To the Editor:
This is a thank you note to our neighbors who came to our rescue when we needed them the most.
My wife’s brother was living with us as he was battling cancer. The doctors told us that Gary probably wouldn’t live long so we were dreading the time that we might have to call 911.
That call was made at 2:30 a.m. in the middle of one of our snowstorms in January. I had never made an emergency call before so I didn’t know what to expect.
I was so surprised at the effort that was made by so many of our neighbors. I made the call and waited on the porch as my wife Kathy and her sister Barb Harp were doing what they could for their brother.
Of course, it seemed like a long wait as I looked up and down our road waiting for help. It was snowing hard and the wind was blowing as I paced back and forth on the porch and prayed that someone would be able to get to us.
I was so relieved when I saw the rescue truck from the Howe Fire Department coming toward our house. In just 12 minutes from the time I called 911, two volunteer firemen heard the call as they were asleep. They got dressed, drove to the fire station, drove through a snowstorm and were in our house.
Thank you to Shawn Thoms and Justin Sturgill for your fast response and the professionalism that you displayed when we were in desperate need of help.
The ambulance was having trouble reaching us so a snowplow (I think from the LaGrange Fire Department) driven by Cody Mill and Mack Grobis opened the road for them.
Within 20 minutes of my call for help, in my house doing all they could to help my family was Medic Carol Malott and Tad Hite. Also from the Howe Fire Department was Josh Sturgill, Russ Owsley and Jon McKinley.
We kept hearing other calls for help on the firemen’s radios. When they realized that a lady south of us was in trouble and couldn’t be reached by an ambulance because of snow-covered roads, two of the firemen left our house and were able to reach the lady and get her to the hospital.
All of this goes on day after day and night after night as we go about our business. These neighbors of ours come to our rescue to help in medical needs or to risk their lives fighting fires.
They do this for no pay. So thank you so much – not just to these volunteers but to all the volunteer firemen in all our little towns who give their time to help us.
So the next time you see a blue light flashing on a vehicle – please get out of their way. Also, if you can support our local fire departments, do what you can. They raise some of their money by having breakfasts or holding up a boot at the stoplight.
Please be as generous as you can.
Kathy and I would also like to thank Randy Packer for his kindness and Mike Frost for the way he worked with the family. We also thank Joe Yanke for opening a path from the road to our porch.
I know those aren’t the only good neighbors in our communities. If you have an opportunity to help someone, please do what you can.