Friday, 08 March 2013 00:00
When I was a boy, I watched the volunteer firemen play in the local softball league and figured how much fun they had. On Memorial Day, I road on the fire trucks, attended the festivities at the firehouses, and watched them as they marched in the local parades and figured how much fun they had. And, when gaining access to the inside of the firehouses and seeing the trucks up close and the bottles of Coke that we were permitted to take directly from the refrigerator, I figured how much fun they had.
And, over time, reality settled in, as it does for everyone. And I saw and experienced and had the great benefit of that part of the job description that I never figured as a boy- many times, wishing that I never had to be a part of it as an adult. I have watched the selfless men and women of our volunteer fire departments come running (literally) to the homes of my family and friends, rush to the scene of nearly any circumstance that called for assistance, showing up at all hours of the day- and night, in blizzards and hurricanes and everything else, to transport a loved one to a local hospital, to tend to them for any and every condition, to console and assure those left behind, for things big and not so big, when accidents just happen, and when just about anything else occurs that is in fact not too much fun at all.
Nearly all of us have no doubt had the great benefit of the tremendous generosity and patience and devotion of these men and women, for which we too often put that desperate moment behind us, not wanting to be reminded of the less than positive event that brought them to our aide in the first place- and over and over again. While my wish is that no one has to experience the need for their service, there is just about no getting around it. As I trust every community is, we are simply fortunate to have them here in Oyster Bay-East Norwich. Thank you all.