A Shout-Out to Local Firefighters and Police Officers
Very few little kids say “I want to sit at a desk and do paperwork when I grow up!” When asked, you can bet that a good number of them will tell you they want to be police officers or firefighters when they grow up. Maybe it’s the glamour. Who doesn’t look good in a uniform like that? Or maybe they just want to drive a vehicle that makes a loud siren noise and has a cool blinking light on the roof. But it’s been a far from glamorous week for our local finest in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and we should all take a minute to consider what they have done to maintain order and our sanity.
Firefighters in Cranford had to contend with a fire at primary power lines on Jackson Drive near Commerce Drive, a large industrial part of town. Thankfully, no residential areas were affected by that fire. But they had to contend, as well, with about a gazillion calls about downed, potentially live wires, due to the high winds from Hurricane Sandy. Residents who feared wires, gas lines, damaged infrastructure, etc. posed a danger looked desperately for help to our firefighters. Our other local Fire Departments have also been working extremely hard to help keep our residents safe. We’ve heard countless reports of those who protect us going above and beyond to help.
Cranford Police have been diligently and constantly keeping residents posted about many downed trees and wires throughout the municipality. Since numerous traffic signals are no longer working due to the high winds, they are often working as crossing guards and safety sentinels as well. For a while, they had to institute and enforce a travel ban and curfew. Let’s face it, they had their hands completely full this past week.
And let’s not forget our local EMT workers, who stayed on call to help those in need, even when it meant getting very creative about getting to those who needed help.
We’ve all been dealing with fear and frustration in the storm aftermath. But here’s something to remember . . . . that firefighter checking out your potential gas leak? He may be going home to a house with no power himself. That police officer directing drivers to safety? Or maintaining order at the long lines at gas pumps? He may have left his wife and young kids at home with downed trees in their yard, and no working heat. And when he fills the family car, he’ll be waiting in those same gas lines. That EMT worker, driving around looking for a free route to the hospital? She may have been worried about her elderly Mom or Dad at home. They have been dealing with the same issues all of us have, and helping us to deal with ours in the meantime. Think for a minute of how much worse this disaster would have been if we didn’t have our tried and true firefighters, police officers, and EMT workers to turn to in our moment of crisis.
Maybe there is an element of glamour to these jobs, after all. Perhaps heroism is a better word choice. In any case, it seems those kids are onto something. When you see a local firefighter, police officer, or EMT worker, please take a second or two out of your time and thank them for a job well done. They WILL, most definitely, appreciate it. And it’s why they do what they do.