October 25, 2014
Around the big top

Can we get these guys some sort of award?

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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Posted 2/25/09

Since I started working at the newspaper about a year and a half ago, I have been in contact with many volunteer firefighters. These guys can get paged out at any second and are expected to throw on their gear, hit the fire barn and fly out to a fire, car accident, helicopter landing zone, downed power line or boating accident at any given moment of the day.

And what do they get in return? A thank you, sometimes, and that’s really more than they even ask for.

I’m going to apologize in advance to the other departments not mentioned in this column, because I know they are all dedicated to fighting fires and helping others out, but I’m going to focus on one in particular.

I’ve done stories on the AuGres-Sims-Whitney Fire Department being very integral in saving three people’s lives – two in a sinking boat and one who was bleeding from the neck.

Now I know since they are volunteers, they don’t expect any monetary award or financial reimbursement, but can we get some elected officials or someone to at least come out here and give these guys a certificate or throw them a party or something? I know the campaigns are long gone, but seriously, these guys deserve some recognition from government officials, whom they are saving some dough by volunteering.

Of course, Chief Kurt Humerickhouse wouldn’t tell you that. He would tell you he’s just doing his job and so is everybody else on the department. But if you tell that to Dale McCourt or the two gentlemen dragged out of a sunken boat in the middle of Saginaw Bay by a volunteer firefighter and his friend last year, they’d probably think of the deeds as more than business as usual.

And this isn’t even touching on the fact that all the volunteer firefighters in the area have probably at one time or another done the same thing. Throw in the fact that they are constantly learning how to use new equipment and attending training sessions, and you can see why I believe these individuals deserve more recognition than they get.

I mean, these guys don’t ask for much, and they pretty much run on grants. Is it really too much to get them a plaque or something?

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