Listowel Banner editorial
It is the time of year for us to pause and reflect on one of the municipality’s most important services.
We are talking about the fire department, a band of men and women who volunteer their time and energy to keep us safe.
Municipalities like ours rely heavily on the volunteer power of our firefighters. In larger municipalities, such as Kitchener-Waterloo, full-time firefighters are kept on staff — a much more expensive enterprise, one that would be cost-prohibitive for smaller municipalities.
Without our volunteers, it would be virtually impossible to provide the emergency services our residents need.
Volunteer firefighters respond to everything from a medical emergency to a car accident to, of course, fires and will respond at any hour of the day or night to do so.
These are men and women who have full-time jobs. They are husbands and wives, fathers and mothers — and, in some cases, grandparents.
There are families within North Perth that have served on the fire department for several generations, giving decades of personal service to the municipality.
In addition to their efforts in emergencies, however, our firefighters are also there for many other occasions.
We invite readers to check out the special Fire Prevention Week section in your Listowel Banner. It outlines local open houses and many important fire safety tips.
Next week, during Fire Prevention Week, firefighters will be in schools, teaching children some extremely important skills. By the end of the week, children will have been reminded of how important it is to have a fire safety plan, how to safely exit a building when there is a fire, and what number they should call (9-1-1) when there is an emergency. Children and their parents will be able to map out an escape plan and will be reminded of the importance of working smoke alarms.
These are, of course, things that we should be teaching our own children. Time and circumstances (think hockey practices, dance lessons and homework, as well as the struggle of working full-time hours to put food on the table) often get in the way.
How fortunate we are, then to find the men and women in this municipality who so freely give of their time and energy, helping us in so many ways.
Several of the fire halls are planning open houses in the coming days, as part of fire prevention week. This is a great opportunity for residents to come out, meet our volunteers, and thank them for their help.
It is, after all, the least we can do.
-S.D./Special to The Listowel Banner