To the fire department: You have our support

I would like to begin by offering my sincere sympathies to the family of Clinton Fire Lt. Eric Hosette, who was also Chief of the Charlotte Volunteer Fire Department, and prayers for Clinton Firefighter/Paramedic Adam Cain.

To the members of the Clinton Fire Department, I would like to say you have the support and sympathy of an entire community, who are now even more grateful and appreciative of the work you do. On every day you report to work, you train for all imaginable hazards. You also work to keep your equipment in tip-top condition, because you know your life may depend on it, then you train and practice some more.

I have personally witnessed some of the bonds of trust and camaraderie you develop between all of your co-workers, because you also know they will be the ones to come to your aid in some of the worst conditions and most dangerous situations. Then you train and practice some more.

Many time’s during your careers you have stepped up face to face with the dangers of the job, but your training and experience got you through. Then when something outside your control happens, and you or a co-worker are injured or killed, the reality hits home just how dangerous your job can be. And then a new day dawns, and you again report for work, and train for the unthinkable, and pray it never happens again.

At times like this is when the emotional trauma kicks in, because there is no one else to call on when it is one of your own. Please know that it is OK and normal to grieve for your loss. Real men and women in these situations do cry, and you should know that is OK. I encourage you to take advantage of the support and counseling that will be available, because we need you back at work every day. You have answered the call for public service, and you do the work that few are capable of, or even willing to risk.

To the citizens of Clinton and all of the surrounding areas, please take a moment to stop and add up the number of public servants who are trained, willing, and able to come to your aid every hour of every day. Some may even be unpaid volunteers. Then in every way remember to thank them for their service and sacrifice.

Les Shields,