Shame on all the arm chair quarterbacks or so-called back seat drivers.

Shame on the social media sites and the nay-sayers that want to put stuff out for the people without having all the correct answers. Most just want to keep things stirred up.

Shame on the Quorum Court members for not being more involved in your community fire departments. You need to know a whole lot more about your fire departments.

Thinking you know what is best for the Fire Department and how to operate it. Most don’t even know where the Fire Department is or even know who the Fire Chief is at the fire department, and am going to say, that not many have ever stepped a foot into your Fire Department. To really see what is going on and meet the men and women that try to protect you and your family.

You really should you may learn a thing or two.

All the fire department gets is: “What took you so long, it took you 9 minutes to get here.”

Well you know I’m sorry I had to leave my granddaughters graduation to go get a truck to respond to the fire that you set in the yard with the wind blowing and let it get out of control, with a burn ban on. All when you are only mile from the fire department and sit there and did nothing.

The Firefighter’s have volunteered for so long for nothing with nothing that the mere public thinks they are entitled to this service. Well guess what: You are not!

Just a reminder we are all volunteers, we don’t get a dime to respond.

For those that say, they aren’t nothing but a bunch of dope heads, well guess what, they are willing to get up at 2 a.m. when the pager goes off, to respond to your fire to help drag hose or set up water supply to help put out the fire, did I say it is 2 a.m.? Oh goodness, don’t let leave out it is now 5 a.m. and he has to be at work in 1 hour – where everyone else sleeps tidy in their beds.

Why do we do this job? I follow a simple set of rules, if my house is on fire or my family is in wreck and needs help. I expect every Tom, Dick and Harry to drop what they are doing and come to help, in retrospect I, and my family is going to do the same.

Yes we are volunteers, yes it takes families now a days work 2, 3 jobs to make ends meet. But yes we still volunteer.

Yes we need your help, not your negativity.

You are never too old or too young to start getting involved. There is always something for you to do.

Call your local Fire Departments, stop being a back seat driver and get involved.

Tatum is Justice of the Peace, District 7, Van Buren County. The above statement was read at the Dec. 19 Quorum Court meeting, during debate about the special election for the county sales tax and its impact. He is very active in volunteer fire and rescue.

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