Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have at least one hero. Someone that we admire, respect, and hold a little higher than other people we know. I heard a Medal of Honor recipient say that there are people who regard him as a hero because of the act that made it possible for him to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. He stated, “The real heroes are the ones that made the ultimate sacrifice and never made it home.”
I regard my heroes as people that I greatly admire and respect. They are our local firefighters and police officers. If you were to ask me why I admire them so much, I’d have to say it’s because of what they do to keep us safe. They do this in different ways, of course. I admire them because I could never do what they do. I don’t have the patience to be a police officer, and I’m not physically fit to be a firefighter. Besides, I’m afraid of heights.
Here are a few facts concerning firefighters. If you happen to visit a local grocery store or eating establishment and notice an ambulance parked outside, your first thought might be, why is it parked there? The answer, more often than not, is because two firefighters are inside picking up an order to go, or are picking up something to take back to the fire station and fix for their next meal. Why take an ambulance? These firefighters are radio-equipped, and if an emergency arises, they can answer that call without having to return to the fire station. By the way, any groceries they purchase are paid for by the firefighters, not the taxpayers.
Fire personnel working at Station 2, here in Three Rivers, work a twenty-four hour shift. It runs from 7 AM to 7 AM. Don’t ask me how much time off they have between these shifts. If you were to ask firefighters the same question, they would probably have to check their schedule, because sometimes they are off for two days, and sometimes they aren’t. It can be very confusing. They are not awake for all those hours they’re on duty. From 7 AM until around 5 PM, they are maintaining equipment, attending training sessions, or answering calls. They also do a lot of public service, like going to a grade school to educate the students on what it takes to be a firefighter. After 5 PM, things are a bit more relaxed. They can study or just kick back a little, all the while waiting for a call to come in. In the last sentence, I mentioned that they could spend time studying. A full-time firefighter isn’t just a firefighter. He/she is also an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), or a paramedic. If they aren’t already one of these, they are studying to become one, and it is in no way an easy course of study.
I’ve dedicated most of this week’s column to our local firefighters. Next week, I’ll concentrate on our police officers. I’ll need a lot of help, because I don’t know them that well. However, I know enough to know that I’ll sleep well tonight, knowing that our police officers and firefighters are awake and doing what they can to keep me safe.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman