|A SOFT, QUIET MORNING|
|BAYFIELD FIRE HALL|
The Appeals Board meeting yesterday was held in the conference room at the firehouse, so afterwards I had the opportunity to examine and take some photos of the emergency equipment, which I found pretty impressive, and as one expects, clean, polished and organized. There are two EMT ambulances, four large fire trucks and a smaller truck especially equipped for wildfires. The department has 19 volunteer firefighters and 15 volunteer Emergency Medical Technicians. All must meet defined levels of competence and training for their respective positions. I have always found volunteer emergency personnel to be fully effective in the smaller communities in which we have lived and worked. These volunteers take on difficult and hazardous duty for little compensation and I think exemplify what is best about our society, everyday folks helping the community do things it could otherwise ill afford and providing services where otherwise there might be none at all.
I recall an incident early in my career, working at the Boerner Botanical Gardens in Hales Corners, a Milwaukee western suburb. A visitor fell and broke a leg and I called the volunteer Rescue Squad. It was Sunday but they quickly arrived, dressed in Bermuda shorts and T shirts, straight from a neighborhood barbecue. The accident victim refused to be touched by them, and her husband loaded her in their car and they drove painfully off. How foolish, for the EMTs were all medical doctors off for the weekend.