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America's Firefighters still Don't Have what They Need to Help Fight 'COVID-19'


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(OPEN):
AMERICA'S FIREFIGHTERS HAVE LARGELY BEEN FORGOTTEN BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT--EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST "COVID-19".  THAT'S ACCORDING TO GARY LUDWIG--THE FIRE-CHIEF IN CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS, WHO ALSO CURRENTLY SERVES AS PRESIDENT OF THE "INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE-CHIEFS"...

(LUDWIG):
"
WE HAVE ALREADY LOST AT LEAST SIX FIREFIGHTERS TO 'COVID-19'--WHILE OTHERS REMAIN ON VENTILATORS.  THERE'VE BEEN MORE THAN A THOUSAND OTHER FIREFIGHTERS THAT HAVE BEEN TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS--AND OVER FIVE-THOUSAND FIREFIGHTERS THAT HAVE BEEN QUARANTINED.  AND, IT'S ONLY BEEN A MONTH INTO THIS CRISIS.  WE STILL CAN'T GET 'PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT' THAT WE MUST HAVE--TO NOT ONLY KEEP US SAFE, BUT ALSO KEEP THE PUBLIC SAFE.  IN FACT, THE 'STRATEGIC NATIONAL STOCKPILE' RARELY GETS THE NEEDED MEDICAL-SUPPLIES INTO THE HANDS OF OUR FIREFIGHTERS IN GREAT NUMBERS."

(BRIDGE):
LUDWIG ADDS THAT FIREFIGHTERS ALSO NEED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE...

(LUDWIG):
"
THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT 'COVID-19' IS HITTING OUR FIRE-DEPARTMENT FUNDING--FROM MULTIPLE DIRECTIONS.  AND, IT THREATENS THE VERY EXISTENCE OF 'E-M-S' AND FIRE-PROTECTION, IN OUR COMMUNITIES:  WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT FEDERAL-HELP, THERE'S ULTIMATELY GOING TO BE LONGER RESPONSE-TIMES, IN MANY AREAS OF THE COUNTRY.  AND, THIS WILL HAPPEN AS FIRE-STATIONS CLOSE--AND VOLUNTEER FIRE-DEPARTMENTS NO LONGER HAVE ANY MONEY TO EXIST.  BUT, IN CREATING THE 'CARES ACT', LAWMAKERS IGNORED THE FACT [THAT] THE FIRE-SERVICE IS THE NATION'S LARGEST PROVIDER OF 'E-M-S':  THE ACT GAVE JUST 100-MILLION DOLLARS TO THE FIRE-SERVICE; COMPARE THAT WITH THE MUCH-NEEDED 850-MILLION THAT LAW-ENFORCEMENT RECEIVED.  THAT'S WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT--WITH CONGRESS WORKING ON THE NEXT 'STIMULUS BILL'--THAT IT WOULD BE TOTALLY DISASTROUS TO KEEP FORGETTING AMERICA'S FIREFIGHTERS."

(CLOSE):
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT "I-A-F-C"-DOT-ORG.



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