Out and About – Week of January 18th

Last week’s column focused on those first responders from the Three Rivers Fire Department, Station Number Two. I failed to mention the volunteer firefighters, who are called upon whenever the need arises. An example might be whenever a major accident or fire occurs and the four firefighters on duty are needed to respond, which would leave no one at the station, in the event that another call comes in. These volunteers, or on-call firefighters, are paged at their homes or places of employment and do what they can to arrive at the fire station in a timely fashion. Once there, they will await further instructions. Most of the time, they will just stand by until the on-duty personnel return. The Fabius-Park station is made up mostly of volunteers. I’m not sure if it is still the case, but at one time, there was a firefighter at the station in case a call came in.

Police officers are also regarded as “First Responders”. Police officers are assigned a specific shift depending on seniority. Unlike firefighters, a police officer works alone, but is in constant contact with Central Dispatch, so they are never really alone. On occasion, you might find a couple of officers having lunch together. This gives them a chance to catch up on what is happening in the Three Rivers area. More often than not, their meal is interrupted because of a call. Whenever I see a couple of officers relaxing over lunch, I take a moment to thank them for their service and to be safe out there. You’d be surprised how much this small gesture is appreciated.

We are very fortunate to have a group of very dedicated police officers and firefighters here in Three Rivers. As a matter of fact, we have some great first responders all over St. Joe County. Our sheriff’s department is one to be proud of for sure.

Now I’m sure there are some folks who will disagree with me and the feelings that I’ve expressed. The only reason I feel they might disagree, is that they are the ones who have had less than desirable experiences with law enforcement.

One of the greatest conveniences we have today is the cell phone. I don’t know what I’d do without mine. My phone is very simple. I can make and receive phone calls, text, and even take a picture with it if I want. I don’t use the camera function, because I can’t figure out what to do with the picture once it has been taken. The convenience of having a cell phone is taken for granted. I recently stopped at a local eatery for lunch. It took me about twenty minutes to eat a sandwich in a manner that would have made my mother proud. When I sat down to eat, I noticed a female patron also eating while talking on her phone. When I finally finished and got up to leave, the lady was still on her phone. I admire this lady, because I can’t imagine talking on the phone with someone for that length of time, let alone eating something while talking. A perfect example of multi-tasking.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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