Re "Firefighters' kin face death benefit denial" (Page A1, Aug. 19): There's a big difference between "denied" and "ineligible." You don't get the same sympathy for "weren't eligible" as for "were denied." All over America people do the same work for different remuneration because they are working under different contracts. That includes forest firefighters.
I empathize with the families who lost loved ones. But there is no one-size-fits-all or standard contract for any type of work. That's reality, and fighting reality is like fighting the tide. I don't know a universal solution that would fit every case, but a possible solution exists. If you are engaged in a dangerous line of work, and your contract does not protect your family (i.e. include death benefits), buy insurance. Neither blaming the employer nor retroactive correction at the expense of others is a moral response.
-- John Paul, Carmichael