Most newspaper reporters have an affinity for people in emergency services.
We end up at the same wreck scenes, house fires, rescue scenes, manhunt operations and get to know one another.
Hanging around such scenes in all kinds of weather at all times of the day and night, on holidays, and weekends puts reporters close to the situations rescue squad members, Fire fighters, law enforcement officers endure.
Close but not quite there.
We feel the cold at a January house fire, but most of us don’t feel the heat and choke on the smoke inside the burning house where you can’t really see what you’re moving into and you don’t know what might fall on your head.
Reporters are close by at the wreck scene, but we are not usually eyeball to eyeball with the woman who has just had her face smashed against the windshield of her wrecked car. We are not trying to calm the distraught three year-old of that seriously injured. The rescue worker is right there dealing with people’s anguish and loss.
They are there faces the dangers and inconveniences of dealing with the messes that happen.
And in Ashe and other little communities around North Carolina, they don’t get paid squat if they get paid anything at all. It’s not they would be doing it for the money even if they were getting paid for it. We could not afford what it is really worth.
We could give a little personally to help in the sacrifice that they make.
One way to do that is to follow up on a letter mailed recently by the Ashe County Rescue Squad asking for a donation.
In addition to the grueling work done day to day by the squad members, they take at least 60 hours every year away from their families just for mandated training -- to be prepared for the messes that happen. The letter says that all the money goes to the rescue squad.
We reporters deem it a worthwhile project. We’ve been close and see what they do.
You can send the check to the Ashe County Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 639, West Jefferson, NC 28694.