Brentwood Councilman Joel Bryant issued the following response to Carissa Pillows blog post today which took a shot at Mr. Bryant while suggesting that Brentwood leave the District. It’s a worthy read as Mr. Bryant shows what a class act he is and the seriousness he took with his vote.
I appreciate your input on my decision, but there are many factors that caused me to make it.
First of all, as you may be aware. For many years, I also have been a first responder as a Police Chaplain for Brentwood. I am there when a tragedy strikes, and part of my job is to assist families who have suffered death of loved ones. I am also the one who assists the coroner at the scene.
To say that the will being of every single person and family in this city is my top priority, is a vast understatement. I don’t get paid a penny for my service in the capacity of Chaplain. Nope, not a dime. I do it simply because I love this city and its families.
I have been there when our firefighters were too late, and I am the one who then spends the next hours or days helping the living cope with the loss. I also see the dramatic affect that these situations leave on the firefighters and other first responders.
You as a nurse, I know, must also see the faces of individuals that you have been unable to save over the years. If a person cares, they always carry certain faces with them, who visit them through the years as certain incidents trigger a reminder.
When talking to the firefighters who face these consequences multiple times a day, they unanimously said that the best way to save lives and protect Brentwood, was to go to the 3/3 service model. They actually used the words. ” We are Begging you ” not to put us in the situation of endangering more lives by voting for the other service models.
If anyone in this community wants more fire stations open, and better service for our families, it is me. I was one of the only council members to walk neighborhoods and hang door hangers and ask people to vote for it. I gave up my weekends and sacrificed time with my family, to stand at the farmers market and other locations, holding signs to promote it. Why? Because I care for the families of our city. I am very against taxes. I agree that the system is broken and must be fixed. I also felt that measure S was a way to buy Brentwood time to safely accomplish this.
If you would like to know why I feel that I had no choice but to vote for the 3/3 service model, simply go ride along with the fire guys for one day. Ask them, as a professional first responder, why did they BEG to go to this model. By the way a couple of them were actually crying while talking about it.
I prove daily in numerous ways, that I love this community. I literally put my life on the line as a chaplain who rides along with our officers to assist our community, while leaving my own family at home alone, all hours of the day and night, FOR FREE, as a VOLUNTEER, because the well being of each life in Brentwood is so important to me.
I am very thankful that you are actively concerned with the safety of our families as well. And I know that you may NEVER agree with the choice that was made as far as the fire service model is concerned. But next time, I would appreciate the opportunity to be personally asked about it before being attacked. As you know, I am always available to you for questions, advice, conversation, etc….