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letters | Fighting over firefighters

Critics miss strong safety record

Interim Boston Fire Chief John Hasson.

ARAM BOGHOSIAN FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE/file 2013

Interim Boston Fire Chief John Hasson.

WHAT IS the mission of the Boston Fire Department? Isn’t it to provide fire protection and emergency medical services? The high taxes paid by Boston residents entitles us to expect a rapid response from the Fire Department when emergencies arise. The Globe doesn’t deny that the department has response times that are unmatched throughout the nation. The Globe also admits that the BFD does an excellent job at emergency incidents.

Why then, do we continue to read only negative stories in the Globe about the Fire Department? There was a personal problem between former mayor Tom Menino and the members of the department; the Globe sided with Menino. It got so bad that Menino essentially cut the fire chiefs out of most decision-making.

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Acting Commissioner John Hasson appears to be moving in the right direction by including the top commanders in the field in the decision-making process. Inclusiveness — isn’t that what the Globe likes to see? Would it make sense to put firefighters in charge of the city’s finance or law department, to make decisions regarding the city’s legal issues, investments, and banking? Of course not. Why then, does the Globe feel that it makes good sense to have people better suited to accounting, banking, and finance making decisions that affect the way fires, hazardous-materials incidents, medical emergencies, and car accidents are handled?

For quite some time, the Globe has directed an inordinate amount of attention on the Fire Department, preaching about “much-needed reforms” in a department that, for quite some time, has run pretty well. It’s getting a little bit old. With each new story about the Fire Department, the more the Globe appears like a spoiled child that isn’t getting his way.

Ann Miller

South Boston

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