‘They give so much for so little in return’
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 1:37 pm

To the Editor:

Too many times there are events that cause troubles and pain to a few people. Most of us witness this as we drive to work or to the store. We may see a fire, a car accident or an ambulance parked in a driveway. We think nothing of this as we drive by. We are glad that this “mishap” didn’t slow our day up too much and it didn’t affect us directly.

The victims in these “mishaps” see it differently. Their lives have been turned around. For some people it becomes a life-changing event. There is another group who seem to be always involved during these “mishaps”: our volunteers.

They are the firemen on the scene, traffic control fire police, a first responder or an EMT. Most of these individuals are volunteers who responded to the alarm call. They usually are the first to arrive and the last to leave an emergency site. They may have to miss a day at work. They may report to the emergency in the early morning hours and then go to work for the rest of the day.

I witnessed this today in Norwood. Our village received 5.6 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. Most of us checked our sump pumps and made it through this “Act of Nature.” Some of us were not so lucky. Street drains overflowed. Water started backing up into cellars and in some cases just ran into cellars through the basement windows.

Our Norwood firemen along with other volunteers assisted the DPW in helping these victims, pumping out cellars, placing road warning signs, and directing traffic. This continued all day long with a mutual aid effort from neighboring fire departments.

I volunteered for 10 years as a Norwood fireman. I did it because I felt that I could make a difference and to help my community. This is why a person becomes a volunteer.

I also took pride when someone thanked me. Today I thank all of the volunteers who give so much for so little in return.

Robert C. Haggett

14 Morgan St., Norwood