Support Your Local Firefighter!
(Nov 2, 2019, Mount Pocono) By Tom Ford, Mount Pocono Borough Council Member Friday morning I was on the road at 6:30 for an early meeting at Shawnee. Heading south on 611 I saw at least half a dozen pickups and personal vehicles with first responder lights flashing heading up the hill. I knew something big had happened.
As the morning unfolded, we all learned of the tragedy at Pocono Manor Resort. Thankfully, this "only" involved property damage -- heartbreaking and massive as it was, but no guest, employee, or first reponder was injured.
Gratitude for that outcome, and for preventing the fires from spreading further, despite the high winds and awful conditions, go to the dedicated volunteers, who left their warm beds, their families, or their jobs, to rush to the dangerous scene.
40 or 50 trucks and their crews, from six counties, some pumping as much as one million gallons of water each over the course of that first day, worked dawn to dusk, and beyond, in brutally dangerous conditions, risking their lives, health, and livelihoods, to protect our's.
Because of the magnitude of the fire, and the historic location, they were all on display yesterday (and many are there again today, still fighting a stubborn blaze). And social media is today filled with praise and thanks for them, as it should be.
We would do well, though, to remember that they do this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Even if not called out on a particular day, we all sleep better knowing they stand at the ready, voluntarily, to risk their all to protect us.
How I wish our small municipalities could afford to make them full time, paid fire fighters. But the reality is we cannot and our citizens are already over taxed as it is.
But, we can all make sure that they know we appreciate their efforts, and we can actively support their fundraisers. Go to the pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners, attend the Fairs and Carnivals, buy the raffle tickets, put dollars in the boots at the stop light.
I haven't done enough of this myself and will do more. I ask each of you to do the same, and let those neighbors and friends who volunteer know that you appreciate what they do for all of us.
We can all do that. But, there are some among us who can do more -- those younger and more able bodied than I, please, become a volunteer with your local fire department. I am not aware of any local department which does not need volunteers. If you are able, please consider it.
And thanks to everyone who has taken time to show their gratitude to these true heroes in our community.