Tonawanda News

Columns

July 31, 2013

CONFER: Be thankful for fire and EMS volunteers

Tonawanda News — If there was one thing that Niagara County residents can take from the powerful storms that besieged the western end of the county on July 19th and left its infrastructure and residences crippled for anywhere from 12 to 36 hours, it is this: We are blessed to have so many people who care enough about our community that they would willingly give of their time and energy to protect its people and property.

At a time when so many others complained about the alleged misery placed upon them by Mother Nature’s fury (no televisions or computers! Gasp!), dozens of caring volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel did something about the natural disaster and its truly miserable outcomes. These men and women gave up their Friday night and entire Saturday to direct traffic, pump out basements, fight electrical fires, cut fallen trees, and tend to disabled people whose crucial medical systems went powerless.

They got little rest and when they did, they were spelled by other volunteers from the other side of the county who were unaffected by the storm. That’s how powerful their sense of brotherhood is. And, that’s how strong their senses of duty and community are.

They don’t do this for pay. They don’t do this for benefits. They don’t do this for glory. They give their time, free of charge, and risk their lives because they want to. They’re volunteers. They are only interested in the rewards of their efforts -- that is, safe property and healthy people.

While the rest of our population went about their usual weekend business, the volunteers did everything within their power to make sure they were afforded that chance. In turn, the volunteers gave up their own weekends. Some skipped out on family picnics, sons’ baseball games, or a round of golf, all so others didn’t miss out on the same. To make that happen, they ensured that the roads might be open or safe to travel and homeowners’ basements might be cleared.

Text Only
Columns
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo