Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Love Your Neighbor

As Christians we have a duty to love/serve our neighbors. One way our family serves is by Jeff and Josh volunteering with the local fire department. Everyone should support their local departments, whether they are volunteer or paid. Even paid firefighters do not get paid very much.

Some may be surprised what situations fire departments are called out to. They not only respond to house and field fires, but they are called out to all 911 calls. Often there are calls to elderly people that have fallen, or that are having trouble breathing. They are called out for children that have a high fever, or have locked themselves in a car (you'd be surprised how often this happens).
They respond to reports of trees down in the roadways, which usually happens during storms and at night. They are first responders when a tornado comes through. They are called out for missing persons, who are usually children. Last year a middle aged woman with emotional issues disappeared. Our firefighters (and other departments) spent several days looking for her, some even took time from their regular jobs. Sadly she was found dead on the fifth day. This was emotionally and physically draining for all of us.

They are called to domestic violence situations, although, THANKFULLY they do have to wait until law enforcement is on the scene. These calls concern me the most when my husband and son respond. Almost always there is alcohol or drugs involved. They also get called to suicidal situations. There are alot of hurting people out there.

Probably what they respond mostly to are car accidents. These can be especially difficult. Some are simple fender benders, some are bloody and deadly. We live in a small community where everyone knows everyone. About 3-4 years ago Jeff responded to a call of a wreck , it was 2 teen girls (senior year of high school). One girl was ejected from the car, Jeff saw her...it was the daughter of one of his fellow firefighters. This shook all of us to the core, and still effects us today. The wonderful thing is she was a Christian. The car that hit the girls, the driver was drinking, and he was not injured.

Last week Jeff responded to a call at 5:15 am. The speeder (clocked at 95 mph by a trooper) was ejected from his car, then ran over twice by passing trucks. It was a very difficult scene, yes, he was dead. The other (innocent) man in the truck he hit, the firefighters had to cut him out of his truck, he died later in the day.

Every time my guys are on a call, I pray. I pray for their safety, and pray for the ones they are responding to. Not only do they respond to all these types of calls, but they have meetings twice a month and they have trainings to go to all year long. All of this is volunteer, it's a part of loving our neighbor!

Saturday was our annual fund raiser,
a Spaghetti Supper and Auction.

Here Josh is cleaning the kitchen.

This is put on at the high school and the fire fighters and their families do all the work. This year we had a BIG turn out. We worked hard all evening. This is one way you can support your local fire department, take part in their fund raisers.

Olivia is adding the glaze to the cinnamon rolls.

Paying your fire dues each year is another way to support your department. Where we live, dues are voluntary.
Emma cutting tomatoes for the salad.

Keep the batteries in your smoke alarms fresh, every minute counts when there is a fire, and it may be my husband coming in to find you if you cannot get out in time.

Jeff and Olivia working the serving line.

We sleep with the fire radio next to our bed. Jeff and Josh are ready to go at a moment's notice. I am so proud of them. As I type this they are both gone to the scene of a car accident. Please pray for and support your local department, they are a special breed of people.

Be it blaze or blood they will be there!

Jeff's brother is also a volunteer fireman in upstate New York. He was voted Fireman of the Year a few years ago. Yep...we're proud!

1 comment:

flutemom said...

thank you for this wonderful tribute. my oldest daughter and her husband-to-be (in 3 more days) are both EMT's and volunteer firefighters.