Sunday, February 8, 2009

An Inspiration to Serve

One of the defining features of Jefferson County small towns are our volunteer emergency crews. With no more incentive than a desire to help their communities, men and women volunteer their time, and in some tragic cases sacrifice their lives, to aid those in need.

They've undergone many hours training - 86 hours for the basic interior firefighting - with travel expenses coming out of their own pockets. And with the volunteer crews getting smaller and smaller in Jefferson County, and funds getting more and more limited, training courses need to be consolidated in a central location within a vast area -- meaning a trainee from Oxbow may have to drive an hour to attend a course in Adams.

With the tragic death of Mark Davis in Cape Vincent, I'm hoping people will not fear the sacrifice, strain, and heartbreak inherent in volunteer firefighting and EMT. I'm hoping that Mark's memorial, with so many fire departments and emergency crews attending - crews from all over Jefferson County, from NYC, from Ontario, and from Boston - will inspire the sons and daughters of Nothern New York to serve as a volunteer fire fighter or volunteer EMT. And if you feel you are unable to serve, I hope you'll be inspired to donate your time and/or money to the funding of your local fire department.

Mark, you will be remembered, and memorialized among heroes.