Nine firefighters from various Hopkins County volunteer departments attended the Reilly Springs Jamboree on November 16, 2019 to tell the audience why they serve as first responders. Their individual responses were well received and applause went up in appreciation of their courageous work. This visit was by invitation following a rough week of fire fighting across the county, which included four separate structure fires handled by multiple units within a 12-hour period. Their fellow firefighters toil in all types of weather conditions and in dangerous settings to put out fires, prevent loss of life and damage to structures and surrounding property. It is risky and perilous work, and it’s not for everybody. Hopkins County appreciates their fire fighters!
Jamboree host Enola Gay Mathews invited the volunteers up onto the stage. Arbala Fire Department Chief Brian Fairchild spoke first, about the department where he serves as Chief and where his wife Christy also volunteers. “There’s a lot of co-operation between the departments here in Hopkins County. We all work together. Many of the units are getting a wider range of equipment and for some, their own headquarters, but these improvements come gradually. The response time is what is so vital. We are trained for very quick response time, no matter where in the county our stations are located. And there are places where additional substations are needed”. Christie Springfield is onstaff at Hopkins County Fire Department and comes from an EMS background. Also Assistant Emergency Management Co-ordinator for Hopkins County, she stated “all the units work together when more force is needed. They’re ready to pitch in when they get the order for backup. That makes a good working atmosphere amongst all the members of the departments in Hopkins County”. The seven male and two female firefighters received “thank you’s” shouted out from the audience as well as accolades from members of the band onstage. As they each introduced themselves and the departments in which they serve, some expressed that they knew they wanted to be a firefighter since youth. Others credit the example of family members who put them on the path. One mentioned that “the rush of adrenaline when the call comes in and everybody is ready to get to the scene” is what continues to motivate him. All seemed truly dedicated to serving their community in this essential way, and all seemed touched by the earnest and sincere appreciation from the Reilly Springs Jamboree.