- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Charles County can boast a strong safety net of emergency services. The fire departments and rescue squads that have served for decades still continue to provide superb service.
That service was put to the test Monday afternoon after a fire broke out in a townhouse near downtown La Plata. No one in the home was injured, though one firefighter was taken to the hospital.
We write often about the value of volunteer firefighters to our community. With the high winds on Monday and the fact that the home was attached to others, quick action surely saved the neighborhood from greater destruction. It could have been worse — far worse. Nine fire companies and 60 firefighters from Charles and Prince George’s counties responded.
The call on Monday is but one of thousands that go out every year. The men and women who offer emergency response devote countless hours at these calls for fires and car crashes among other incidents.
As our population steadily increases the number of emergency calls will continue to increase.
Last week we offered coverage of a disaster drill in western Charles County. Several fire and rescue companies staged a mock crash where a car ran into a bus. “It’s important so that when we do have an incident, everyone knows what to do and who at the scene can do what,” one of the fire chiefs participating said.
One can see how that would be helpful when there are incidents where there are several fire departments or rescue squads responding. The incident Monday is an example of why these types of training drills are needed.
It is of the utmost importance that our first responders are properly trained and equipped and have the support that they need to get their jobs done. That goes for the firefighter or the emergency medical technician on the front line to the people who keep the equipment maintained and the fire stations running smoothly.
It’s remarkable, really. When a fire breaks out, a call to 911 brings near-immediate help and protection. A swarm of firefighters will arrive, and they’ll attack a fire quickly, calmly and professionally. These are volunteers who drop everything, including family obligations, to rush to save the lives and property of their neighbors.
They always answer the call, and they never know what they will find when they arrive on the scene. So here’s a salute and a thank you once again. No matter how often it is repeated, it is always deserved.