Herald-Sun editorial: Week’s end

Dec. 28, 2012 @ 05:37 PM

Throughout 2012, The Herald-Sun has used this space to highlight the people of our communities who have gone above and beyond to help others; the people who have overcome illness, disease, disability, and hardship; the people who work selflessly and tirelessly to make life a little easier for their fellow residents.

On this, the last Saturday of the calendar year, we would like to offer The Herald-Sun Grit Award to two categories of local folks. Those categories, as you will soon note, overlap.

The first category is all of those workers who toiled over the holidays. Many places and offices and businesses close for the holidays, but some do not. Some restaurants were open. Some 24-hour gas stations, convenience stores, and big-box stores remain open for shoppers who need last-minute things or help getting where they need to go. Health care facilities, utilities – the list could go on and on. And those workers are almost always pleasant and helpful. For all of those who did their jobs and did them well over the holidays: thank you.

The second category to receive our award is the law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency responders whose departments operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Just this week, firefighters fought a blaze at the popular Parker and Otis restaurant downtown, and responded to a fatal house fire. Police have fought their share of crime in recent days, issuing a warning of “robberies by appointment,” working to solve a series of armed robberies, responding to an incident that led to the shooting of an officer, responding to multiple car wrecks during a storm – this list could really go on and on.

Police and firefighters and emergency personnel do receive some share of recognition and thanks from members of the community, but they deserve our appreciation every day. A number of supporting staff make those departments run, and they deserve recognition as well: 911 call responders, dispatchers, maintenance workers, training personnel, and many others among them.

During an emergency, in a precarious situation, nothing makes a bigger difference than to have professional, quick-thinking, courageous and dedicated emergency responders.