To the Editor:

I couldn’t help noticing the disappointment throughout Belton referencing city officials finding it difficult to keep firefighters employed as well as firefighters turning down job offers.

I recently heard City Council member David Leigh make a stupid comment about first responders.

I think he said this to justify pay rate for Belton firefighters. In other words, no accountability.

In his comments, Mr. Leigh attempts to redefine “first responders” by reclassifying all other emergency services as lower than policemen.

His belief is that policemen are the true first responders because they arrive first on the scene which is false.

Go here to hear Belton City Councilman David Leigh lower first responders and elevate police as the real first responders; https://www.beltontexasgov.com/Compress_1555691153544.mp3

First responders are those brave men and women who respond to emergencies in our communities and protect the public. They include firefighters, EMTs and paramedics, search & rescue teams, emergency management personnel, and others.

In fact, many first response is between 911 dispatch and citizens.

Are they less than police?

When we consider those, who train for these life-threatening situations as part of their careers, hospital staff, paramedics, firefighters, and police come to mind. But first responders to many emergencies are not medical staff or law enforcement at all but are security officers.

Mr. Leigh fails in his biased comments to explain that policemen typically provide first aid level care, CPR, and automated external defibrillator (AED) usage and are not a substitute for more advanced emergency medical care rendered by emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics.

Certified First Responders receive much more training than someone who is trained in basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Maybe David Leigh’s attempt to place cops on a pedestal above all first responders is an effort that will benefit him in the future during a traffic stop.

Joe Trevino Jr.

Belton

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