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They Will Appreciate It
2022-10-12

            This week is Fire Prevention Week and area fire companies are holding open-houses, visiting schools, and hosting other events to help educate everyone on safety. I encourage you to take the opportunity to visit with your local volunteer fire company.

            Yes, volunteer.  The fire companies who protect most of our local communities are volunteers.  People who take the time to engage in a community service that involves a tremendous amount of time, energy, dedication, commitment to others, and danger.

            The education and certification required for local volunteers to continue providing a high level of service to the community isn't anywhere near what the fire company founders envisioned when they started the organizations so many years ago.

            Their existence saves municipalities millions of dollars and, yes, the existence and service of those volunteers has a direct impact on the cost of your home insurance.

            Most area municipalities donate to their fire companies and the volunteers appreciate whatever support they can get from government officials.  But, most of the funds needed to operate the local companies come from the hard work of fundraising by the volunteers.

            Many people moving into our local communities from urban areas don't know that the fire companies responding to local emergencies are volunteer.  Coming from places where paid fire departments were totally funded by taxes, they may not realize how important their financial support can be to sustaining the volunteer companies.  Some may not realize that they can join the local companies as a firefighter, fire police officer, or any of several social and fundraising opportunities they offer.

            But, don't take those who choose to volunteer in this vital service for granted.  They, too, have experienced horrors that affect them.

            The stress level, both on the fire-ground and off, can take a tremendous toll.  Those that have been volunteering for a while have scars; some you can see, others only they can feel.  They have them because they have history. 

            They've seen neighbors, friends, and unfortunately, family in some of the worst situations of their lives.  On the surface they handle it commendably.  Some have seen and experienced horrors that many cannot imagine.  What hurts the most is that those horrors have taken place in their neighborhoods among people they know.

            It's not easy to drop what you're doing to answer a call for help.  They are trained to respond to the emergency and get the job done, then return to what they were doing; whether it was at work or with their family.  There is little time to dwell on what they just experienced – they get the job done and move on as best they can; picking up where they left off before the alarm took them away.  Sadly, there are times when they don't get to go home.

            So, next time you have an opportunity to support a fund drive, buy a hoagie, attend a fund-raising event, drop a dollar in the boot when the volunteers are standing on the corner, buy a raffle ticket, or offer them a cup of coffee when they're serving on a cold night, do so.

            They seldom get a "thank you" for what they do, but know that they will appreciate your support.


 

 

 

 

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