"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
Most of us have heard this famous quote, one that was actually borrowed by President John F. Kennedy during his 1961 inaugural address. Regardless of the original source, the message remains the same. As you are well aware, the national economy has taken, and continues to take, a serious hit. As consumer spending and subsequent sales tax revenue decline, state governments are being forced to eliminate all non-essential programs. Ultimately, local budgets are affected as the downturn eventually trickles to the local level. Most emergency services already operate on a lean budget. In paid departments, it is not uncommon for 90 percent or more of the total budget to be allocated for salaries alone, leaving little for fuel, station maintenance, and gear replacement, and the list goes on and on.
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