Letters (Jan. 15, 2014)

Firefighters deserve

our full support

I would like to thank Don Ratzlaff for the excellent article regarding the Hills?boro Fire Department (Jan. 8 issue).

For two years I had the privilege of serving with these men before I ?retired.? I continue to attend many of their monthly meetings.

I am amazed and awed at the abilities of Chief Ben Steketee and his crew: Joe Alvarez, Roger Ashley, Mike Duerk?sen, Lowell Foth, Johnny Gilkey, Matt Hein, Todd Helmer, Lyle Isaac, Murray Koop, David Lan?caster, Mason McCarty, Rusty Moss, Kenneth Ollenburger, Jason Plett, Marty Rader and Lloyd Spencer.

These men get up at any hour of the night?often after putting in a hard day at work?to fight fires in freezing temperatures and in difficult situations, which at times involve electricity, explosive materials and toxic fumes.

In actuality, these men are willing to put their lives on the line every time they respond to a fire call.

I share the following Firefighter?s Prayer, which I think depicts the heart of a firefighter. The author is unknown.

*?*?*

When I am called to duty, God, whenever flames may rage;

Give me strength to save some life, whatever be its age.

Help me embrace a little child before it is too late,

Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout,

And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling to give the best in me,

To guard my every neighbor and protect their property.

And if, according to my fate, I am to lose my life;

Please bless with your protecting hand my children and my wife.

*?*?*

Many times firefighters are not really appreciated until a person experiences a fire personally. I?d like to encourage our community individuals to thank our fire chief and his dedicated crew for their sacrificial service.

And by the way, these men have training sessions the first and third Wednes?day evenings of every month, and they love having treats during these meetings. If you would be willing to contribute some cookies or brownies?or anything else edible?please contact me at 947-3730 and I will take this to their next meeting.

Thanks for supporting our firefighters.

Glenn Ratzlaff

Hillsboro