Volume #1 http://www.mountainecho.bizland.com Issue#1
||This is the first in a series of articles
dedicated to the Unsung Hero Next Door, Monongalia County's Volunteer Fire Departments.We
plan to run a new Fire Department every month, check back often and get to know the hero's
in your area.
June, 2000 Brookhaven Volunteer Fire Department
Six years of my life was spent doing community service. No, I was not assigned to do that by a judge, although it seems that a stereotype has overtaken the words community service giving them a punishment connotation whenever we here them. I was a volunteer firefighter, and as I look back, it stands out as perhaps the most rewarding aspect of my youth.
It is a true shame to our society that we can no longer recognize those around us that give their time and effort, willingly and without compensation, to protect the community they live in. This is a dedication to those who wear the Maltese Cross, this is a tribute to my neighbors, my friends and my protectors, the volunteer firefighters.
I remember fondly the big brothers and friends I made in Brookahven. As I was growing up, the older guys in my neighborhood all belonged to the fire department. They created such electric in the air whenever the siren would blow and they stopped at nothing to get up the road as fast as they could. Car wreck, structure fire or cat in a tree, the dedication they possessed propelled them to treat every call as a true emergency. I wanted to be a part of that!
Perhaps a week after my sixteenth birthday, I signed the papers to join. Although I was a little apprehensive, my excitement could not be contained as I answered the call of the "whistle" for the first time. I remember the call well, a brush fire at Campbell's Farm, I had no gear yet so I could not ride the truck. By the time my mother got to the station, all the while listening to my pleas of "faster mom, I got to get there", I had missed the trucks anyway. She drove me to the scene at the end of Brookhaven Road and I eagerly jumped out of the van and ran over to help. Thankfully my help was not needed, as I remember, it was a false alarm. I caught a ride back to the station with Jimmy Lipscomb in a fast moving AMC Eagle, I remember thinking I would never miss a truck if I could ride with him.
My father passed when I was very young, my mother did a superb job at raising me, the fire department helped fill the void. As much as I learned about fighting fire, I doubled in life lessons in every aspect of being a part of the fire department. For this I thank the members of Brookhaven Volunteer Fire Department both past and present for helping to guide this impressionable youth down the correct path.
Brookhaven Volunteer Fire Department was formed in 1953 and has faithfully and courageously served our community as well as assisting nearly all of Monongalia County in times of crisis. These are the people who bring pride to the term community service. These, as well as all of our nations volunteers, are the people who give so graciously of their time and effort to protect life and property. These are our unsung heroes, let them know how much you appreciate them.
Where would we be without them?
Mountain Echo, Morgantown, WV