Why are firefighters not paid in the Comox Valley?

Dear editor,

After reading the thank-you letter to the volunteer firefighters by Jackie Sandiford from Merville a question came to my mind. Why are there not paid firefighters in the Comox Valley? This area has grown to over twice the size it was when I moved here in the fall of 1993. I wonder if the cities of Comox, Cumberland, and Courtenay had amalgamated a few years ago, we might have paid firefighters. When we lived in Sointula 1970-1990, the possibility of a fire was always a concern to me. We had a volunteer fire department there, but it was understandable, because we only had a population of 900 people.

My uncle was the chief fire warden of the city of Vancouver. When I shared my concerns with him, his reply to me was “a volunteer fire department is good for the house next door.”

Is there anyone amongst your readership that is able to enlighten me and other readers as to why we do not have a full-time paid fire department in the three cities at least? I expect that the reply will be “it’s too expensive” but I believe that is not a responsible attitude.

Marilyn Crosbie

Courtenay