I’m not a fireman, and I don’t know anything about the Portland Fire Department, but as a Portland resident, it strikes me as odd that in detailing the cost of having firefighters available 24/7 (“Our View:

City is right to question fire department’s size

,” Jan. 29), the question comes down to, “Is this good for taxpayers?”

To me this is as absurd as saying that because the cost to Maine Medical Center of maintaining an emergency room is so high, “Is this good for taxpayers?” Prevention costs money. It’s that simple.

So here’s an idea: Why not have Portland pass an ordinance outlawing house fires from midnight to 8 a.m, any day of the week?

Violators will be held financially responsible for damages done to adjoining buildings, deaths and loss of property if a fire occurs between midnight and 8 a.m.

Auto accidents will also be prohibited after midnight, thereby negating the need for the Portland Fire Department to be on call to wash away spilt fuel or to prevent a car from exploding if it is on fire. Likewise, ambulance services will not be needed.

Fact is, all of these cost-saving measures will be good for taxpayers! Agreed?

Robert Cott is a resident of Portland.