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Volunteer firemen should supplement paid staff

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A couple of weeks ago I visited the office of the Lincoln News Messenger to speak with reporter Stephanie Dumm because I wanted to inquire as to why Lincoln could not have a volunteer fire department. You and I spoke briefly, and while you didn’t have the answers then, I suggested that perhaps you could do a story regarding the subject. I was pleased this morning when I read the current issue of The Messenger (front page, Aug. 4, “Volunteers prefer the hands-on approach”) where you had in fact researched and spoke with Fire Chief Dave Whitt. Prior to my visit with you, I had a conversation with my brother who was a volunteer fire chief for over 35 years in our small hometown in Virginia. Based on his information, that is what prompted me to visit you and ask the pertinent questions. (I also wanted to know salaries of our local firemen.) Therefore, I want to thank you for following up on my request to further explore the possibility of a volunteer unit. There’s no better way to have the questions answered than to go straight to the source, in this case, Chief Whitt. It is my hope that, even with all the challenges, Lincoln can see its way clear to organize a volunteer fire department to supplement our paid firemen here. BRENDA RAFTER, Lincoln