Firefighters always there when calledPublished 7:00am Friday, December 20, 2013
By Alexandra Hedrick
Pearl River County is served by twelve volunteer fire departments and two municipal fire departments. Those 14 departments are staffed by about 280 firefighters said Emergency Management Agency Director Danny Manley.
Volunteer firefighters are not paid for their service and while some volunteer firefighters work either full-time or part-time for municipal departments, some work solely for volunteer departments.
The departments just don’t answer fire calls, they are sometimes the first responders to car accidents and work with law enforcement and emergency management to assist in times of trouble.
The Picayune Fire Department is why City Hall is decorated in Christmas lights and why Poplarville’s Ping-Pong Ball Drop is possible. The departments also escorts Santa through both cities during Christmas parades.
If you ask some of the firefighters why they do their job, especially the volunteer firefighters, they will tell you ‘it’s in their blood’ or ‘because I wanted to help my community.’
They make sacrifices for no other reason than they want to serve and protect their community.
When these men and women get off their shift, they stay on call. Regardless of the time of day, the day of the week or holiday, if they get a call, they respond. No questions asked.
Last Christmas when a tornado passed through the county all the departments responded. They sacrificed time with their family and friends to help those in need.
It’s not just a sacrifice by the firefighters, but also their families. The families are the ones who are left behind when the firefighters respond to a call.
The bottom line is, the firefighters in our county never take a day off. Every day they make a promise to the community to put themselves in harm’s way to protect and save their fellow men.
So next time you see one of our firefighters, tell them thank you because when you’re in trouble, they will be there to respond.