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Instead of calling 911 for your emergency, call the mayor instead

To The Daily Sun,

I wanted to respond to the article "Laconia Firefighters rack up more than $600,000 in overtime," in which Mayor Engler, president of The Laconia Daily Sun Ed Engler, goes on record as to say that the Laconia Fire Department is gaming the system.

I have been saying this for years, and it is refreshing to hear such an accomplished renaissance man share the same opinion as me. I mean just look at the oasis that is Laconia — you have Ed Engler to personally thank for that.

Anyway, let's talk brass tacks. I am tired of the gross incompetence and abuse by the LFD. Lobster Night should only be one night a week, for starters. Just look at the Fire Department today, with their expensive haircuts and baby seal leather jackets, embroidered with diamonds. What's the point of the diamonds? They won't shine after a fire, and given the wear and tear I doubt they will stay adhered. Not to mention, I haven't seen a Fire Department with two Jacuzzis ever. I mean I understand that if one breaks down you need a back up, but seriously? Come on Laconia!

Why do we sit back complacently during one of the largest heroin epidemics to hit New England while our medics respond to calls donned in the most palatial regalia, their own names ornately stenciled into their 1,800-thread-count egyptian silk shirts as if to say, "Yes, I make more money than all of you." For shame, LFD.

Clearly, we need to take an example from a politician, who understands misuse and corruption at its heart. Engler has such a vested interest in stamping out misappropriated funds that it keeps him up at night ... so much so that occasionally he must appropriate time during public meetings to compensate for lost sleep. He reacts swiftly and justly, going straight to the newspaper he owns in a tacitly passive-aggressive tone declares the whole system to be a game, in which the selfish money-grubbing lifesavers are winning. Well not today buddy!

Let's publish all LFD salaries individually, including what they made in overtime compensation, with no real context to the numbers. Well LFD, I certainly hope it was a humbling experience. We should rename it to The Rockefeller's Union of Better-Thans. It's about time Mayor Engler took a stand.

In order to do my part in fighting this money-hungry social service, I have concluded the best way to address this is to invest in the private sector. So instead of calling 9-1-1 for my emergencies and fire, I will call Ed Engler at his house directly and ask what should I do? Considering he probably has more money than those salaries combined, he is clearly qualified to address fire and emergency needs of the community, and will do so without declaring overtime.

Ben Lassen
Belmont

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Time to think about how Tilton/Northfield fire service is delivered

To The Daily Sun,

As a "flatlander" from Connecticut who has lived in the Tilton/Northfield area for many years, I find myself fascinated that T/N has 24/7 fire and EMT coverage. I also note that proposals have been made to replace the old station and I have read with interest the budgetary and overtime issues in Laconia.

Connecticut, my home state, has many all-volunteer fire departments. For example my hometown of Old Saybrook, with a population around 12,000, has no paid fire or EMT staff other than a fire marshal/chief. The annual budget is around $300,000. They have a five-bay modern fire station and small building for ambulances.

Close by is Wethersfield with a population over 25,000. The operation there is about the same.

I have been told that T/N in the distant past was all-volunteer. With a budget around $2 million it might be time to think about how this service is delivered.

Rick Honer

Tilton

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