We know not the time, nor the hour.
Nothing rings more true for a firefighter. Their next call can come at any hour, any minute, any second.
Maybe even as they take their next breath.
That call could be anything from helping someone who has fallen on the floor and can't get up to an accident in which someone needs to be removed from a vehicle and taken to the hospital to be checked out. It could be a porch fire, an illegal burn that needs to be extinguished or a washdown after a chemical or fuel spill.
But sometimes the call is one of much more magnitude, possibly a house fully engulfed by a fire discovered in the middle of the night or a river rescue that sends rescuers into the water. What will they face when they arrive at the scene?
The calls each day can range from the small and mundane to those that could potentially, and oftentimes quickly, take the life of any firefighter who answered the call.
Sadly that is what happened in Clinton today when fire broke out in a grain silo at Clinton's ADM plant. The firefighters had been at the scene for a couple hours when there was an explosion, ultimately killing one firefighter and seriously injuring another.
While a firefighter - a person who's been the type to help even before getting into bunker gear for the very first time - is ready, eager and trained for whatever they will encounter, we are never prepared for the news that they didn't make it back from the call.
We at the Herald are saying our prayers for the families of the victims and the brotherhood of firefighters who stand beside them.
This loss will spread deep and wide throughout our community.
On this sad day, we grieve.