We have used this space recently to write about the impact that firefighters have on our communities — how they really are heroes among us.

Shortly after that editorial was published we received word of a group of brothers in Camanche who underscore our belief of the firefighter’s importance.

The six Wiebers brothers recently were given the 2007 Governor’s Award for Commitment to Community Service. The brothers, Russ, Jerry, Tom, Ronnie, Charlie and Frank, were nominated for the award by the Camanche Fire Department Executive Board in honor of serving over four decades. The brothers’ service began when Jerry joined the department in 1966. While their official tenure with the fire department ended in 1992 with the retirement of Jerry, Tom, Ronnie and Russ, the brothers’ service to the department and the community continues.

The brothers not only gave of themselves to keep the residents of Camanche safe those many years, but still improve the quality of life in that community today.

During the 40 years of their various careers, they were involved with raising more than $200,000 for MDA through the success of the pancake breakfast that they help with each year; they also sponsor an annual catfish supper and donate the proceeds to the MDA. As members of the AMVETS Post 28 in Clinton, the brothers donate fish and cook at a catfish supper that feeds more than 200 people annually and raises funds for the post.

In addition, the Wiebers brothers are also heavily involved in the Secret Santa Program, making gift baskets and delivering them to area residents such as those who are alone during the holidays.

They assist the VFW to make sure all of the flags get put up and maintained during the necessary holidays. A camp out on the Mississippi River with their father in 1974 became an annual father and son camp out that continues today and involves 80 or more campers each year.

These brothers are an example of the fiber and the backbone of a small community — the love of hometown, keeping watch over neighbors and making sure everyone has what they need to live a fulfilled life.