The article "Noisy or not?" in this morning's Register-Star reports that, according to several witnesses, some of Hudson's volunteer firefighters brought out the department's giant ladder truck, the "AerialCat," last Saturday night to untangle the flag displayed on the restaurant American Glory, which had gotten wrapped around its pole. As restaurant owner Joe Fierro recounted it, "a volunteer fireman was at the restaurant, noticed the flag and offered to fix it." The article goes on to report that Chief Robert Pulver said he had no knowledge of the incident.
This raises a legimate question for Hudson taxpayers. What authorization is required to take a firetruck out of the fire station? Obviously when there's a fire, any volunteer firefighter trained to drive a firetruck does so to get personnel and equipment to the scene. But what about when there isn't a fire--or any other kind of emergency? Who decides what is an appropriate use of the City's firefighting equipment?
According to the article, Fierro has offered--"if people think something improper occurred"--to reimburse the City "for the diesel expended by the truck during the process." Whether or not the City takes Fierro up on his offer, it might be instructive--for the Fire Department and for the people of Hudson--to calculate and publish the cost of deploying the AerialCat (a.k.a. Tower 32) and all the other large emergency vehicles used by the department.