Yup, the decision-makers appreciate the emergency services alright.
CNN’s John King has a short report on some data about firefighters since 9/11 in particular. Only a certain group of organisms known as politicians can in the same breath scare the bejesus out of people by talking non-stop about terrorism and actively seek to cut public safety budgets.
King’s report is mostly likely based on a recent landmark NIST study on the effect of crew sizes and arrival times on fireground operations.
But no matter, at this rate, instead of maintaining some bare minimum level of acceptable staffing, sooner or later the politicians will have the public doing rain dances to put out their own fires and refer all patients to taxi services. I’m waiting for the day the politicians do away with cops and make it mandatory for every member of the able-bodied public to meet a monthly quota for making citizen’s arrests. (Exemptions for themselves, of course.)