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Thu., Dec. 13, 2012

Waiting for coal trains

What if firefighters sat around for 15 minutes after the fire alarm rang to finish a card game? We as taxpayers would never stand for such a thing, and firefighters would never do such a thing.

That’s what I thought after seeing a “Say No to Coal Trains” commercial pointing out a plan by the coal industry to bring up to 60 extra coal trains through town each day. The rail line cuts off the fire department from entire neighborhoods, while other neighborhoods are cut off from the nearest emergency room. The thought of waiting for mile-long coal trains to pass every time I return home from shopping is ridiculous, but the thought of an ambulance having to wait behind these same trains for up to 15 minutes while transporting a loved one in need of lifesaving care is simply horrifying.

What about emergency medical technicians who need to apply a defibrillator within 10 minutes to save someone’s life? And for what?

With all the debate out there about exporting coal, I’ve yet to hear of one benefit the people of Eastern Washington stand to gain if we are forced to take on such serious risks.

Rosemarie Bisiar


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