Camden NJ FF Bobby Eckert oozes pure class Monday; Tuesday, he and 1/3 of his department are axed…

You may have heard the woes of the City of Camden, NJ which sits across the Delaware River from Philly,  It ranked 2nd on a list of the nation’s most dangerous cities, down from first the previous two years.  Violent crime is five times the national average according to FBI statistics.  Three of Camden’s seven previous mayors have landed directly in jail for corruption, one while still “serving”.

Things are so bad, that tomorrow the city will have to find a way to make due with up to 383 less city employees which accounts for one quarter of the city’s employees.  Gone will be nearly 44% of it’s police department.

The Camden Fire Department will lose fully 1/3 of its staff.

Not to worry though- we hear that the cuts will not affect public safety- that from Mayoral spokesman Robert Corrales ia a post from CNNMoney.com:  He reassures the residents by proclaiming, “We’re still going to protect our residents,” and public safety  “will remain our top concern. We’ll shift our resources to be more efficient with what we have.”

Well. we’ll see how ‘resource shifting” works out for the citizens of Camden in the upcoming days and weeks.

Amid all the blathering and baying, I ran across a Facebook update from Camden Firefighter Bobby Eckert, who is now my newest friend.  Earlier today, he posted:

“Well tomorrow I turn in my badges and gear…I just want to say it was an absolute dream come true to be a fireman in Camden. It was nothing but a pleasure to work with everyone I worked with. I learned a lot and thank everyone who has taught me along the way…Lets Keep Are Heads Held High Tomorrow…They CAN’T Take Away Our Pride!!!!!!

Wow.

Hang in there, Bobby!  Today’s fire service has a place for firefighters with this type of attitude and this much class.  You will land on your feet, if not in Camden, somewhere else.  And the fire service will be the better for it.

Thanks for sharing and know that there are thousands out here rooting for you and your partners.

Stay stoked!

-J

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John Mitchell

Firefighter/Paramedic and a Lieutenant in suburban Chicago

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