Good intentions, bad results

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist acts against our country, the United States has been striving towards preventing such an event in the future, but alsostriving towards being better prepared to respond to such an event should it happen again.

This preparedness has been regarded as necessary in both rural and urban areas.

There are advantages to such readiness that go beyond the ability to respond to terrorism. Much of the equipment and training that would be useful in case of terrorism would also be useful in the event of unintentionally caused or natural disasters.

There has been a trend to require emergency service personnel, even volunteers performing rescue or firefighting in rural areas, to take ever- increasing amounts of training. This was true even before 9/11, and that event has only accelerated that process.

Nobody questions that the training has value, but the requirements go beyond what is practical for people who have careers to pursue. Perhaps some people would like some life beyond their jobs and volunteer work.

The bureaucrats who make rules need to keep in mind that not everybody lives in a metropolitan area. Having someone available for rescue operations who is not perfectly trained is infinitely better than having no one available at all.

Enough, already, with the rules!