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Jemison honors first responders

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Jemison governmental leaders took time to honor and thank first responders for their service on Oct. 30.

Jemison Police and Jemison Fire and Rescue personnel were recognized during a lunch where certificates of appreciation were presented.

Mayor Eddie Reed said the event was held in observance of National Fire and First Responders Day, which had been on Oct. 28.

“We know that these (first responders) put their lives on the line every day, and we want to be one of those cities to recognize these guys and tell them how much we appreciate them,” Reed said. “They fight the battle everyday … fighting to protect and serve all of our citizens on a daily basis.”

He said he felt the city “should set aside a time to say thank you.”

“They work diligently around the clock night and day protecting us,” Reed said.

Fire Chief John Dennis said the event was very meaningful to the department.

“We don’t do what we do for recognition,” Dennis said.

He said the majority of firefighters and paramedics feel called to the position, so it is more than simply a job. However, he said it is special when someone takes the time to recognize their work.

“We are fortunate to work in a city that recognizes what our people do, so we certainly appreciate the city taking a moment to recognize what our people do,” Dennis said.

The department is a combination of 14 paid employees and volunteers.

“We are at a little over 1,000 (fire and rescue) calls for the year,” Dennis said.

Police Chief Shane Fulmer said recognition is not expected but is appreciated when it comes, especially from the mayor and City Council “who hire us to do the job.”

“It’s an honor for the mayor and the city to recognize these guys that come to work each and every day and do the things that some people wouldn’t do without a second thought,” Fulmer said. “It’s a very dangerous job, especially in today’s society.”

He said members of the department are there because they enjoy their job.

“It’s not often that we get recognized, so it’s good when we do,” Fulmer said.

Fulmer has been police chief for 11 years and is nearing his 25th anniversary of working in law enforcement.

“I enjoy the job and look forward to it today as I did 25 years ago,” Fulmer said. “… It’s a calling for sure.”

Dennis has been chief of the fire department for 10 years and a paramedic for about 40 years.