Volunteers say program attacks and Reagan volunteerism don’t mesh

Volunteers say program attacks and Reagan volunteerism don’t mesh

The National Volunteer Fire Council wants President Reagan to give its officers a face-to-face explanation of how he justifies budget attacks on the U.S. Fire Administration, the National Fire Academy, and the National Bureau of Standards’ Center for Fire Research.

In a letter to White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker requesting the meeting, NVFC chairman E. James Monihan writes: “America’s 1½ million volunteer firefighters observe frequent pronouncements from the White House promoting and urging our citizens toward an ever heightened spirit of volunteerism. We obviously support the President’s viewpoint and in fact put that belief into practice every dav in our communitites.”

But, the letter notes, “almost since their very establishment,” the USFA, NFA, and CFR “have repeatedly come under attack by the Office of Management and Budget and, even more amazingly, by their own parent agencies during submission of presidential budgets…

“These bureaucratic attacks seem to us to contradict both our presumed partnership as well as the spirit repeatedly voiced by President Reagan.

“We have heard many assurances, reorganizations, and promises, only to see the game plan repeatedly altered again to the point that we are frustrated and quite disturbed.”

As Fire Engineering went to press, the White House had not responded.

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