Posted by: As I See It by Arnie | August 7, 2007

Oregon firefights lose jobs to Spanish speaking bosses.

The state of Oregon is enforcing it’s language requirements on the fire crews who fight the wild fires raging through the State.   If you were thinking logically, you would have come to the same conclusion that I would have, that being that all personnel hired by the State would have to learn English in order to communicate with the superiors and be a more effective employee of the State and the tax payers.   Wrong.

We forget that these are the days of political correctness, inclusiveness, tolerance and willy nilly laws against any hint of racial profiling. 

“The state said all bosses must speak the same language of their crew on the fire lines for safety reasons. They want to make sure that the leader of the crews can quickly communicate during an emergency if the fire turns or if there is another problem on the fire lines.”  

“If you have one Spanish guy on the crew, as an English crew boss, you can no longer be a crew boss. You have to step back to a squad boss, which is a demotion,”

The problem is that 85% of the firefighters of the Oregon Department of Forestry are Hispanic and do not speak English.   The State did not answer the question as to why they did not require the crew to learn English.  So, some of the older crew bosses have to take a demotion where in the past they may have supervised 20 firefighters, they now are demoted to a lower level crew chief of only 4 or 5 English speaking crew members.  A demotion mind you.  You have worked hard over the years to get to the level of a crew chief of 20 or so other firefighters.  You passed up some other people because of your diligence, and acquired knowledge of how to extinguish those raging forest fires, and how to manage a crew to get the best out of them in difficult times, and then this happens, you get demoted because one member of your crew speaks Spanish.

The only eyes that deem this as being fair are government bureaucrats, liberal politicians and the loony left.  

What are these people thinking?   Don’t give me this safety first baloney.  You saw this developing and rather than change the hiring practices, which might upset the other loony left as being racial profiling, you bureaucrats at the head of the Department of Forestry chose to placate the left wing civil rights groups, and let your own workers be dammed.   Burn fires burn.  Aim toward the offices of the Oregon Department of Forestry. 



And that is as I see It.


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