On February 24th, the Anchorage Daily News reported:
The city has disbanded the Anchorage Fire Department’s wilderness rescue team and cut back some other specially trained teams like divers.The move was made to save $150,000 this year in spending, said Mayor Dan Sullivan.
City firefighters will no longer trek into wilderness areas like Flattop Mountain to rescue people, Sullivan said.
They also will stop taking boats out to save people stranded in Cook Inlet, such as the two 16-year-olds caught in the tide when they tried to walk from Fire Island to shore last June, said the mayor. That’s because the city’s boat needs repairs, he said. The city is asking state legislators for money for a new light-rescue boat, and money to repair the old one.
Other special Anchorage Fire Department teams, such as hazardous materials specialists, swift-water rescuers, climbing specialists and the dive team will be scaled back. The swift-water team, for example, will only operate between breakup and freeze-up, instead of year-round, the mayor said.
I spent some time going through the mayor’s budget. I was looking for what the mayor would spend $150,000 on. It didn’t take long.
What the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks?
So, the mayor “respectfully submitted” the purchase of two Zamboni machines, but doesn’t think the “fall through the ice” rescue team should be funded during the winter months? I wonder if his friendship with Assemblyman Dan Coffey has anything to do with it. Coffey is one of the owners of the Alaskan Aces hockey team. The Aces practice at the Ben Boeke Arena.
What happens when one of the new Zambonies plows into a freon pipe? The cuts to fire department special teams include hazmat responders. They sure came in handy in May 20, 1992.
Hey, Anchorage! You might want to have some hazmat gear in your hockey bag. With the Zambonies we can make ice, just be careful you don’t fall through any if you’re outdoors having a “Big Wild Life.”
This makes me wonder why assembly members even declare a conflict of interest. Epic Fail.