Andrea Howe

Andrea Howe

Filling in on the Princeton Fire Territory news beat Monday night, I was surprised when PFT board members said they regularly get calls from people who question why fire trucks are parked at local restaurants and other venues.

And then I remembered that I had the same question when I first arrived in town more than 20 years ago.

I came from a community served by a volunteer fire department. I wasn’t accustomed to seeing a fire crew on duty 24/7. When firefighters are on duty, they live at the fire department. When a fire call comes in, they answer it wherever they might be.

I was really interested in the old fire station’s living quarters at the corner of Broadway and Prince Streets. I made nightly walks over to the firehouse and police department to copy down information from fire calls and accidents/incidents, and I usually arrived at the fire station when someone was cooking something. The fire crews do a lot of cooking.

I live across the street from a restaurant, and I see a fire truck parked over there now and then. I also see police squad cars.

And when something happens around town, they scatter — probably with food left on the table at the restaurant.

I don’t begrudge firefighters or police officers opting to eat out when they’re on duty. I hope you don’t, either. If they take their duty vehicles when they go out as a group to eat, then their response time isn’t hampered.

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On another note, you probably read in our Tuesday edition that the City of Princeton is looking for a memorable way to honor Princeton Community High School basketball legend Jackie Young.

The Princeton Common Council is looking for some public input.

The Daily Clarion’s Facebook page got several suggestions, including preserving the State Street gymnasium as a basketball center in her honor, a statue in a visible spot in town, and several suggestions that the high school’s Tiger Arena feature “Jackie Young Court” with some Michael Jordan-esque banner: “Be Like Jackie!”

Personally, I like the idea of a statue or a plaque at Bicentennial Plaza downtown. That’s something the city could do.

The suggestions regarding the gym or Tiger arena would apply to school property, and I’m sure North Gibson school officials would consider whatever is feasible.

If you have an idea, let your local council member know pretty soon.

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