Letters to the Editor

Ice rink: Ruston plays Grinch on permits

Re: “Ice rink latest battleground between developer, town,” (TNT, 12/1).

As president of the Tacoma Professional Firefighters Union Local 31 and a career firefighter/paramedic, I, along with our nearly 360 members, proudly serve the Tacoma, Fife, and Fircrest communities.

Thus, I was perturbed by the remarks of Ruston City Councilman Lyle Hardin who, in justifying Ruston’s reluctance to approve the ice rink at Point Ruston, implied that the rink poses a risk to public safety. At best, his comment is uninformed.

Each year Tacoma firefighters fight many fires and help thousands of people facing life-threatening emergencies. We also enforce the city’s fire code. We inspect 7,000-plus businesses, review hundreds of construction permit applications and inspect hundreds of job sites.

We also review and inspect special event permit sites, which often include temporary tents like the one hosting the community ice rink at Point Ruston.

Tacoma firefighters moved swiftly to approve the rink so the doors could open to this wonderful holiday amenity. But make no mistake: Not even the holiday spirit would confuse our members’ sworn duty to protect public safety.

Instead of casting doubt about this great ice rink, this was a chance for Ruston to support something positive for kids and families. I’m grateful for all who did.