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Our First Responders deserve better
Public Forum.jpg

To the editor:

Well, just got caught up on reading back issues of the Great Bend Tribune, as I was out of town over Christmas and now I understand the calls asking about the article in the paper on Dec. 22.

Many people wanted to know what it was all about because they thought that when they voted for the sales tax for the First Responders Pension Plans, they were sending the message that they were wanting the wasteful spending of training people for other communities to stop. They, unfortunately, assumed they made that message clear to the members of our governing body on the city council. Now they are asking how this happened.

Now the council is still pondering whether or not to make the change that would allow this to happen. It seems plain to me that these First Responders know what it is going to take to keep good people here in Great Bend to be a part of the team. Why is it so hard for the members of the council to hear their plea? Why do we stay with a plan out of Washington, DC, that has not worked for many, many years instead of the KP&F Plan that

has been working in other cities for years?

I ask the members of the council to consider what these First Responders are going through. Try going to work each day with one hand tied behind your back! They are short staffed and have a high risk job. When they receive a call they are expected to hit the ground running. It’s not easy to do when you are short staffed. Most likely you will stumble and fall, which is not an option for them. Too many lives depend on them.

We voted to build a new Police Station, but it will do very little for the officers if they are short of officers to back them up on a call. We replaced waterlines and fire hydrants for better pressure when fighting fires, but it will do very little if you don’t have enough firefighters to operate the equipment. We have top of the line ambulances, but without enough trained EMTs to care for the patient they are useless.

Our First Responders deserve better. Quit turning a deaf ear. It is time for you to let your council member know your feelings on this issue. Seems we need to voice our opinions loud and clear to get the message out. Now is not the time to back off! We need the change in order to move forward for the good of our city. How long must we wait to get this problem solved? Your council member has the opportunity to do it now. Call them and let them know it is time to act on this for the sake of our First Responders.

Thanks for listening, again.

Marge Bieberle

Great Bend