June 21, 2018
One year ago, fire fighter Cory Iverson died tragically battling the huge Thompson fire in Ventura county. Only 32 years of age, he left behind a wife and two little ones.
Now comes Neil Rubenstein’s attack on our Culver City fire fighters, who also risk their lives for our safety. Singling out a handful of top earners in the department, he deploys the fallacy of composition in which one argues or implies that something is true of the whole that is only true of a part of the whole.
He focuses on the category of overtime pay, but fails to account for the need for this overtime coverage of the city to keep us safe from the always imminent danger of fire. He also fails to show the cost benefit or lack thereof of hiring more fulltime firefighters such that overtime is less necessary.
On the evening of June 6th, a fire broke out in a unit in my condominium development here in Culver City. Our fire fighters were here within minutes to put it out. Without their quick and professional response, we would have had a large disaster, one endangering the lives and property of over 200 families. Some of those responding fire fighters may have been on overtime. I wonder if Neil Rubenstein would have preferred a later arrival with fewer personnel, simply to save a bit of money.
We all remember the bravery and the risked and lost lives of the fire fighters during the 9/11 attacks in NYC. Long after being lauded by President Bush and many others, when serious pulmonary diseases began to affect many of the surviving fire fighters, those who initially lauded them mostly turned their backs, basically because they did not want to spend the money. Ungrateful. Unkind.
Culver City aspires to be a city of kindness. Let’s not turn our backs unkindly on our fire fighters.
Bruce Lebedoff Anders