Friday, February 08, 2008

Wasted Resources

A minute ago, I walked into the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue in order to check my email and attend to other matters. In front of the store, there were two fire trucks pulled up in front of the bus shelter. I saw no signs that anything was on fire, so I figured that the fire trucks must be responding to a call for medical assistance. Sure enough, there were about eight guys all standing in the shelter, talking with a woman, presumably about some health crisis she'd just experienced. I say "presumably," because she seemed to be fully cognizant. She was not laid out on a stretcher, nor were there any other obvious signs that she was experiencing any medical crisis.

Now, I'm all in favor of furnishing the good citizens of Chicago with prompt medical aid whenever we are in need of such aid. Even so, I couldn't help wondering why two fire trucks would be needed for that purpose. Wouldn't a well-equipped ambulance have been more appropriate? When was the last time ladders and fire hoses were needed in order to treat anyone's medical problems? Didn't they know what kind of crisis they were responding to before they rolled out of the station?

And most importantly: What happens if a real fire breaks out while they're wasting taxpayers' resources using gas guzzling vehicles for purposes for which those vehicles were not designed?

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