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EDITORIAL: Volunteer firefighters 'still stand for some good in the world'

— There aren’t words we can put together that would sum up fire service any better than what former Camillus Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief and current Assistant Chief Scott Binns told us last week.

“It’s a noble calling and that’s what I think it should be,” he said. “Something that still stands for some good in the world.”

Men and women are taking time out of their schedules to be there for their community members. They could be our coworkers, our friends, our neighbors, our family members. Whoever they are, they’re sacrificing a part of their life to devote themselves to the community. Binns used the right word to describe it — it’s noble.

It’s easy to be critical of what our fire departments are doing, and we in the news department are no exception. Fire departments traditionally cost taxpayers on property taxes. But as Camillus Chief Doug Groesbeck told the village board last week, the fire department is the best bargain in town.

Who else is going to step up and do what they do? If you don’t know your fire department’s worth, talk to someone who can rebuild part of their home because of the quick action of the local department. Ask a couple questions of the family of someone who has been extricated from a car accident. Talk to the children of an elderly man or woman who needed help.

They can tell you the fire department’s worth.

This week is National Firefighter Week, and we implore you to thank your local departments this week. The only time you talk to your fire department shouldn’t be during an emergency. So if you see firefighter out and about, thank them for what they do for the community. It’s all volunteer, it’s all unpaid — it’s all coming out of their time.

They leave their children at the dinner table to help put out a kitchen fire.

They work through traffic, to get to an accident where a passenger is trapped.

They help insure your home is safe after an alarm goes off.

They spend hours at training to be prepared for whenever those bells ring.

But most important, in a time of need, they leave their families to be with ours.

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