Fire Prevention Week has been in place all this week, giving everyone a reminder about how to stay safe in their homes, on their farms or at their businesses.
What has not been said amidst this special week, and really ought to be, is that our fire departments are comprised of special individuals who should be recognized for the work they quietly do on our behalf.
Like other emergency responders, fire fighters put themselves in harm’s way for the protection of the general public, along with helping to promote fire safety with annual events such as Fire Prevention Week.
The event is somewhat dampened this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Fire Department can’t go into schools to share their messages with students, as they should be allowed to do, nor can they host tours of the fire hall.
But when a call comes in requiring their response, they are there and they do their jobs regardless of any perceived threat of COVID, because the safety of the public supercedes anything else.
An example of their selflessness was evident in a call that came in on Friday afternoon from the Weyburn Special Care Home, where there had been a fire in a plastic wastebasket.
The fire had been quickly extinguished, but the fire fighters still needed to respond to the scene, which they did, and made sure everyone was safe.
As this is a care home with seniors as residents, the call is considered a “high life hazard” situation, so three fire trucks were dispatched to the facility — they weren’t taking any risks with anyone’s safety.
This is the very basis of their service to the community, whether they are a paid fire fighter or a so-called “volunteer” fire fighter, they roll out to any fire call where an emergency response is needed.
There are bound to be situations where there is a risk to themselves, such as a large structure fire or a spill of hazardous materials as just two examples, but they are willing to put themselves there to keep the general public safe.
In a sense, the coronavirus is just one more risk added to a long list of potential safety risks, but the public needs to know that these fire fighters are highly trained in their jobs.
They practice every week, and go through a wide range of scenarios so they know just how they should be responding in a given emergency situation when they arise.
When you see a fire fighter, even if it is a relatively “minor” situation that doesn’t involve a lot of flames and danger, you should thank them for the job they do, because when a real hazard comes up, they are there for you, for your safety.