Our View: Wilkes-Barre’s police, firefighters proved brave again this week

December 8th, 2017 4:45 pm - updated: 7:55 pm.

Diamonds galore to Wilkes-Barre police, firefighters, and all the other area rescuers who helped them during what turned out to be an extremely busy week.

It started with the river rescue of a pregnant teen who jumped off the Market Street Bridge last Saturday.

On Tuesday, firefighters and medical personnel helped evacuate about 150 people from the 11-story Lincoln Plaza, where two women died. Officials also had to arrange temporary shelter for the evacuees.

The very next day, city fire crews were pressed into perilous service again, when a residence on South Fulton Street went up in flames in what was quickly ruled an arson. Making matters more treacherous was the fact the same home was damaged in an early September blaze when a fire started at a next-door residence. Due to the previous damage, firefighters had to tread even more carefully than they usually do when extinguishing flames.

Outside the confines of Wilkes-Barre, let’s not forget the efforts by officers who chased a bank-robbery suspect some 8 miles from Wyoming Borough to Old Forge, before shots rang out and the suspect was killed.

Amazingly, during that madness, no officers or residents were injured. That’s a testament to the great work by the professionals involved.

Again, thanks to the men and women in the fire, police and medical services who make great sacrifices for the public good each day. This week was a perfect example of their true worth.

Diamonds to the Dallas School Board for maintaining its stance in the protracted contract dispute with teachers, even though the board now has several new faces due to the November election.

The newly configured board still believes its last offer to the union was fair, or as new Director Christine Swailes put it, “very gracious.”

The school board must stand firm for the benefit of Back Mountain taxpayers. It might not be pretty — and there might be another teachers strike at some point — but it’s time to make clear John and Susie Q. Taxpayer’s interests come first. Why? Because it’s their money. And that’s reason enough.

Coal, while we’re on the topic, to Dallas teachers for their ridiculous position on health care, which we’ve explored before in this space. But we’re mentioning it again in light of the new contract for Wilkes-Barre firefighters, whose heroics we’ve detailed in the preceding paragraphs.

The firefighters union and city went through the arbitration process and each side got some of what it wanted. Firefighters will get a raise, but not right away (which helps the city), and they will also pay more for their health insurance.

Do you hear that Dallas teachers? Firefighters, who’ve literally risked their lives multiple times in the last week alone, contribute for their health insurance.

Teachers have very important jobs, too. But they are not risking their lives by reporting to their classrooms each day.

So, who the heck are they to demand they pay nothing for their health care?

We’d imagine there are rank-and-file union members who are fed up and want a deal, even if it means a $50 or $100 monthly health contribution. It’s high time these folks speak up.

Coal to former Michigan Congressman John Conyers Jr., who quit this week as allegations of sexual misconduct mounted.

Conyers is 88 and took his seat in 1965, way back when Lyndon Johnson was president.

Term limits, anyone?

No one should be in office for more than half a century, and we don’t see how anyone could argue any different.

Another chunk of coal to Conyers for suggesting his son take his seat.

Congress doesn’t work like a monarchy, Mr. Conyers. Goodbye and good luck.

— Times Leader

A Kingston firefighter climbs a ladder as a resident waits on a balcony of Lincoln Plaza in Wilkes-Barre after a fatal fire Tuesday caused the building to be evacuated. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_TTL120617fire2-5.jpgA Kingston firefighter climbs a ladder as a resident waits on a balcony of Lincoln Plaza in Wilkes-Barre after a fatal fire Tuesday caused the building to be evacuated. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader