Dr. Harry Carter
Dr. Harry Carter
Editors Column- Saturday, Aug, 9, 2008

Many Are Called but Few Choose to Join

Many Are Called but Few Choose to Join

There is an excellent Biblical story which speaks to the issue of not accepting the gifts which are offered to you.  In the Biblical version of this parable, which can be found in the Book of Matthew, the message is that many are called to be with the Lord, but few are actually chosen.  If you think about it, this makes sense.  The demands made upon a person to be obedient are great in deed.  Just think about the first ten rules that we are all as given guide our faith and guide.

In my parable, the message is slightly changed.  I am suggesting that in the world of highway safety, many are called to operate in a safer manner.  However, far too many chose to ignore the message.   These folks are being called by those of us at the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Fireman's Association.

In addition they are called by the Emergency Response Safety Institute, as well as Chief Billy Goldfeder and yours truly.  They are also being called now by Greg Cade, the U.S. Fire Administrator. My friends, the list of those who call is growing.  Each of us has the same message.  It is dangerous for our people out there on the highways and by-ways of however, there is a safer way to operate.

Unfortunately, many of these folks are not being called upon to operate in a safer manner by their own fire departments.  If we are to believe the statistics which are coming in to our Respondersafety.com website, people are just ignoring the message which we have been sending out to the world for nearly ten years now.  At least that is what it seems like to me.

Rest assured that the people who are driving on the roadways of our nation are not getting better at what they do.  Steve Austin and I were discussing this during a dinner meeting in back at the Firehouse Expo.  He mentioned to me that he had been working as a fire police officer on the highways of his hometown in that morning.  He is doing a bit more of that these days.

He shared with me the fact that he had almost been struck twice that very morning.  What made this even more unbelievable is the fact that these highway idiots ignored the well-laid-out highway control zone which Steve and his fellow fire police officers had laid out.  He and I agreed that a new slogan for our work might read as follows:  "They are out there and they are ignorant."

The more I think about our conversation that night, the more convinced I am that it is not just the motoring public which is a fault here.  How many people in the police, fire, and world even know how to create and operate a proper highway safety control zone?  The call has sent forth by our organization for nearly a decade now.  What are we missing?  What might it be that we are not doing properly?

Then it came to me in a flash.  Most people operate under the age-old rule of human nature.  They think that bad things will never happen to them, they will happen to the other guy.  What other reason can there be to explain why people are actually fighting the new federal rules which dictate that retro-reflective vests will be worn by all people operating on any highway which has been funded, in any way, by the federal government?  What other reason can there be for major manufacturers to fight against the rules which we here at CVVFA have fought so hard to see enacted?

The information is here for you to gather and disseminate to your friends and coworkers.  Respondersafty.com has a full explanation of the rules and the manner in which the intent of the rules can be met.  Perhaps there are those who operate under the old 'you can't tell me what to do' school of emergency operations.  If it was good enough for my daddy and his daddy before him, then it is good enough for me.  Sorry my friends that type of reactionary ignorance will not cut the mustard any longer.

Right now there are only about 3,500 people subscribed to our Breaking News Network.  While there are probably more of you who are coming to our site, we can only tell the world about those visitors whom we can prove have been here on our site.

We need you to join our battle.  What I also need now is for each of you to ask a few of your friends to visit our site.  I want to enlist you as a recruiter in our war to make the highways a safer place for our responders.  I would now ask you to share the good things that you know of with your friends.  Shared what you have learned from us with your buddies.  We here at Respondersafety.com can only do so much.  Can cannot reach out and beat people over the head.

We want to enlist you as a foot soldier in our war on highway deaths and injuries.  We are calling you to join our campaign.  It is easy to join with us.  Go to our site at www.Respondersafety.com.  The signup for our Breaking News Alert can be found right under my picture on the right side of the page.  Fill in your name and email address, then hit the subscribe tab.  That's it.

We are calling many to our side.  We only ask that you share what you know and what you have learned with the people around you.  In this case, many are being called.  The difference in this parable is that no one who shows up on our doorstep will be turned away.  We accept all comers.  Please help to make our world safer.

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