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There’s a day and a week to celebrate everything, every business and every profession.
Last week, was National Newspaper Week and we meant to toot our own horn but we got so busy doing what a newspaper is supposed to be doing — reporting the news and serving the community — that we ran out of time.
This week is Fire Prevention Week across the country and I do want to take time to recognize the noble profession of firefighting.
The week is a time to reflect on fire safety, to review your home and business plans in case of a fire and a time to check your smoke detectors and to probably change out the batteries.
It is also a good time to stop and think what firefighters do to serve and protect all of us. We need to thank them whether they be full-time paid firefighters or, like in our area, our neighbors who volunteer their services.
Paid firemen deserve our thanks, certainly, but it is the volunteers we need to herald locally since they are the ones who serve us. These men and women don’t do it for the money (there is no money), they do it out of a service to the community.
They are willing to go at any hour of the day or night to fight a fire, work an accident or provide other services.
The other week multiple departments were out at the Louisiana Pacific mill south of Thomasville fighting a fire there. They were on the scene from late Sunday night until not long before dawn Monday morning. Many of them got home just in time to get a shower and get dressed to go to their regular, paying jobs.
This past weekend, I heard departments out at various grass fires around the country,. It is dry, dry and we’ve had more than our share of fires. While you were perhaps napping Sunday afternoon, I listened to firefighters on the scanner fighting grass fires.
Jackson since the 1950s has recognized Fire Prevention Week in a big way with activities for the firemen and a mid-week parade that draws departments from around the region.
I want to thank all of our firefighters — people we work with, go to church and school events with and socialize with — for what they do to protect and serve us.
At a time when community and civic life is too fast falling away, our Volunteer Fire Departments — VFDs— are still a cornerstone for many of our communities, providing not only a valuable firefighting service but so much more for the community. To illustrate, think of the Fall Gospel Singing hosted recently by the Fulton Fire Department. It brought the community together just as it has for years and just as it will for years to come.
Fighting fires, protecting and serving their communities. That is what a rural volunteer firefighter does.
Your work and your service is appreciated.
Jim Cox is editor and publisher of The Clarke County Democrat. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.