Morals burning

Makenzie Murphy, Contributing writer

Fire is closing in. Your house is matter of feet from the flames that are taunting it, threatening to burn down all that you know. But your mind is as ease, knowing that you are safe as one of the few with the funds to buy your own fire-fighting force.

Money is the first thing that comes to mind when something “private” happens. Private venues, private clubs and even private hospital rooms. Private firefighting is no exception. According to the New York Times, Mt. Adams Wildfire offers services that can cost up to $3,000 a day, an astronomical price that many middle wage citizens cannot afford, as an average Californian makes $71,805 a year. A study taken by Mashable between 2003-2012 revealed that the average length of a wildfire is fifty-two days, and every year the time it takes to extinguish the fire grows. At that rate, the price of private firefighting would spike to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is much more than the average person has, but it makes sense why Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had the money to hire their own firefighting force to protect their fifty-million dollar home.

Firefighting is a dangerous job, and lack of communication makes it even more dangerous. Private firefighers are no exception to these dangers. Every time they put on their heavy bunker gear and don their tools, they risk their lives to help someone other than themselves. During an interview with NBC, a firefighter revealed that many first responders express concern that a lack of oversight and communication with private firefighters could add risk to an already dangerous fire situation. These situations already kill almost 4,000 people a year, according to FEMA. In the midst of disaster, accountability is essential to keep track of everyone and provide aid if needed, but most of these private firefighters refuse to play by those rules and check in. They are seen as a responsibility, not helpful, exclaimed by a firefighter interviewed by the LA Times.

Those who volunteer their lives to save others do so at no cost. So why should those better off than most take up the valuable resources and risk the lives of others? Instead of saving all, they save only the rich, and create a greater risk for those who volunteer to fight the blazing fires, rather than the fresh breath of air needed for the battle to continue.