If you have ever been at, say, a kids sporting event and had an ambulance or paramedics called for one of the kids, you likely also had a fire truck accompany the ambulance or paramedics. Did you wonder why they needed a firetruck with a 6 man crew to handle a broken leg in an open field? Its because most public firefighters unions have gotten local laws passed that require a fire engine to always accompany the paramedics. Why? No reason other than they are trying to make firefighters look busy so no one starts to question why we have so many sitting around doing nothing.
Union leaders and fire department chiefs have found new ways to justify their growing budgets and payrolls. In a February 2001 report, the Wall Street Journal noted that 90 percent of firehouse calls in Los Angeles, Chicago and certain other cities were to accompany ambulances to medical emergencies. “Elsewhere, to keep their employees busy, fire departments have expanded into neighborhood beautification, gang intervention, substitute-teaching and other downtime pursuits,” the newspaper added.