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This is Not the Time to Transfer Command.
Steve Simich

My story is probably very similar to many others when I think for a moment and wonder who will win the White House in November.

We were all taken by surprise on Sept. 11.....a momentous event...a changing event...and perhaps it can be stated very appropriately that there are times in history where hinges occur - events which join changing times in history...and I believe that Sept. 11 was such an event.

It took awhile to recognize that this was an act of war...this is no longer the case....we are at war...and thank god...we have a president who has perspective and perseverance in this was on terror.

Being a captain of a combination department in Ohio, I sat at the dinner table and began a conversation about this presidential race. I expected that being firemen - and being told by the IAFF leadership that Kerry was definitely their man, that they would support Kerry.

To my surprise, this was not the case. There was insightful conversation regarding both candidates, but one strong quality emerged, and that was character.

President George Bush was determined to overwhelmingly have the desired qualities and moral character to lead us four more years in this crucial time in history. I was surprised, and totally did not expect this conclusion.

Reading the IAFF leaderships' overwhelming support of Kerry caused me concern. The reason they gave that support is because he was good to the firefighters. That was the only reason. I thought to myself, this surely cannot be it the only reason. Sure enough, it was!

Kerry may be a friend of firefighters, but does that mean, that Bush is not?

The reality of it is that our department received FEMA money, and I do not know all the political in's and out's, but I certainly have not heard that Bush is an enemy of firefighters.

Perception is reality, and in the last three years, fire departments and police departments have been considered a priority with regard to funding.

I am voting for George Bush. Not because of his funding mandates, but because of his person.

He has the strength, leadership, perseverance, and perspective to lead this nation in a very critical period.

In firefighter talk, this is not the time to transfer command.

I challenge fellow firefighters to look objectively at both candididates and you will realize who the best man for the job is.

Capt. Steve Simich
Springfield Township Fire Department
Akron, Ohio