Thank you, volunteer firefighters


We too often take for granted some of the most heroic members of this community. In Estherville, Armstrong, Ringsted, Dolliver and Gruver, there are men and women who drop everything, show up, put in time for training, and much more to save our lives and property.

The volunteer firefighter.

We take them for granted until the sirens scream up the block or lane, engines roar into action, and gallons of water are cannoned onto the flames that are devouring the home, garage, or structure of dreams.

Until a firefighter enters a home looking for someone who needs help getting out.

Until they climb the ladders to bring a human or pet to safety.

Until they put their lives, health and safety at risk to help someone else.

It's a tough and dangerous job for which they receivenothing.

They have to fundraise with pancake suppers and wreath sales for the privilege, to meet the requirements of having adequate uniforms, equipment and supplies.

Our governments and entities don't fully fund them. They don't sling pancakes for themselves. They're pouring it on for us.

Unlike in urban areas, these men and women leave their jobs at times to attend to our disasters.

They have careers, they may have families, spouse and children, demands on their time that take them away from those they hold most precious.

Have you ever battled a fire in full gear on a 100-degree day with humidity so thick you could slice through it with a downward motion of your forearm?

Neither have we.

Firefighters show up to help at various emergencies and disasters. Monday night, they were a mile and two west of Estherville with signs and lights guiding drivers through the fog, blocking traffic in one direction, then another to get them through. Emmet County Emergency Services and the Sheriff's department took the lead, but more than one fire department vehicle was there, and volunteers stood by officials, taking lights and assisting with the efforts.

They put their lives on the line as a driver or two didn't see them at first and sailed slowly past despite what turned out to be a signal to "whoa" not "go."

They put up with a lot from us, see us sometimes at our worst moments, and while carrying out their required tasks, they're not above stopping for a moment to give comfort to those who have had a disaster or loss.

Thank you to volunteer firefighters and to all our emergency personnel who are there when we need them.

We definitely appreciate it.


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