From the WMPM news site:
Commissioner, Firefighter Denies Claims Of Slow Response To Fire In Minority Neighborhood - A Benson woman has questioned the response time of the Benson Fire Department to a house fire in her neighborhood. Town Commissioner Will Chandler, a 32-year veteran of the fire department, said race has never played an issue in crews responding to fire calls. Phyllis Alford appeared before the Benson Town Council this week saying she had heard it took firemen 30 minutes to arrive at a house fire on East King Circle and when they arrived, they found a broken fire hydrant out front. Chandler said fire departments are heavily regulated and when they are dispatched by the Johnston County 911 Center, they only receive the address and whether the structure is occupied. "When we get a page and we’re busting our butts, it does not say white, black, etc." Commissioner Chandler told Alford. Chandler went on to say firefighters were being called "white MF’s" by a bystander as they attempted to douse the flames, which were already showing when they arrived. Johnston County 911 Director Jason Barbour told WMPM the response time to the March 20 call by Benson firefighters was 8 minutes and 16 seconds. The department’s average response time to every call they answered in 2006 was 8 minutes and 19 seconds. Town officials heard concerns about a broken fire hydrant following the house fire, but utility officials found the hydrant to be working properly. Fire hydrants are tested twice each year in Benson, Chandler told Alford. Mayor Jerry McLamb said Benson had one of the best fire departments in the nation.
OK, so the very men who came to help were called racist names. Who is racist? Are the 20 firefighters who arrived to risk their lives and sacrificed their time and effort for the benefit of others the obvious racists? Or is it the ungrateful wretches who hurled racial insults at the firefighters?
Notice that the woman who whined to the town commissioners was only reacting to a rumor, which had no basis in fact. If you don't know the details, then shut up and stop making a fool of yourself.
I don't disparaige the Benson Fire Department, but I do take issue with the quote by the mayor of Benson that Benson "had one of the best fire departments in the nation." I doubt it highly. There are many fine departments in this country that I am sure far surpass anything we have in this area. I have seen it with my own eyes, so I don't buy that statement. Again, I am not saying that Benson sucks, just that I doubt they are among the best in the nation. They probably have great people who work with that department and do an outstanding job. I just know something about the fire service, that's all.