The relationship between firefighters and police officers isn’t always harmonious. Apart from the times they join forces, their day-to-day activities are very different, as is the way they’re treated by the general public. Cops are trashed and maligned by a certain segment of the population on a daily basis, while firefighters are almost exclusively beloved by everyone. Consequently, there always has been and always will be some hard feelings, and after this little stint, the bitterness will likely increase dramatically, at least in Belgium.

Recently, Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo announced the insurance package firefighters receive would be cut back and no new workers would be hired as part of cost-cutting measures. In protest, firefighters from all across the country converged on the PM’s office and shutdown traffic. The police were called to make sure the situation didn’t get out of control, and in a dick move, the firefighters decided to spray the cops with water and foam. Not surprisingly, footage of the incident quickly went viral, and in the coming days, it should continue getting more popular.

I get what the firefighters are trying to do here, but they should have more class than this. After all, if anyone should understand the importance of people behaving with civility, honor and patience during a widescale event, it’s firefighters. They go into burning buildings on a daily basis and need people to remain calm. Conversely, police officers need to show up at protests like this every single day to make sure nothing gets too out of hand. They’re just doing their jobs, and the firefighters should get that.

No one likes to see benefits cut or staffing shortages, but in tough economic times, those are the realities of life. Hard decisions have to be made because money doesn’t grow on trees. Hopefully, everyone can sit down like reasonable human beings and come to some kind of agreement that both saves money and doesn’t leave the firefighters shit out of luck if they get sick.



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