inducted their new firefighters into their so-called Brotherhood, The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). One would think that this would be a plus for the community, but it's not.

In order to become a member of the IAFF, those firefighters had to sign a paper stating that they could no longer volunteer with a non-paid fire department, a volunteer department. The vast majority of this nation receives its fire protection from volunteer firefighters. In West Virginia, all firefighters are required to undertake the same training and abide by the same standards, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), regardless of whether they receive a paycheck. Evidently, the IAFF feels their union members should only help those people who pay them. The irony of this all is the City of Clarksburg has a Class 3 fire insurance rating, which means that the citizens of Clarksburg enjoy a lower fire insurance premium from their insurance underwriter and this can only be achieved by the Clarksburg Fire Department depending on mutual aid agreements with the volunteer fire departments, the same fire departments the IAFF forbids them to be a member of. So for all the citizens protected by a volunteer fire department, you can feel some comfort in the fact that your volunteer fire department is there for the love of it, for the sense of helping others and not just for a paycheck.

Joseph M DeMark

Nutter Fort

A good first step

in 'gray' revenue

Delegate Frank "Chunki" Angotti publicly expressed the need for public employees to receive pay raises from the gray machine proceeds. I must applaud his efforts on behalf of the state educators. Hopefully, the others will follow his lead.

I know the governor is disappointed with the lack of funding for the PROMISE Scholarship, but the initial first step had to be control of the huge, untaxed revenues available from the gray machines.

Moreover, the fraternal organizations have to be commended for their efforts and willingness to compromise in an effort to help everyone.

Tom Brown

Bridgeport

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