CA state and local governments deem inmate brush firefighters a valuable asset that makes good sense. But the idea of forming CIVILIAN VOLUNTEER brush firefighting brigades to fight the fires and protect homes when these fires approach housing areas is somehow not safe — for union firefighters. Few people realize how big our California prisoner firefighting effort is. There are 196 inmate fire crews that perform more than 3 million hours of emergency response work annually.It’s estimated to save California $80-$100 million a year — combating CA brush and forest fires. The story below about this program is illuminating (sorry), but should result in some heated (again, my bad) debate.
In my subdivision (Scripps Ranch in San Diego) we lost 330 homes to the 2003 Cedar brush fire — mostly abandoned homes burned down by embers. Many homes were saved — by homeowners who stayed behind and put out the ember fires before they grew. The fire trucks arrivedhourslate — in large part the result of too many called-up union… Read More