When the Siren Sings

When the siren sings and you are a firefighter, a firefighter moves to meet every note of emergency along the way, be it sharp or flat or in the middle of the night.  Firefighters respond to an alarm and are prepared to meet whatever lies ahead, especially life and death situations.  They physically, emotionally, and bravely account for others.  It's part of their job description.
Since September 11th, firefighters across the nation share a kinship as never before.  Today on the first year anniversary of 9/11, we honor firefighters -- and their work, dedication, courage, and self-sacrifice -- as we've never honored them before.  We acknowledge and appreciate the fact that they are trained and willing to risk their lives to save our lives.  The rest of us are not trained to bear that badge of courage and bravery.
Thank you members of the Victoria Fire Department, for being on all for all of us in this community, for your hours of training, for your hours away from family. For the inconvenience of responding at any time of day or night, for assisting the injured, and for saving lives.  Nobility of purpose, and willingness to act on that purpose, defines hero.  You fit the definition.
Victoria firefighters 2002 are identified and grouped here according to their years of service.

Doug Schmieg, 20.  Steve Schmieg, 20.  Tom Schmieg, 22.  Rick Leuthner, 24.  Tom Walsh, 28.

Chief Gary Sohns, 17.  Doug Jurek, 16.  Tim Walsh, 16.

Matt Weber, 12.  Steve McHale, 10.  Tom Sohns, 14.

Scott Lumby, 7.  Glen Row, 5.  Bill Blinstrup, 4.  Tim Stedman, 6.  Sheldon LaGaard, 7.

Troy Walsh, 4.  Russell Wall, 4.  Bruce Osborn, 3.

Jeff Nordeen, 1.  Kari Nordeen, 1.  Aaron Jurek, 1.

Brent Baltuff, 1.  T.J. McDaniel, 1.  Andrew Heger, 1. 

Steve Schmieg recently retired after 20 years as a Victoria Firefighter.

Steve and son Keith Schmieg often worked side by side at the Victoria Fire Station.

Victoria Firefighter Tom Walsh, 28-year member of the Victoria Fire Department, and sons Troy (left) and Tim (right) spend many hours together on and off duty.

Saluting Officers of the 2002 Victoria Fire Department
Chief Gary Sohns
Hose Company Captain Tom Schmieg
Engine Company Captain Matt Weber
Assistant Chief Tim Walsh
Lieutenant Sheldon LaGaaard
Lieutenant Troy Walsh
Lieutenant Russell Wall
Lieutenant and Training Coordinator Doug Jurek
Ladder Company Captain Dean Adams
EMS Rescue Captain Steve Dahl.

When the siren sings, the lowest note rises to meet the highest note, then slides down the scale touching every sharp and flat along the way.
When the siren sings, time stands momentarily still for the average person within hearing range as we think to ourselves, "Is it a car accident?  I hope it's not serious.  Is it a heart attack?  Let them keep breathing.  Do I smell smoke?  Don't let anyone be hurt."
When the siren sings, we silently account for the likely whereabouts of our loved ones.  They are at home or at work or at school or at tennis and are safe, we hope.  Then we go back to our business and sort of forget about the sliding sound of the siren.
A firefighter is not an average person.  A firefighter will scale every sharp and flat or us.  A firefighter is on call 24/7.  May all citizens, inside and outside of Victoria, pause for a very long in honor of those who strand on line to give of themselves as the siren sings.

The End

Thank you, husband Allan, for taking these excellent photos of the Victoria firefighters while I was away. --Sue

Love, Sue

E-mail:  Sue@PrintsPublishing.com

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