The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire Remind Lawmakers that Public Safety Should Not be a Gamble: Support the Passage of Senate Bill 152
CONCORD– Today, members of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire (PFFNH) held a press conference to state the many benefits of passing Senate Bill 152, which would bring a casino to New Hampshire. Along with President Dave Lang were members from Nashua, Berlin, Concord, and Exeter, who also spoke on behalf of the bill.
Both Representative Chris Andrews (Concord Fire Fighter) and Representative Kevin St. James (Exeter Fire Fighter) called upon their fellow freshman to do what they were elected to do: make difficult choices, lead, and pass SB 152.
“I know that some freshmen Representatives are concerned about making a decision that could potentially change the fabric of New Hampshire. But making tough decisions is what fire fighters do and exactly what we were elected to do. Therefore I urge them to support SB 152” stated Representative Andrews.
Also speaking was Jim Kirk of Nashua Local #789 who spoke of an increase in people not able to afford mental health preventative care. “I see a side of New Hampshire in the middle of the night that most of you don’t ever see. I see a side of New Hampshire that desperately needs help. I see mental health issues, domestic abuse, and people in real need of care, night after night. I see that this state needs proper funding to help curb these problems,” stated Kirk.
Passage of Senate Bill 152 would not only provide jobs, but it would also help to effectively and efficiently fund our state budget. The proposed bill would create a revenue source that would help ease the downshifting of costs to our cities and towns. Public safety departments across the state are being forced to make cuts. Passing this bill will make increases to our level of proper funding, staffing, and equipment.
Roland Berthiaume, fire fighter from Berlin Local #1088 described how Berlin is facing layoffs – the on duty fire fighting force could be reduced by 25%. “The North Country needs economic help. It needs revenue. We cannot continue to put the safety of our citizens at risk. In emergencies, seconds count, and time is ticking in the North County,” said Berthiaume.