By Chad Sartison
April 5, 2010
In 2010 The Fire
a cover that
opposed to the
the F I R E WITHIN
I have just returned from a ten-day trip to
Pennsylvania where I had the pleasure of
visiting fire companies throughout the state. I
spoke in front of a few of them, went on a call
or two with a few of them and had a beer or
two with all of them.
As with everything in America, it is
amazing how obviously different and yet
strikingly similar our two countries often are.
Perhaps there is no better illustration of this
than while I was purchasing a US iPhone
(insert rant about extortionate Canadian cellular
company practices here) in an Apple store in
Lancaster when a lovely 80-year-old lady
heard me paying with a Canadian credit card.
As she approached, walker and all, she politely
asked me how I like our “communist health
care system”. Her words not mine.
You see, my travels coincided with the
passing of Obama’s new health care bill, so in
a staunchly conservative state like
Pennsylvania, it was difficult to walk ten feet
without somebody asking about Canadian
I explained to her that as a cancer
survivor I owed my life to our healthcare
system and as such found it difficult to
criticize. I expounded that there is much to be
improved upon in our system, but in the end I
could not imagine such a basic privilege like
healthcare being withheld.
She politely grabbed my hand smiled and
said that she would pray for me. I think she
was referring to my cancer and not my
communist healthcare beliefs, but given the
passion with their healthcare debate, I may
never be sure.
So there, in the soft-spoken words of an
eighty-year-old lady, laid the primary
difference between Canadian and US
healthcare, but perhaps more to the point of
this article, the difference between the United
States fire service and ours ‘entitlement”