Firefighters are great at problem-solving

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In the past week, our community collectively held our breath as the propane fire crisis captivated our thoughts and prayers. Lincoln Fire Department firefighters vividly demonstrated why they are called heroes as many of them risked their lives to keep the tanker car from exploding. Everyone in Lincoln was affected or bothered at many different levels. From significant income loss for businesses forced to close, families turned upside down as they were evacuated from their homes or simple road closures, it shook everyone up. But in the end, no one died, no homes burned and nothing exploded. Our hometown heroes saved the community from grave destruction. Did anyone notice the absence of politicians in this crisis? Every news cast, every press conference, every “expert” that I witnessed (and I watched a lot of TV those 48 hours) was always someone from the fire department or law enforcement, explaining the science of the plan to save Lincoln. Not once did I see someone from Sacramento or Washington pipe up with some great idea how our fire department should be trying to keep the city from exploding. Not even our City Council members were vying for attention. It seemed to me that everyone was more than happy to get out of the way and let the fire department figure it all out. I wondered what would happen if we applied this philosophy to all our problems in California. What would happen if we allowed law enforcement to solve the crime issues, teachers to work on problems in education or economists to address the economy concerns? What would happen if politicians got out of the way and let the “scientists” of the issues take the leadership of problem solving? When the tanker-car fire was finally out, the evacuations lifted and the danger had passed, I let out a big sigh of relief. Yes, there had been unwanted traffic on my rural country road, school didn’t start, the football game was postponed and fear loomed large in Lincoln for awhile. But it was all an inconvenience compared to what could have happened. I can not take this rescue for granted or disregard the incredible efforts of our firefighters. I keep remembering it all with such gratitude that we are all safe. And two major things stand out in my mind: 1. God answers prayers. 2. Firefighters solve problems better than politicians. CYNTHIA CUTTS, Lincoln