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VENTURA COUNTY PERSPECTIVE

Fire Service

February 25, 2001

Re "Firefighting Program Offers Chance to Douse Gang Life and Start Over," Feb. 12.

I must take serious issue with the U. S. Forest Service and its members using gang members and convicted felons to perform seasonal fire service.

These part-time seasonal jobs are highly coveted by upstanding young men and women who have been well trained by attending state fire academies, acquiring course certifications and passing rigorous tests.

The rehab program noted in this article is an insult to law-abiding citizens who obey all laws, pay for their own fire training and follow the rules.

Firefighters have traditionally been role models for our young citizens. Do we really want felons as role models?

The U. S. Forest Service was one way of gaining the experience needed to pursue a career as a firefighter.

Now it seems that road is blocked unless you have the magic ticket: belong to a minority street gang or have a rap sheet.

When will good citizenship and fine character be rewarded? When will our politicians reward those who strive for excellence in life instead of those who take a life?

FABIENNE LOGAN

Newbury Park

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