Offended by Texas editorial cartoon
TO INTELL EDITORS:
I am an emergency responder with 42 years of service, including 29 years as a military firefighter and fire officer. I currently serve as the program manager for the South Central Regional Task Force, an eight-county emergency preparedness organization formed to coordinate regional emergency preparedness efforts in South Central Pennsylvania.
The editorial cartoon of April 27th pertaining to the West, Texas, explosion was tasteless at best and thoughtless at worst. Your newspaper conveyed a message that certainly runs counter to the support that the Lancaster County community has always provided to the emergency response community, especially most recently to the family of Lt. Andre Kelly, of the Lancaster City Bureau of Fire.
Whatever problems one might have with the state of Texas, Gov. Rick Perry or the involved federal agencies could have been conveyed in a manner that did not mock the loss of the 15 emergency responders and residents of West, Texas, and dishonor their families. I'm confident that a similar cartoon would not have appeared if the incident resulted in the loss of multiple members of the media.
Time will eventually provide us with the root cause that led to this disaster. All parties, including the emergency response community, will apply those lessons learned to better protect both our responders and the communities they serve.
Taking the low road to support one's political or ideological agenda before the facts are known does little service to anyone, especially to the honor, memory and families of those firefighters and emergency medical personnel. You should have known better.
Gregory G. Noll
South Central Task Force