A tragic event happened in late February that makes me pause and reflect.
Heroes - those men and women who daily wear the uniform and prepare to put their lives on the line to keep the community safe. Firefighters, law enforcement officers, and on the national front our military – these men and women are heroes.
One cold early morning in February, the residents in an apartment complex were awakened by a loud noise. Not knowing what it could be, someone called 9-1-1 and emergency personnel were dispatched. First on the scene, firefighters discovered the outside balcony walkway to the second floor apartments was in the process of collapsing. The firefighters began evacuating the residents. All residents made it to safety, however the walkway collapsed and a firefighter who had been rescuing others ended up losing his life.
This fallen firefighter was a 23 year veteran firefighter. He gave his life to help others to safety. Our firefighters and our police risk their lives daily to rescue strangers. They are heroes in my eyes.
It is only the 2nd time a firefighter has died in the line of duty in my community according to the local news source – the last time being over 20 years ago. The US Fire Administration National statistics state 101 firefighters died in 2013. Already in 2014 there have been thirty-three firefighter fatalities. These heroes often leave behind families with minor children. To help donations are solicited and can be given generally or to a specific family. Check out the National Fallen Firefighter Fund for more details.
In my community, flags were lowered half mast for a month. A memorial was held for the fallen firefighter. Firefighters from all over the state came to pay honor – the brotherhood of firefighters was definitely evident.
I have not had to use the services of the fire department unless you count the time I came home from work to find them at my home and my son looking sheepish (but that is another story for another day). The police have given me service a few times, sad to say (again, stories for other days). I am thankful for these community servants and appreciate their willingness to put their life on the line for my safety.
So pause for a moment. Honor our heroes, especially our fallen ones. Thank our community servants. Say a little prayer for their safety when their firetrucks or police vehicles pass by or you hear a siren. Every time they show up for work there is a possibility of their life in danger – for our sake.