After a lengthy analysis on whether Newport should give volunteer firefighter families free access to the city’s recreation center, just like those families of full time paid firefighters, the city council Monday night agreed to give that access to the families of volunteer firefighters.
It was reasoned that if families of volunteer firefighters spend more time together at the recreation center, there would be more opportunities, if not more motivation, for firefighters themselves to work harder at staying fit.
A similar plea for other individuals who volunteer for the city to get similar free access was turned down. Councilors agreed that volunteer firefighters and their families are much more affected by the service they give the community – when the pager goes off the whole family is awakened and has to schedule many of its own activities around the fact that someone in the family might have to respond instantly to a fire or rescue call. They agreed, that’s not the same as volunteering in any other capacity for the city.
The council was told that the financial impact to the recreation center budget would be minimal if the families of volunteer firefighters are given free access to the center.
Councilors voted unanimously in favor of the proposal.