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Letter: Loss of vital fire equipment more than just a paper cut

Two fire apparatus closures in Plan B of the 2013 Anchorage budget do not sound like a major cut. However, the permanent closure of Truck 11 in Eagle River and Engine 15 in Anchorage in combination with the cascading fire station closures scheduled in 2013 will leave areas of Anchorage without adequate fire and paramedic coverage.

Truck 11 is needed for successful structure fire rescue of Eagle River residents and extrication of motor vehicle accident victims on the Glenn Highway. Closure sets up for the inevitable situation when needed fire resources, coming from Anchorage, cannot reach the fire or assist with a motor vehicle accident due to a traffic jam on the Glenn Highway.

Before Engine 15, the Southport neighborhood had long response times. A longer response time will directly translate to increased property damage from fire loss and a decrease in your ability to survive a medical emergency if a lifesaving intervention is needed.

AFD routinely has a high volume of emergency calls occurring simultaneously. Cutting already thin resources is a disservice to our community.

— Michelle Weston