Living in the country we sometimes take things for granted.
Like being able to walk into a store and knowing the owner by his first name, or the fact that it takes mere minutes for most of us to get to work on our morning commute.
City folk aren’t so lucky — ever try getting across Edmonton before 9 a.m. on a weekday?
Another small-town curiosity is the fact that the men and women who show up to fight fires in Vimy, Westlock, Fawcett and all points in between are volunteers.
The guy working as a mechanic, or the gal taking your blood pressure may be the same person manning a hose to save your garage.
Let that sink in for a minute.
“We don’t have volunteer police, doctors, paramedics. We’re the only service that can manage with volunteers and they’re going to see a lot of different things. We need to ensure that the people we bring on board are quite well-aware of the working conditions,” said town fire chief Stuart Koflick in a story about recruitment we have on Page 21 of this week’s Westlock News in our annual Fire Prevention Week section.
We encourage you to flip through the 10-page section and take note of the folks who put their life on the line.
Next time you see one of them in the grocery store, at the gas pumps, or the rink, be sure to thank them for their service.
They’re not doing it for some grand individual reward, or even a pay cheque; in fact we suspect their motivation is far more pragmatic.
The hallmark of communities like ours is the willingness of people to roll up the sleeves, pitch-in and get things done.
It was on full display for the Soul Sisters Nelly’s Project 6 a few weekends back and will be again when the Rotary Club’s annual Dinner Theatre takes to the stage in a couple of weeks time.
These events are run by volunteers, with the proceeds going to support important, community-changing projects.
But we’ll give them their due another day, as this is Fire Prevention Week. So, to our fire fighters, who we dub the ‘ultimate volunteers’, we thank you.
Our community is better place because of you.