To the Editor:
We’ve all been praying for rain, perhaps several times a day. This drought has been affecting our area for over four months now.
Because it’s been so dry, there’s been a ban on fires. You’ve heard the reports: No open fires. No fire pits or campfires. No grilling whether charcoal or gas. No throwing down a cigarette butt. No burning of brush or rubbish.
If you were going to ask, the answer would be a simple “NO!”
As a result, someone has, or did because they figured it was OK. Whether it was intentional or not. It happened. Fires popped up here and there. On the mountain side, at the campground, someone’s backyard, or even a spark from an engine.
The fires in and around our county have been extinguished. For now. One of these fires was probably put out by a firefighter from your neighborhood.
These men and women who act as first responders in your community don’t do it because they want their picture in the paper, to get a pat on the back, receive certificate of achievement, or even hear “Attaboy!” from anyone passing by. They do it because they care. They care about the safety of the people in their county. They care about the neighborhoods, homesteads, schools, churches, businesses, and other structures that make up their hometown. There are the animals, whether someone’s pet or the wildlife in the area.
When the alarm goes off or the call goes out, the men and women of our county fire departments jump into action. Whether the garage doors are rolling up in Marlow, Claxton, Oak Ridge, or Medford. The sirens are heard in Rocky Top, Oliver Springs, and Briceville. You might see the lights on the firetrucks in Norris, Clinton, or perhaps in Andersonville. Perhaps you’ve seen the vehicles and four-wheeler from the Anderson County Rescue Squad too.
The first responders are paid employees in the municipalities and are volunteers in the county. Needless to say, there are many who are volunteers when they are away from their full-time positions in the city. All of them provide mutual aid. Whether to another department in our county or to those in need of surrounding areas. It’s just what they do.
However, in order for them to continue to give back to those who need help in our county, they need you to pay it forward. The volunteers hold fundraising events to reach out for financial assistance. Providing there isn’t a call during the event, there might be an auction. If it’s not pouring down rain, maybe you’ll see a crew out at the intersections asking for money on the Fourth of July.
Today, while you read this, I’m asking for you to help these dedicated friends, family members, neighbors, and residents of Anderson County. Please contribute to the Anderson County Fire Chief Association (a non-profit 501C3), a charitable organization that is operated by the fire chiefs of all of our county’s fire departments and rescue squad. Any and all funds go towards fulfilling immediate needs for our volunteers right here in our county. Whether they need bottled water and granola bars; eye drops or lip balm; boots and gloves; or unexpected repairs and equipment. They realize that all departments can’t have everything all the time and strive to work together.
Please make checks payable to Anderson County Fire Chief Association and mail them to: P.O. Box 104, Clinton TN 37717. Any non-perishable items can be taken to the Marlow Volunteer Fire Department. Should you have something to drop off, it is requested that you contact Assistant Chief Stephanie Fox at (865) 435-1050 prior to ensure someone will be there to properly store items.
Pay it forward to allow someone to give back. You never know when you’ll be looking for help.
Thank you and God bless.
Theresa Scott, Anderson County Commissioner
Chair of the Anderson County Fire Commission
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