Friday, June 5, 2009

Fire Department BBQ

I honestly don't know how many readers this blog has but it's already proven to be more than I expected, so I'm going to take a moment and plug a generic cause that I believe in.

Until a couple of months ago I was an active member of my local volunteer fire department. Right now I'm on leave, but that's beside the point. I joined the department - and support it still - because what it does is incredibly important.

While I was responding I went to innumerable vehicle accidents and on many medical aid calls. Those were the day-to-day events we saw. Less frequently we went looking for smoke or fire when someone thought something was out of place and called 911. Sometimes we found fire and did the arduous work of putting it out. A few of those fires were in houses or garages, more were outdoors - wildland fires. Most were small but every single one had the potential to get away. One finally did last year, before anyone even knew it had started: the Summit Fire, the event that prompted me to start this blog in the first place.

I don't tell you this to brag - in truth I was a small part of a team, and nothing I did by itself was of particular consequence - but instead to show you the nature of things that your fire fighters do, every day, for you.

I know that many places - in the US at least - have paid fire fighters, and I appreciate them. I worked with paid professionals all the time, and loved doing so. But here in California - with the budget woes and financial crisis - volunteer fire fighters save our counties money as they save lives and property. They give back to the community every single day in ways large and small, and they deserve your support. Who else do you know that gives their time, money and effort to make you and your neighbors safer, occasionally risking their lives in the process?

On Sunday, June 7th, my local volunteer fire department is hosting its annual BBQ fundraiser. it's the only fund raising activity we do, and the proceeds help fund the department for another year, buy equipment, hire trainers, and so on. Yes, we get county funding too, but money in our accounts stays in our community, and it directly helps you, the residents.

If you live in the Summit area and are served by Loma Prieta Volunteer Fire and Rescue, please come join us on Sunday, July 7th, at the gazebo on Summit Road for lunch, a chance to meet your fire fighters, see the equipment they use, and thank them for their service. I'll be there somewhere, helping keep people fed and happy.

If you don't live in my area, you may have a volunteer fire department where you live, and they will, no doubt, have fundraising activities. Please support them. Their work is important and you're better off for their efforts.

This is a cause I really believe in. Your volunteer fire department might save your life someday, but I am certain they are working to make you, your family, and your friends safer every day.

Thanks for reading this. I hope you can support your local volunteers.