I have always tried to safely pull over when an emergency vehicle has been in my rear-view mirror, sending up a prayer for whoever was in trouble. I never thought that someday it might be me. On August 2 there was a fire in my condo complex at Ridgewood Farms in Salem. The condo above mine was on fire. The Salem Fire Department responded rapidly checking all 11 neighbors in the building to ensure everyone was out. We are all blessed and thankful no one was hurt in this fire!

I have always had great respect for our firemen, police and first responders. My nephew is a firefighter and I am so proud of him. He must work a second job as a lot of firemen do. He has five children and they struggle to put food on the table and make ends meet. Why are these public servants underpaid? We have our priorities in America all mixed up, paying sports figures millions of dollars a year.

I have never seen firefighters putting out a fire up close and personal. They work so hard, so fast in intense heat. At this scene, one was overcome with heat and another with smoke.

How do we say, “Thank You!” There are no words. Now, when I pull over for an emergency vehicle, it will be with a better understanding. My prayers will not only be with the people in harm's way, but with those brave citizens on their way to help.

With a grateful heart,



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