On Friday, May 1st, Monaca Fire was dispatched to Indiana Ave for a caller reporting that their cat was stuck in a tree and was requesting the fire department to come and assist it in coming to the ground. Upon reviewing our website and Facebook pages I noticed that many of the commenters thought the call was a joke, as did we when we received the dispatch notice. We made the typical jokes about the call when we returned back to the station and didn’t think much more about the call until we received the following email a few hours later:
“Hi I am the woman whose cat your department rescued from the trees! I just want to take a moment to thank you guys! Oliver means the world to my daughters! He and his brother are the only things that have been consistent in their lives the past few months. We had to leave our home abruptly three months and we were only able to take the cats. They have been so much comfort in this transition for my daughters and they were very upset when Oliver got stuck! You guys really saved the day and if you can please let Firefighter Bender know we are so grateful (the girls are calling him superman)we would like to bring cookies to you guys to show our gratitude! Please let me know how we can do so! Thank you so much again!
Talk about having your view of a firecall taking a 180 and it really got me thinking about a lot of these smaller calls. Often times it is the structure fires and motor vehicle accidents that get all of the attention and large responses from fire departments. When you take a step back though and think about it, these smaller callers; the cats in trees, carbon monoxide alarms, flooded basements, etc are collectively what make a huge impact in our residents’ lives.
Over the past 200 years, we as volunteer firefighters have built a solid ground for our residents to stand on during their most difficult times. We have built a relationship with them to the extent that they know they can depend on us in their worst moments. If they are in a situation where they simply do not know how to proceed, they have become comfortable knowing that their local firefighters will gladly lend a supporting hand by them simply dialing 9-1-1.
Receiving this email brought this fact to the forefront for our members and we wanted to pass it along to other volunteer firefighters as well. No matter what any media is saying about volunteer firefighters, remember, we are an integral part of our communities. With that realization though, please also remember, when someone dials 9-1-1, no matter how trivial that dispatch may seem to us, we are making a monumental difference to our residents in that moment of need.
Stay safe out there,
Monaca #4 Volunteer President