As Chief of this Department I get to brag a little when my people go above and beyond their normal duties to serve the residents of our community. And in the last few weeks there have been a few incidents that give me a lot to brag about.
- Right before Christmas several members of the Department go out on their own time to drive Santa Claus around to all of the neighborhoods on the fire truck to visit with the children and hand out candy canes. During this year's visit from Santa, they met a single Mom and her two young kids who had lost their husband/father to an untimely death earlier this year. Realizing how difficult it would be both financially and emotionally for this family, they immediately went to the store and bought and wrapped several toys with their own money for each of the kids and had Santa go back and deliver them. Nothing will relieve the grief that this family suffers, but at least for one day our members were able to bring a little joy to this family.
- Members responded to a report of a woman locked out of her apartment in one of the buildings on East Hartsdale Ave. The only way to gain entry into the apartment resulted in damage being done to the door knob and lock on her front door. Members realized that the woman, who lives alone, would not be able to secure the lock. So one of the firefighters, who happened to live in the same building, went to his apartment, took the door knob/lock off of one of his own doors, and used it to secure the lock to the woman's apartment so she could be safe for the night.
- Members were returning from an alarm and noticed a car on the side of the road with a flat tire and a woman standing beside it looking distressed. They stopped to render aid. It turned out the woman had just been discharged from the hospital and was still not feeling well. To complicate matters, it was a cold day, she was from Florida, and did not have a heavy coat. The members had her sit in the warm car, changed her tire, and got her back on her way.
It is incidents like these that make me proud to be Chief of this Department.