Isle of Wight is blessed to have dedicated fire and rescue volunteers

Published 9:40 am Saturday, February 28, 2015

To the Editor:

Long embedded in American culture, the concept of coming to another’s aid in time of need is a distinctive, noble and venerable feature of the American landscape. Simply put, we United States citizens desire to help others in crises situations. Globally, it is often our country that initially responds when world crises arise. In World War I, the free forces of Europe implored our assistance and the United States responded in force. World War II involved a similar plea from Churchill and totalitarianism met its defeat due in no small measure to the sacrifices of Americans. Hospitals and schools in our own country were initially pioneered when communities recognized the need for such institutions and answered.

On the local level, it was this spirit that birthed organizations in our own communities to meet the needs of citizenry. In the 1950’s and 60’s, seven fire and rescue organizations were chartered in Isle of Wight county such that organized and trained citizens would be available to respond in times of crisis. As a result, countless lives have been saved and structures preserved as a result of sacrifices made by these individuals. I personally have benefited from their efforts. Though the evolution of such agencies across the Commonwealth has presented challenges as to training, standards and funding as it relates to local governments, it nevertheless needs to be stated what a remarkable job these individuals do. We, as citizens, should count ourselves blessed that, with the push of a few numbers on a phone dial, trained individuals will leap to their assigned role and respond in a quick and professional manner. We, our families and communities can rest better as a result. Few places in the world enjoy such benefits.

Rex Alphin
Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors