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Talking it over: the faces behind the sirens

When you hear a siren in a small town people stop, look and listen. Normally, you don’t see that happening in larger communities but in small towns it is something that makes people stop and wonder. Probably because in a small town you are almost sure to know the people involved, whether it is the victim or those responding to the crisis.

If you observe these people at work you feel a sense of pride. On a regular day, they could be the guy behind the till at the grocery store, the trucker delivering goods, the mechanic at the local gas station, your child’s teacher, bus driver, Sunday school teacher or countless others. They could be a close friend, a relative, neighbor or someone you have known for years. With the sudden trill of a pager, they change into firemen, first responders, police officers or ambulance drivers, putting their lives on the line to save others.

It is somehow comforting to personally know the people responding. Fires happen to people we know, accidents quite often involve someone from the area, emergency medical calls are almost certain to be someone close to you, a relative, neighbor or friend. It is also comforting to know that if those responding feel that the situation calls for more assistance, they have people to call on. Neighboring emergency personnel are quick to lend assistance when needed just as our police and fire departments help them.

Therefore, when the sirens go off in a small town people stop to listen. Quite often they go to the door and watch where the emergency vehicles are going.  Not because we are being nosey but rather out of concern both for the victims and those responding to the call.

Thankfully, at the same time, we can also be confident that whoever has put in that call for help, will get the best care and quickest response possible. If it is you that they are responding to, you will be able to look into friendly eyes. Eyes that you may see each day in other circumstances but in an emergency they are the ones you rely on for help.

The faces behind those sirens are your friends and neighbors volunteering their time or dedicating their lives to help the people in our small towns when they need it most. Next time you hear a siren and look out to see where the emergency personnel are going, remember their dedication and say a prayer of thanks for the service they offer.