Firefighters deserve all of our gratitude

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 12, 2004

Tribune editorial staff

Firefighters go about their job and never ask for thanks - it's just not their way.

However, every now and then, someone whose life has been touched by these brave individuals goes out of their way and makes it a point to show them just how appreciative he or she is. Such was the case Tuesday when Verna Martin of Kitts Hill treated Upper Township Volunteer Fire Department to a dinner of homemade chicken casserole, mashed potatoes, green beans, dinner rolls and cherry pie.

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Martin was involved in a car crash last month on State Route 141 that left her trapped in her car upside down in a creek. Firefighters cut her out of the vehicle and carried her to safety.

Fire Chief Jeff Scott said in his 16 years of being a firefighter, this was the first time someone had brought a tangible gift for their gratitude.

Look at any newspaper, anywhere in the country on any given day and chances are you will find something about a local fire department. It may be something seeming as mundane as responding to false alarms or assisting with a minor accident, but every now and then you will read an article about a major structure fire in which men and women are putting their own lives at risk to save the lives and property of others.

It takes a special person to be a firefighter - someone willing to risk his or her life every time the bell in the station house rings. Most of these firefighters, especially here in Lawrence County, are volunteers. They are not getting paid to enter a burning house. They perform their jobs for free, after taking hours of training before they can don their uniforms.

They are proud of the job they do for you every day, and we should share in that pride. All of us should take the time to say "thank you" to those who work at your local fire station. And, you could go the extra mile such as Verna Martin did and bring them dinner - or maybe just a batch of freshly baked cookies.

At the very least, just give your firefighters a pat on the back. They deserve it.