By Ralph Westerburg – Asst. Chief,-Reed City Fire Dept.
Our heroes of yesterday have lost their luster. Almost daily the headlines remind us how unwise it is to put our faith in sports legends. Or movie stars. Politicians. Or captains of industry. So where are the role models of today for our sons and daughters? We have a suggestion. There is a group of people we tend to take for granted. There is no special day set aside in their honor, that we know of. No TV series dedicated to their heroism. No organized national recognition of their importance to every community in the U.S. – big or small.
Without fanfare, they do their job. Sometimes putting their lives on the line in the process. There is much to admire about these men and women. From part-time rural volunteer to full-time big-city professional. From the trainee to the Chief. From the fire fighter to the fire marshal. To even qualify for this demanding work, they have to be physically strong. Dedicated. Intelligent. Resourceful. Highly motivated. And, yes, unselfish. Because they’re certainly not in it for the money. At a time when many of us bemoan the lack of heroes, we suggest all of us look down the street to the men and women who protect you and your neighborhood from the ever-present dangers of fire. Those role models for our kids? They’ve been there all along. God Bless the firefighters of America!