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No reason to retire firefighting team

The following letter regards the article “Inmate fire team carries out mitigation projects in Snowmass for the last time,” published Aug. 10, in the Snowmass Sun.

It doesn’t make sense, dissolving a firefighting team when major fires are on its doorstep. Even though they may not be directly involved in the front lines of fighting the fires, mitigation is an important part of reducing the spread of fires to homes and structures. With the drought we are experiencing and the threat of more large fires in the future, the SWIFT team should have a higher priority in the CCI (Colorado Correctional Industries) programs.

I was appalled at the wages, 86 cents to $2.49 per day is slave labor, and it should be higher. If there are budget constraints than more compensation in the form of sentence reduction should be given. With the high unemployment rates chances for meaningful jobs upon a person’s release are slim. Mitigation and firefighting skills will always be in demand especially during firefighting season; CCI should keep and expand the SWIFT program, it’s a benefit to the community.

Tom Cryan

Lakewood


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