Firefighters play key community role

Last Sept. 11, America’s bravest gave the ultimate sacrifice when 343 New York City firefighters lost their lives in the worst terrorist attack ever faced by the people of the United States!
It was an event no one will ever forget. It also became evident how important firefighters are to us—and how dangerous their job is.
As a citizen, do you recognize your local fire department as a partner in community services? Your local fire department—whether full-time or volunteer—has an important function within your community.
The fire department, of course, performs fire suppression and life-saving functions, and responds to many other types of emergencies, such as motor vehicle accidents.
It also may perform other services to your community, such as first responder for medical calls, fire and life safety education, and fire inspections.
Many firefighters in Canada and the U.S. are volunteers who receive no monetary reward for their services. Yet countless hours a year are spent on training, maintenance, and responding to many different challenging incidents.
Times are tough with municipal cutbacks. The budgets for essential services are being reduced, including your local fire department. In fact, many fire departments have been fundraising extensively to offset the cost of fire and life protection to you, the citizen.
I encourage everyone to help and assist your local fire department next time they are fundraising.
When firefighters visit our schools, the fire and life safety education they provide is very valuable—and has saved lives!
Remember, if you never need what you learn about personal safety, you have lost nothing. But if you never learn what you need, you may lose everything . . . your family and your life!
Safety—it starts with you!
Tyler Moffitt is a first aid instructor, and served 15 years as a volunteer firefighter and emergency responder.

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