Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fire Guy Responds

Not to be left out, my local Community Hero has written the following piece as a guest blog for me. Thanks, buddy. I value and appreciate your contributions to our community and its safety, and our long and enduring friendship.

Call me "Fire Guy." I work in the Fire Department that serves the county where BHD lives. I've known BHD for a long time. We have worked together on a lot of community projects over the years -- mostly on senior citizen home safety projects.

He calls me his "Community Hero." Actually, BHD is MY Community Hero. This is what he has done for us:

1) He speaks up and attends a lot of public hearings when issues related to our Department are on the block. He continues to communicate behind the scenes with elected leaders in our county, never letting them forget what he (and our Department) consider to be important.

2) He advocates for legislation that helps residents of our County be safe -- from home fire sprinkler systems (like he has in his home) to fire drills in businesses to safety checks for kids' car seats -- he's always someone we can rely on to keep the focus on these important matters. I'm not allowed to "lobby," but since BHD knows all these people from his long service in our County, it's nothing for him to pick up the phone and get these people on the line, and passionately articulate the finer details so we get the support we need. I haven't seen anyone who serves purely as a caring citizen-volunteer do that better.

3) He voluntarily leads a "home fix-up for safety" effort twice a year. Over the past 12 years, his work has led to over 1,100 homes of seniors have improvements installed so they can live there more safely. He gets donations to provide better lighting, new smoke alarms, CO detectors, non-slip mats for the bath, grab-bars, and similar things for people. He has raised over $90,000 in donations to support this work, which is an amazing feat. (He claims he's not a fundraiser. Ha!)

BHD calls me his "community hero" because I go around and give fire safety talks, work with local fire departments to train them on how to do fire safety education with kids and the community, and keep our Facebook and Twitter feeds up-to-date with relevant information. He frequently comments on my Facebook posts to strengthen our Department's message.

To me, he's the true hero. He does this because, as he says, the paybacks are two things: knowing seniors and the community are more safe, and also for the smiles. He says that a smile is worth more than anything he could be paid in dollars.

I have read his blog and the posts over the last few days, and asked him if I could join in. So here I am, paying tribute to my Community Hero. Thanks for all you do!

Closing note from BHD: I did not edit what is written above, though I wanted to take out some of the superlatives. Honestly, I am not all that. I am honored to work closely with a man who does so much in service for our county and our community. I think we make a great team. Thanks again, my friend. See you soon!

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