Posted on 27 June 2013 by LeslieM

RE: Resident wants to take back Fire Dept.

Dear Editor:

Dr. Lasser’s letter “Residents want to take back Fire Department,” [which ran in the June 20 Observer newspaper] is alarming and misses the point.

Proposing to cut the Fire Rescue budget 25-50 percent is outright dangerous and absurd.

Right now, the average response time that BSO Fire Rescue achieves is 4.6 minutes. The national benchmark is 3- 6 minutes.

The significant cut Dr. Lasser proposes will mean fewer firefighters and equipment. Under his plan, it will take longer for firefighters to arrive with enough people and equipment to save lives and put out fires.

Dr. Lasser’s plan WILL mean the difference in possibly saving someone’s life and/or property.

And with the current response time, BSO Fire Rescue is on track to achieve an ISO (Insurance rating) of Class 1. Class 1 designation will likely mean reductions in property insurance rates for businesses and homeowners.

However, an increase in response time under Lasser’s plan will likely also mean an increase in insurance rates for businesses and homeowners.

Deerfield Beach (including Hillsboro Beach) has seen a dramatic improvement in Fire and EMS response since BSO started providing services in October 2011.

Property saved: over $1,002,320. The investment taxpayers have made in this asset has paid off handsomely in terms of public safety.

Everyone should see Dr. Lasser (and his radical opinion) for who he is — a wealthy gas and oil consultant, who seems more concerned about making political statements than he is with the safety of the citizens of Deerfield.

Walter J. Dix

Ft. Lauderdale

Editor’s note: Walter J. Dix is president of Broward County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Captain, with BSO Fire Rescue for 35 years of service.

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