In Praise Of Volunteer Firefighters And Their Willingness To Give It All

Published 3:28 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

There is no more heroic volunteer than a firefighter.

Yet, too often we take them for granted.

Take them for granted in Prince Edward, in Buckingham, in Cumberland, and everywhere else.

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Until sirens scream, engines roar and gallons of water are cannoned into devouring flames.

Until our volunteer firefighters are actually putting their lives at risk to save our homes, our precious possessions, and our lives.

A herculean and dangerous job for which we pay them…


Not a thing.

A high-wire act of devotion and duty to service for which they must…

…volunteer more of their lifetimes holding the fundraisers needed to enable them to voluntarily keep their volunteer fire departments going so they can continue voluntarily putting their lives at risk to save our homes, our precious possessions, and our lives.

All of our volunteer fire departments should be fully funded.


They are not raising money for themselves.

They are raising money for us.

They should not have to.


And then there's the training to learn how to expertly and under intense pressure operate sophisticated equipment. More time voluntarily given.

And these men and women have jobs.

They have careers.

They have families.

They have a spouse.

And children.

So many demands on their time and so many things they'd love to spend their time doing with those they love.

So many things they have so much less time for because of the time they spend volunteering to risk their lives to save our homes, our precious possessions, and our lives.

The alarm could tear them from their lives and those they love at any moment of any day or night, no matter the weather.

How many of us has any idea of the demands on the body and the mind to battle a fire in full gear on a 100-degree day with humidity so thick you could slice it with a downward motion of your arm?

Or what it's like to be awakened at 2:07 a.m. on a deep January night of sleet and snow, the air so cold your breath seems to hang in the air for an eternity and it burns your throat to breathe again, then driving through dangerous conditions, risking your life to risk your life for someone who might pass you in the grocery store or movie theater without having any idea who you are?

Only volunteer firefighters have any idea.

And they have a really good idea.

Only volunteer firefighters know what it's like because that is what they do for us.

Our volunteer fire departments were in our Christmas parades, but you know what?

Our volunteer firefighters deserve a parade all their own.

A parade from us to show our appreciation.