January 7, 2010 2:09 PM
The beginning of the New Year marks the completion of two consecutive years without a fire fatality in the City of Madison. That hasn't happened since the early eighties.
Reasons might include a new smoke alarm ordinance, but we shouldn't ignore the fundamental truth that we have a really fine fire service in the City of Madison. From Chief Amesqua on down through the Local 311 union leadership, our firefighters are well-trained, well-equipped and well-led.
We've added two new fire stations in the last four years and soon we'll add a second new ambulance in the same period. That reduces response times around the city, and we know that if we can get to a fire within five minutes, our chances of saving lives is dramatically increased.
And the future looks bright. Just a few weeks ago I greeted the largest class of new recruits in memory. From a group of 1,164 applicants, the chief chose 20. So, we're getting the best of the best.
There's no service more basic than protecting lives and property, and we do that better here than just about anyplace else.