Saluting volunteer firefighters

To the Editor:

I had never experienced a house fire, until a week ago. Shortly after my wife and I had returned from a meeting about (ironically) low fire flow in another part of Derby Line, a neighbor frantically rapping on our door told us that the vacant house next to us was on fire. When I stepped out into my driveway, flames were shooting out the front windows of the house with the crackling sound of a gigantic bonfire.

We called 911 as did others in the area, and very shortly the Derby Line Fire Department came roaring up the hill. The men deployed quickly and efficiently, connecting hoses to hydrants and knocked down the flames. Shortly after, the Stanstead Fire Department, in a exemplary example of true international cooperation arrived to help. A burning roof fell on two of Derby Line's crew; fortunately only one of them sustained a minor injury.

Less than two hours later, the fire was all but out, but several fire fighters stayed the night to make sure that flames did not rekindle. Unfortunately the house itself was a total loss, but the rest of the neighborhood homes remained virtually unscathed.

I guess we don't often take the time to think about what volunteer firemen sacrifice for the sake of their communities. They may be called out at any time of the day or night, leaving families, jobs, warm beds. They put themselves in jeopardy of life and limb in very dangerous situations. They take time to undergo training to become more proficient in fighting fires. And, they are volunteers.

I think I can speak for our Pelow Hill neighborhood in saying, "Well done!" I will always value what you do, and I will never take your services for granted again."

Sincerely,

Keith H. Beadle

Derby Line, Vt.

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