Remember respondersí importance

By Observer editorial July 12, 2013 10:40 am
All too often the great work that many of our police and firefighters do on a daily basis goes unnoticed.

Perhaps it is a uniquely American attribute that we often take for granted the dedication of emergency responders and forget, after the headlines and the TV news reports fade, the important role such people play in all our lives.

And often those people translate their own vocation dedication into a lifelong journey. The story in this newspaper recently regarding Joseph’s Tom Clevenger is a good case in point. Clevenger found out about Wallowa County in a unique way — by finding a facsimile of the county on a puzzle in a Toys “R” Us in California — and when he retired from the Costa Mesa, Calif., fire department he came to Joseph. And then joined the local fire department.  Eventually elected to chief, Clevenger stepped down from the post recently. He will still remain with the department but now, he said in an article in this paper, will have more time to be retired.

Clevenger’s dedication is just one example of the kind of men and women who elect to take careers in emergency services. We don’t give them a whole lot of thought until they are needed in the wake of a deadly accident or assist a homeowner regarding the impact of a crime.

But we should, from time to time, remember the firefighter or the police officer out on patrol trying to do their jobs. And we should remember that they represent some of the best people our society has to offer.