The City Council will have to carefully consider the future of Sierra Madre’s fire service. The current structure of the City’s Fire Department requires review to ensure that it is safe and sustainable. Sierra Madre has a long and proud tradition of relying on volunteer firefighters and paramedics to augment the City’s fire service. Over time, we have shifted to a hybrid force, with some full- and part-time paid personnel and some volunteers. Changes in State regulations governing the certification of fire fighters means that volunteers must receive the same training as full time staff. Once trained, these volunteers quickly find paid employment in other communities, and we cannot offer them similar opportunities. This means that we can no longer attract and sustain enough volunteer participation to ensure that our Fire Department is always fully staffed and ready to respond to emergencies.
Obviously when that bit of woe was written earlier this year the end was near. Then, in an October 4, 2017 article titled "After nearly 100 years, Sierra Madre gets all-full-time fire department," the Pasadena Star News (link) described the final passing of the last volunteer fire department in Los Angeles County this way.
Which leads us to the this. Earlier in the week a resident had forwarded me the following solicitation for money from an organization called the Sierra Madre Volunteer Fire Fighters' Association. Not necessarily averse to charitable giving during the Christmas holiday season, the resident still wondered why a volunteer fire department that no longer existed might still be asking for money.
Here is what I was forwarded:
It is always important that any organization soliciting donations for charity operate in the most ethical and upright of ways. And doing so in the name of a volunteer public service organization that no longer exists doesn't quite rise to that standard.
Hopefully someone can explain this and set our minds at ease.