Concern and fear continue to loom over downtown Moulton following the fire that devastated Court Street on April 22.
Arguments over whether the city’s fire department was equipped to handle the disaster properly, how the city should address the events to come, and whether building codes should be relaxed to encourage rebuilding are all circulating throughout the city weeks after the tragedy.
The Moulton Fire Department did the best job they could with what they have. Our county’s first responders worked tireless hours trying to contain the blaze and save everything they could. The time to look forward is now.
“What could have been,” is a thought better left on the back shelf. If there is an opportunity to do more with what we have, we have to jump at the chance. It’s time to reevaluate priorities and address the most pressing safety concerns.
As the city discusses the decision to purchase an aerial truck for the fire department, it’s important to remember that these heavy decisions take time and planning. Some have voiced their concerns at City Hall during public meetings because the decision is the responsibility of the people. The better informed we are, the better equipped we are to form opinions and pass judgment.
We must also understand that building codes are set in place for our safety during construction and throughout occupancy of a structure. Many codes have been enacted following disasters like structural fires to better protect against future occurrences. Though laws like these impose a greater financial burden on business and homeowners, is there really a price we can put on safety?
Whether we’re discussing a ladder truck, additional manpower, building codes, or the preservation of historic buildings, safety should be our first concern. Taking steps to improve where we can is likely to involve reprioritizing and repositioning our perspectives.
This time of uncertainty is also a time of opportunity. It’s time to come together to face these challenges, grow from our past while preserving what we can, and working towards a better and brighter future.