A friend of mine just send me this link from the NY Times about declining membership in volunteer fire departments (VFDs) around the country. If you live in a big city you may not realize this, but in a huge chunk of the country if things catch on fire or a disaster of any kind happens, volunteer fire fighters will be the ones to deal with it.
The Spousal Unit and I had a short but happy career in our volunteer fire department and the Times piece rings all too true. Running a VFD takes a lot of money and there is constant pressure to raise money. In our case, that meant weekly bingo games, regular boot drives, and grant writing. All that can pile up on an already strained pool of volunteers.
The decline of VFDs shows two sad features of contemporary American life: the decline of social capital and the nation's unwillingness to invest sufficiently in public goods.
WHAT'S NEXT, WV? If coal jobs keep declining, what is going to take their place?
A WORD ABOUT WHITE PRIVILEGE here.
THERE ARE TONS OF STEREOTYPES ABOUT WEST VIRGINIANS. Some of them, however, may not be too far amiss.