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Our View: Volunteer responders should be celebrated

This week’s edition contains two articles involving volunteer first responders who answered the call of duty.

The big front page story is about an intense warehouse blaze that volunteer fire crews from New Richmond, Somerset and Roberts/Warren fought all night long.

The owner of the business whose warehouse burned, as well as the owner of the business next door, both wrote letters to the editor this week thanking the firefighters for saving their main buildings from the heat of the fire.

It was a gut-wrenching effort by the firefighters, and one of them even had to be rushed to the hospital to be treated for dehydration.

The effort lasted all night. The alarm went out at about 11:20 p.m., and ended sometime around 7 a.m.

Most firefighters had to immediately get cleaned up to go take on a full shift at their regular day jobs. Some had to endure a full commute into the Twin Cities on zero sleep.

This sort of sacrifice is what makes them such heroic characters – and they don’t think twice about it. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Their actions save lives, businesses, livelihoods and sometimes, provide miracles.

A little lower on this week’s front page is a story about a quick-thinking ambulance crew that had to figure out what to do when their ambulance was disabled en route to Regions Hospital with a critical patient.

They knew they could count on their counterparts from the Woodbury Emergency Medical Services to get the patient the rest of the way to the hospital.

Our servicemembers are widely celebrated with national holidays and observances – and rightly so.

It would be nice if first-responders – especially volunteer members – got a bit more recognition for their everyday sacrifices that people don’t even think about.