BY JOHN WICKERSHAM
President, Española Firefighters Union
I.A.F.F Local 4339
As the President of Española Firefighters Union I.A.F.F Local 4339, I would like to make it clear that we neither endorse or oppose the newly-proposed drug rehabilitation center in Espanola called Darrin’s Place. On July 21, we held a regular scheduled Union meeting, and were asked by a group of people that oppose Darian’s place that they be placed on the agenda. Many people showed up but we had only scheduled participants who were opposed to the idea to speak. We intend to hold our next Union Meeting on August 26 and have placed representatives from Darian’s Place on the agenda to voice support for the facility.
As the Union meeting follows the City’s appeal hearing scheduled for August 11, the Firefighters Union would like the public to know that 80% of our calls are medical and a majority of those calls are with struggling individuals with addiction and drug related issues with their families desperately trying to save the lives of their loved ones. As members of this union we are all too familiar with dangerous overdose scenes, sorrow stricken families, and the perpetuation of the heroin epidemic. We realize that we simply do not have enough treatment centers for those people struggling with addiction. We want to remind everyone that all citizens of the valley are important, and we ask that everyone be mindful of their words and use kindness when addressing each other.
If you are struggling with drug use, there is hope. There is help. You can call the non-emergency dispatch line to get help from one of us, at (505) 753-5555, or the Española Pathways Homeless Shelter at (505) 753-4453, Shannon Baum. Facility Manager (505) 990-9086 or the National Hotline for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration 1-(800) 662-HELP.