By JEFF JOBE
For many of us, the holiday season was pretty much a time for family festivities and good cheer. But for our local firemen it was a time to be on alert.
What few of us ever consider is the increased risk of home fires during the Holiday season. I certainly understand because I’m one of those cooks who tries to time my families meal so that I can make it all at once, often every burner, oven and with the microwave going full blast. Probably not the safest way to prepare a meal.
Then when you throw in 90º weather and less rain, fireworks, campfires and more people making their way through the woods; forest fires are a very real concern.
This sincere threat is indeed a reason to stop and thank our hard working firemen. I say hard working because the work goes on even when there are no fires to fight.
Last week I visited with the East Barren Firemen and saw them doing their monthly inspections. They start, inspect, tune and document that each piece of equipment is in proper working order. They keep records of continued training hours and discuss how to better serve our community.
All of us see them at wrecks, chemical spills and of course on the scene of fires, but what we don’t often consider is the commitment to make sure they are ready when the time comes.
It is for the preparation that I believe we should say thanks.
So I want to say thank you for spending countless hours at the firehouse. Thank you for waking up at 3 a.m. to help save a family whose house burst into flames. Thank you for saving the life of someone’s father when he went into cardiac arrest. Thank you for using the “Jaws of Life” to extract the child whose mother was involved in a head on collision. Thank you for standing hours in the sun directing traffic until a chemical spill was properly cleaned up.
Thank you for being so selfless that you do not even think twice when you run into a burning building.
They are indeed community heroes. They may not feel like it and this is why my staff is coordinating this effort to show them we certainly appreciate them.
All of us have seen the face of a child who sees their first big red fire truck in a Christmas parade and probably passed out candy to a few hundred little firemen on Halloween. Above all I would like to thank our firemen for using this respect and enthusiasm from our children to teach them to stop, drop and roll.
Thank you for staying strong because the communities you serve need you at your best.
Jeff Jobe is founder and CEO of Jobe Publishing, Inc. His commentary reflects his personal views and does not reflect the views of personal or professional associations and affiliations. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his previously published commentary at www.jobeforkentucky.com