Great examples of role models

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By Jesef Williams

Over the last month or so, I’ve learned a great deal about water hoses, foam spray and control panels on fire trucks.

But more importantly, I’ve had the chance to interact closely with the folks who operate that equipment – ready to put on their firefighter’s gear and go to work at a moment’s notice.  

“Unsung hero” is the phrase that comes to mind when I think of the volunteers at the 19 fire departments throughout the country. It’s seldom that these men and women get the recognition they deserve for keeping our communities safe daily.

And what’s even more remarkable is the modesty they display. These folks don’t seek the attention, and when they are questioned about their reason for firefighting, they say it’s to make a difference in their community. To me, that’s a great example of a role model.

In our 19-part series, I covered Gooches Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department, McDonald Green Volunteer Fire Department and the Lancaster Fire Department. Each organization is unique, with its own history, own personality and roster of dedicated, loyal members.

Some volunteers are longtime members while others are relatively new to firefighting.

For instance, I was impressed with the two youngest members of the McDonald Green Department. One works full time, attends college part time and still finds time to volunteer. The other was hired earlier this year by the Lancaster Fire Department, but felt a responsibly to remain a volunteer with McDonald Green.

It’d be great to see more folks like them join the fire service, because many of the departments need more members.

And even if you don’t become a member, you should at least support these organizations that make our county a much safer place to live.