Some tips on how not to respond to a house fire

Some tips on how notto respond to a house fire
Let me start out by saying that I am one of those 15 firefighters who will effectively lose my job through no fault of my own. I am a trained professional who has invested countless hours and dollars to become so. I use very expensive and complicated equipment, with the assistance of many others like myself in order to protect life and property, and do pretty much any task the people ask of us.
To suggest in an editorial of July 29 that "being a good neighbor" can make up for the loss of safety forces is not only irresponsible, it is dangerous too.
So, since you seem to advocate taking a more active role, allow me to educate you about a few things having to do with fire. First of all, if you see a house full of thick black smoke, stay out. Going in will simply make the fire department have to find and rescue an additional person. The smoke given off by modern building products, plastics, couch cushions, lead paints, and the many other items found in the house will kill you in two or three breaths.
If you do manage to get through the smoke and happen to find the fire, expect temperatures that could rise to 1,300 degrees. This is hot enough that one breath will sear your lungs, cause them to form blisters, and drown a person in their own bodily fluids. If you avoid the fire and find a person, good luck trying to drag him out through a pitch black, smoky, loud, unfamiliar and confusing environment. This task is usually reserved for two fully equipped firefighters in peak physical condition.
Should you leave your house and find your neighbor's house blowing fire out the windows, think of this: The fire department may be as far as 7 minutes away, if they have been called and if they have a truck left to respond. Fires burn hot enough to blister the paint on a car parked at the curb. You will be lucky if you're able to save your own house from burning in this instance. The best advice I could give you in this case is to evacuate your family from your home and hope the fire department gets there before it is too late. There is no question that your neighbor's house will burn to the ground; the only question is if you and the neighbor to the far side will have homes to sleep in.
In closing, no one wants to advocate more taxes, least of all myself, a city resident. I must ask Mr. Editor, do you live in the city? Do you depend on the safety forces to keep you and your family safe at night?
X The writer is a firefighter and member of IAFF Local 312.
If YSU employees strike, who will clean the mess?
First, I would like to say that I wholeheartedly agree with John DeSimone's previous letter concerning Youngstown State University, President Sweet, and impending strikes. Second, in the July 25 edition of The Jambar, President Sweet states that "we look forward to a constructive and positive resolution of union negotiations. Every effort will be made to accomplish this goal, and YSU will be opened as scheduled on Monday, Aug. 26. & quot;
Exactly which union negotiations was he referring to? Currently, the YSU-ACE union for classified staff is schedule to strike Aug. 16 as their contracts expire the day before. Students and the Youngstown community should find it disturbing that Sweet has allowed it to get to this point. If the classified staff walk on Aug. 16, who will process paychecks, student loans, or transfers? Who will check out library books, organize departments, and deliver mail? President Sweet and his evolving office of cronies? Highly unlikely.
Besides the unfortunate employees who do not wish to strike, the losers in this situation are the students, who will lose time and money if this situation is not rectified. Goodbye Sweet, hello federal mediators, perhaps they can fix his mess.
X The writer is a graduate assistant/graduate student at YSU.
Zoning hearings don't have to be uncivil affairs
I had the unfortunate experience of attending a zoning hearing in Austintown on July 22. The purpose of the hearing was for the trustees to listen to residents' comments regarding a PUD development (Planned Unit Development) that Mr. Jim Carsone, president of Mark IV Builders, planned to construct along with single family homes off North Turner Road in the vicinity of Meander Reservoir, and for the trustees to decide whether to allow or deny a zoning variance for a development of this nature.
Mr. Carsone, who was president of the Home Builders Association of the Mahoning Valley in 2001, is an exceptional builder and community conscientious individual. Many residents who were in attendance at the hearing expressed their concerns about increased traffic on North Turner Road, voiced their displeasure at the thought of numerous trees being cut down in the Meander area, and their concerns with the preservation of wildlife. Their concerns were understood by all.
Mr. Carsone respectfully sat through the entire meeting listening and taking into consideration all of their concerns. Towards the end of the lengthy meeting, Trustee Richard Edwards made a motion to prolong the decision regarding the variance another 20 days. Mr. Carsone then asked to address the residents and the trustees, stood up to give his final closing comments and sales pitch per say, and was abruptly and obnoxiously scolded by Mr. Edwards and was told by Mr. Edwards that he really didn't care what Mr. Carsone thought. This outburst by Mr. Edwards was unwarranted. A few residents applauded Mr. Edwards' impudent behavior; the majority appeared to be sitting in astonishment as I was.
As a resident of this community, I felt embarrassed by Mr. Edwards' actions. I have sat through several trustee meetings and listened to Mr. Edwards speak derogatorily about The Vindicator, Bertram de Souza, Judge Limbert, The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber and now he has shown utter disrespect to a prominent builder who has shown interest in investing in our community.
When I attend a trustee meeting, I do not care to hear the political views of any of the trustees. Also, when you have a large gathering of residents who attend a meeting to learn the fate of their community, the trustees are expected to come to the meeting prepared to render an unbiased decision regardless of the political ramifications and the residents should not have to wait another 20 days. My deepest apologizes to Mr. Carsone.
X The writer is a Real Estate agent/Marketing Coordinator and Co-Chair for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber Austintown Council
Belated, pleasant surprise
My husband, William J. Schmidt, is a World War II veteran. He received a Purple Heart for wounds at the battle of Anzio.
To our amazement and delight a letter and a certificate just arrived from the French government thanking him for helping France during World War II. A couple of days later a letter arrived from the War Department in Philadelphia and inside the package was a second Purple Heart and seven other medals. He had also been wounded in Germany.
The medals took a long time coming -- 57 years -- but he was so joyful and grateful to his country and proud to be an American. What a heritage to leave to his children and grandchildren.
William is 82 now and not many World War II veterans are still living.
How sad that they will never live long enough to see the World War II monument being built.
As a wife of a World War II veteran I would like to salute all other veterans.
Giant Eagle has no regard for people of Valley
Another local employer has disappeared from our area's economy. It looked for a while like the deal with the Snyder people from Minnesota would at least save many of the jobs and even create some at the distribution warehouse in Austintown. However, once again the public interest of our Valley will take a back seat to a corporate interest, this time that of Giant Eagle Corp.
Giant Eagle has been having its way with our Valley since they first came here in the early '80s and shook up the Tamarkin Company (remember Valu-King grocery stores?) This was when my best friend, Steve, a Tamarkin employee, packed up his family and moved to the Phoenix area.
Later it was the Giant Eagle interests that really got perturbed by Mr. Monus' accounting practices (wasn't he ahead of his times in the light of recent corporate behavior?) This was when my sister, Nora, who worked for five years in the Phar-Mor offices, was replaced by a Giant Eagle employee with less experience.
Now my other sister, Ana, is employed in the computer room at Phar-Mor and again Giant Eagle is involved in terminating the job of someone dear to me.
I would like to take an opportunity to agree with Tamco employee Debbie Pasquale in saying "You'll never see me in a Giant Eagle."