Editorial: Emergency service workers deserve our gratitude

Sep. 23, 2013 @ 11:31 PM

It’s the early morning hours of a chilly September night, when the sound comes.

Cozy in a warm bed, they roll over, check the page from the office and whisper to their significant other that they hope to be home soon.

It’s just another day in the life of a first responder.

Sure some of those that respond to early-morning fires and accidents are on the clock and working their normal shifts, but other brave souls do it on a voluntary basis — leaving their loved ones behind to go out and serve their community.

In either case, the firefighters, EMTs and police often have no concrete idea of the often-dangerous situation they’re approaching, and have only their courage, a sense of responsibility and tireless co-workers to guide them.

It’s often a thankless job with only moderate pay for those that aren’t volunteers. Putting themselves in harm’s way for the sake of others is a often a reward itself, and that — just knowing inside that you’ve helped others — is enough.

Days like Monday, when five abandoned houses on Sevierville’s Apple Ridge Way caught fire, are the perfect example of first responders’ dedication.

At 3:45 a.m., as most of us were deep in dreams, the call went out. And like a flash a bevy of firefighters, both paid and volunteers, as well as police and EMTs were on the scene, fighting the blazes and investigating the suspicious events.

Approximately 65 fire fighters from six area agencies responded to the fires, along with eight fire engines, two wildfire trucks and one tanker, according to the city of Sevierville. Assisting the SFD were the Pigeon Forge FD, Sevier County VFD, Northview/Kodak VFD, Seymour VFD and Walden’s Creek VFD.

Their cooperation and care for their community is amazing.

Take the time today to thank a first responder. You never know when you might need one, but, chances are, they’ll be there soon.