I usually don’t post many news items, instead I save them for the pros (Geezer and STATter), especially when it involves subjects of a risque nature. However two news items came across the screen at Firefighter Nation that are worth sharing. The economy is tough all over. Many of you are facing furloughs, reduced staffing and station closures. Pinching pennies and trimming costs are causing all of us to seek new sources of income. As FireGeezer shared many months ago, advertising space on fire apparatus is beginning to be more apparent. Now, in Indiana, what started as a community improvement by the people behind Kentucky Fried Chicken, has evolved into a ad war with PETA.
While the stories have generated a lot of feedback regarding big corporations, community support and firefighters selling out (actually read “whoring ourselves out” in one comment), they do present a topic for intelligent debate. Therefore in the name of constructive dialogue, I ask you:
Would your department be willing to sell space on apparatus for advertising?
Would you limit the advertising to fire service-related products or any product?
Would you include political advertising? (Maybe 1619 can get Rushern to put ads over top of the “keepin’ it safe” slogan)
If so, how would you define and prevent “questionable” material from being presented? (You are, after all, a civil service representing a community.)
Personally, I’m okay with the whole bit so long as there are rules and definitions and such that keep everything in check. I don’t see it as selling out, devaluing our traditions or other chicken little worries (pun intended, the Indy story only affects three hydrants). Firefighters have certainly done worse (arson, theft, assault).
My only strong opinion is that the engine gets first dibs on the PETA ads and that they involve Lauren Graham.