Coming from New York and ever-quick to share his 9/11 story, one would think Pantano would have a deep respect for firefighters and their need to have the proper equipment. But when confronted with the thousands of taxpayer dollars Congressman McIntyre has returned to 7th District volunteer and rural fire departments in the form of new fire engines, Pantano is constantly critical. Perhaps it’s because he’s used to two or three story fire stations in downtown Manhattan, where firemen travel a few blocks instead of the several miles required in our rural communities. It wouldn’t be surprising considering he’s only lived in Wilmington for about 5 years.
Just this week in The News and Observer, Pantano was quoted saying,“It’s not enough to bring home a shiny firetruck anymore.”
Rewind to the last two months, however, and you’ll hear the same attacks. At two of the three candidate debates, Pantano was critical of Congressman McIntyre’s efforts to secure fire engines for rural communities.
Is Pantano so out-of-touch with our area that he thinks the hard-working middle class families and farmers who live outside city limits can afford to purchase their own firetrucks? Or does he have a disrespect for our firefighters in general? Maybe that explains why he ignores the law and parks in emergency fire lanes when he goes to the post office.
UPDATE: The Rowland Rural Fire Department just received federal funds to help replace two older vehicles. It probably won’t take Pantano long to begin his criticism again. Sorry Rowland, but if Mr. Pantano even knows where your town is located, you can guarantee you’ll be using a horse and buggy to respond to emergencies if he’s your congressman.