Spirit of compromise put out blaze

Published 12:01am Sunday, September 16, 2012

Finally cooler heads and a spirit of compromise brought a quick end to the on-again, off-again dispute over the future of Natchez-Adams County’s fire protection.

The compromise agreement, which continues city fire crews responding to all fires throughout the county, ends the sudden rush to cobble together a replacement in the county.

But the plan stops short of resolving the future of countywide fire protection for good.

City and county leaders agreed to form a commission to explore how best to add satellite fire stations outside the city limits to provide better fire protection for county residents.

That’s a great start; however, we encourage city and county leaders to carefully consider whom they place on the commission. The public needs good, honest people with great communication skills and some visionary potential.

A resident recently suggested a great idea: Rather than only focusing on fire protection, could firefighters in the outer-lying areas of the county be cross-trained as paramedics and provided heart defibrillators and other life-saving equipment?

Some communities have trained paramedic-firefighters respond to all 911 calls in which someone is injured.

In the end, we hope the commission can suggest ways that the city and county can improve fire service and other emergency response services for all residents in Natchez and Adams County.

Out of this temporary period of disagreement, our community has the potential to come out stronger, better and safer.