Several wildfires were part of the scene in Colorado this week – one of these is that which spread from a prescribed burn (the State agency had failed to check the weather report that showed extremely high winds), and went on burning anyway.
When a concerned citizen called 911 to report this fire, he was actually cut off by the “public servant” who served at the other end of the line and told that “this was a prescribed burn’ and to stop explaining what was going on – apparently the situation as ordered and dictated by the state agencies were under control.
The man who was calling, and his wife, died in the fire – their remains were found the next day.
My heart goes out to this man and to the families who called these public officials and agencies expressing concern as they saw their own land and community being burned. These people called for help – and their calls went upon deaf ears. There is absolutely no excuse for how this man was treated when he called 911 – and this is a very sad example of how far away we are from having public servants who want to actually serve the public. There are fine exceptions to this rule – but this is a case where a “better-than-thou, smarter-than-thou” person at the other end of the line did not take it upon themselves to help this man. (Isn’t that what they are getting paid to do?). I am sick about this.
At one time, serving and ‘protecting’ your community as a “public servant”, was an honor – a privilege – something that was done as part of this strange desire to do something for others and aid in the positive development of one’s community. Whether it is law enforcement, public services, or representatives – these are people that are getting paid by you and me to perform a service – and they work for “us”. And although every job has its issues – these are people that are put in a position of trust – we are trusting their knowledge and their services. What happened to this man when he called 911, is an example of broken trust – and a breakdown in our social system. Why did this person on the other line not go a step further and actually try to help? Even if they knew this was a “prescribed burn” – since this man lived in the area, couldn’t they double check and send some help?
If someone or something is threatening your life – or the life of another – do we call and ask for help or do we decide to step up and help people ourselves? I am calling on everyone – who reads this and who serves the community as a citizen, or a public servant, or a representative – to remember that we are in service to each other, and it is our job – OUR JOB – to help each other, and to not look the other way, and to do the right thing. WE are our best hope, our only hope, and we must change the path we are on where we are trusting distant souls with no “skin in the game” to help, serve, and protect us. It is up to you and me.
Our job, and our call – this is about self-reliance. The government can do nothing to save us or protect INDIVIDUALS at a local, community level (there is a place for all levels of government – but this fictitious creation cannot protect our lives). That is our job.