Walk in their boots

Recently the Warrior Run Area Fire Department announced that they will no longer hold a firemen’s carnival at Turbotville. This decision was not arrived at lightly or quickly, as it has been under discussion for a number of years.

As the wife of a nearly 40-year veteran firefighter, I find it extremely upsetting and troublesome to hear some people criticizing that decision and actually stating that they will not support the department’s carnival in Watsontown, a mere five or six miles away.

Not one to readily accept change myself, I certainly realize that traditions die hard, and the firemen’s carnival has been a much loved custom for many years. However, I feel certain that most people do not realize the tremendous amount of work and man hours that go into running a carnival. Setting up, preparing soups and other featured food each day, working for six nights, then cleaning equipment and tearing the tents and poles down, takes an enormous amount of work and organization by a very limited number of people. Thank heavens for a number of dedicated friends and family members who have helped cooked and run even those five stands for many years. Several stands are also run by other organizations who then donate a portion of their proceeds to the fire company.

Remember, years ago there were also fire companies in both McEwensville and Allenwood, each of which held their own carnivals. Now the entire Warrior Run area is served by one fire department, just like the school district consolidated over 60 years ago. Long gone are the days when someone could join the fire company, jump on the truck after a few rudimentary training sessions with other firefighters, and rush to the scene of a fire or accident. Training is long and rigorous, requiring both written and performance evaluations. Perhaps people need to be reminded that these men and women respond to fires, hazardous materials spills, car accidents, and other emergencies at the drop of a hat. And let’s not forget that these same people also hold down “real” jobs where they actually earn the money to pay their own family’s bills.

I urge you to make the responsible choice to support the Warrior Run Area Fire Department carnival, no matter where it is held. If your house is on fire, if you or a loved one are in a car accident or are severely ill, I feel sure that you will not be in the least bit concerned about where the carnival is held you will just be happy to see a firefighter responding to your emergency. Finally, it would be a wonderful gesture of support if you would simply say “thank you” to a firefighter, or better yet, volunteer a few hours some evening to help in a carnival stand so that a firefighter could take a night off and spend it with his or her family, or at least take a break.

Bev Staman