Are you Indian and born after 1980? Cal Pino, a fire management officer for the Bureau of Indian Affairs
, thinks you are too pampered and lazy to fight fires.
Pino says it's getting harder and harder for him to recruit tribal members to fight fires. "Now, you call people at home and say 'We got a fire call. Are you ready to go?' And they say, 'Let me call you back in 15 minutes.' I say, 'Let me know right now.' They ask, 'Where are we going.' I say, 'You don't need to know.' They say, 'I'll just stay back this time,'" he tells the Associated Press.
Pino, who is from Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico, said modern conveniences have spoiled young Indians.
"Prior to , a lot of reservations didn't have indoor running water, indoor heating and stuff. Everyone was either hauling water, cutting fire wood, so they were used to that type of aggressive activity," he says.
"Now, everyone has piped-in water and TVs with up to 200 or 300 channels, so the work ethic has changed," he adds.
Darryl Wallace, a fire prevention crew boss for the BIA, agrees. He says young Indians would rather play games on the computer than go outdoors, and even if they do fight fires, they get tired easily and bring their iPods and "their whole dresser with them clothes-wise" on a job.
"They're bringing in a couple of extra bags of audio equipment. I told them, 'That's not equipment to take out there,'" says Wallace, who is from Zuni Pueblo.
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Changing Times Thin Ranks of Indian Firefighters