One more reason to give thanks

Melissa Stagnaro

I’m not going to lie: I wasn’t too pleased about having to leave the warmth and comfort of hearth and home yesterday to cover the fire in Greene. I’d spent most of the day in the kitchen. The turkey was almost ready to come out of the oven, and I was looking forward to sitting down at the table for a nice relaxing meal with friends and family.

But as soon as I heard about the blaze, I knew sitting it out wasn’t an option. Grudgingly, I traded my cooking scrubs for attire more appropriate to reporting, and with one last longing look at the already set dining room table, headed out the door.

I had little information to go on, just a text message from a friend that downtown Greene was closed to traffic because of a big fire. As busy I’d been in the kitchen, I hadn’t gotten the message until close to 4. I wasn’t sure what I’d find when I got there, but I feared the worst. I had visions of the entire quaint village proper in flames.

And but for the dedication of our local volunteer fire departments, that would have been a very real possibility.

The second I hit Greene, and discovered how responders had contained and extinguished the blaze in under two hours, I was immediately humbled. Here I had been bemoaning the fact that I’d had to leave the comfort of home, when all of these volunteers – from a total of seven fire companies – had so willingly done the same.

We are truly blessed to have so many willing to climb out of bed in the middle of the night, to push back their chair from the dinner table, to abandon whatever task they are in the middle of to come to the aid of those in their hour of need. To place others in the community before themselves, time and again.

My heartfelt thanks to the volunteers from Greene, Brisben, Oxford, Smithville Flats, Coventry, Chenango Forks and Harpursville who answered the call yesterday, and to all of our emergency responders, paid and volunteer, who never fail to answer the call of those in need.

We don’t, and perhaps can’t, thank you enough for your willing sacrifice. But any and all who have been on the receiving end of your efforts, and witnessed your selfless dedication, appreciate all you do.God bless.

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