We deserve equipped fire department

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Once upon a time, Natchez’s fire department was among the best in the state.

Natchez needs an excellent fire department since those firefighters protect lives and property all across the county.

With a historic downtown that contains in some places historic houses adjacent to historic houses, a fire could be catastrophic if left untended.

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The fire department’s personnel still are top-notch in our minds.

Our community has let down the good people who devote their lives to putting themselves in harm’s way to save us when a fire breaks out.

But sadly, technology has changed a good bit in the last several years.

Nearly 16 years ago a group of volunteers saw a lack of technology that other fire departments possessed that ours didn’t — thermal imaging cameras.

The Leadership Natchez class created a fundraiser to purchase one of the cameras in 2000. Sadly though, the camera has become grossly outdated.

Natchez business owners Darby and Dennis Short saw firsthand how brave the Natchez firefighters are when their downtown store burned in November 2014.

But the Shorts also saw how having a better tool — modern thermal imaging cameras — may have allowed firefighters to more quickly snuff out hotspots in the walls of their burned store.

As a result, the couple is trying to raise awareness and money to purchase new thermal imaging cameras for the Natchez Fire Department.

We applaud them for their efforts, wish them the best of success and encourage everyone to consider contributing.

The Shorts never dreamed their store would go up in flames, but it did. Fires happen when we least expect them and the next victim could be you or someone you love. Don’t you want the firefighters coming to your house to be fully equipped with the best technology required to find you — if you’re trapped — or hidden fire in your walls?