Saturday, October 3, 2015

Location, Location, Location

Ladder 1 and Engine 2 with aerials extended about 75 feet up

About the only thing I'm going to miss with Central Station when the town FINALLY gets around to building a new fire station in South Amherst is the great access the general public has to the department in their heart of the downtown location.

Like today's successful annual Open House, which always coincides with "Fire Prevention Week."  And that's just one of the great things about our local department They would much rather not have your business when it comes to fire.

And a little training can go a long way should the unimaginable ever happen in your home, office or school.  AFD also gets out of their office and takes fire safety training to our schools with the highly successful SAFE (Student Awareness of Fire Education program).

 Demonstrating extraction techniques

Of course the other huge problem the town needs to address is the inadequate staffing levels that all too often requires mutual aid supplementation from a surrounding department and frequent requests for off duty firefighters to report in for "station coverage."

Smokey Bear and Jada

Or, maybe we could just draft Smokey Bear.

Click to enlarge photo
 Why we need an adequate full-time profession FD. Those who fail to learn from history ...


Dr. Ed said...

Kiss Downtown Amherst Goodbye when the Central Fire Station is closed.

It is the last anchor in what has transitioned from a pedestrian-friendly town center to what -- struggling restaurants & small businesses all struggling to harvest the declining stream of revenue harvestable from a UMass student body that increasingly views Amherst as a hostile 'flyover' territory.

A "bottleneck" that they need to be on one side of or the other, hostile territory where they'd best not linger. The days of going to college for "adult" freedom is long gone -- in terms of "beer, bass, & babes" -- the ability to enjoy alcohol, loud music, and pre-marital sexual trysts -- the "College Town" of Amherst is far more restrictive an environment than their parents' homes ever were.

The family of 3-4-5+ children of earlier generations has become the family of 1-2 children, and because mothers had been on birth control pills, we have a lot more twins (including fraternal twins). Hence instead of sharing a bedroom with siblings, these kids grew up with their own bedrooms. Hence the trauma of the oldest kid going to college is combined with that of the "empty nest" -- what was once the obligatory visit home from the freedom of college has become an escape from the fascist cabal of town & gown.

Far too few parents actually parent anymore -- they want to be "friends" with their children, and they wind up more being enablers. Instead of discouraging underaged drinking & partying, far too many parents will actually buy the booze themselves and sometimes even hire an electrician to upgrade the wiring so their son's band can have a concert in the backyard. They think nothing of their college-aged daughter's boyfriend spending the night in her bedroom with her -- they know that she's both been sexually active and "on the pill" since she was 16 or so, and nonchalantly accept that she's having sex with him in the adjacent bedroom.

Long gone are the parental values of modesty & chastity. Where a mother once would lecture their daughters to "get a ring on your finger first", the mother of today wants to hear an intimate discussion of the prior night's sexual acrobatics. The mother/father households of the Baby Boomers are rare today --- more often than not, mother has divorced father (if she was even married to him when daughter was born) and is herself dating.

Hence what once would have been a Mother-Daughter discussion of daughter's boyfriend as a potential husband and father becomes more of a sorority girl conversation about the sexual abilities of their respective boyfriends. And what are often single mothers like to have their sons around to do "guy" things like install/remove AC units, mow the lawn and the rest.

My point: The UMass student of today feels more welcome and more "free" in his/her/its hometown than "at college", and instead of the high school kids going to college parties, the college kids are now going back to their high schools to party. It's causing problems in high school dances...

My point: At least for now, students have to be physically present in their classes at UMass. (That may change.) Otherwise, their focus is elsewhere, and their social lives increasingly bear no relationship to either UMass or the Amherst area. Hence what is to anchor the downtown? The Post Office -- that outfit isn't relevant anymore, and once the FD leaves, there'll be no anchor.

Anonymous said...

That has got to be one of Ed's most ridiculous posts. A giant rambling rant that in no way shows that the central station is an "anchor" or has anything to do with students. Nobody hangs out there and it's locked up tight as a drum. The firefighters don't hang out on the bench out front since it was removed YEARS ago, and they really don't have time to sit on the front bumper and chat much anymore either.
I did get a good laugh about his point of college kids going home to party with the high schoolers. Completely out of touch, Ed.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why they wouldn't keep Central Fire in addition to the other two stations. They could leave ambulances there. At least they would be near the bars for the drunks.

Dr. Ed said...

I did get a good laugh about his point of college kids going home to party with the high schoolers. Completely out of touch, Ed.

Tell that to the high schools that are no longer having dances on Friday nights because too many college students are attending.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:40, the two biggest reasons are that they don't have enough staffing, and because the station is in terrible shape.

Anonymous said...

Which high schools have done that, Ed? Any factual evidence or just more of your hearsay?