Valuing Life at a Moment’s Notice….
Thoughts on Community Safety by Chief of Department Bruce Lockwood, Town of Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department
Dispatches.…March, 2020: Canton’s Volunteer Firefighters, EMTs and Fire Police responded to a wide variety of medical, fire, rescue and public service calls, throughout Town, including: four motor vehicle accidents; 81 medical emergencies; a search and rescue incident; a snapped tree on wires; and a CO incident. They also traveled out of Town, to our mutual aid partners in the Farmington Valley, answering a dozen medical and three fire calls. Other than the day it snowed, not an unusual month; many opportunities to use the skills Department Volunteers pride themselves on.
In March, the COVID-19 virus began to impact our Department’s Fire and EMS operations. This has brought new challenges. We have worked to modify our protocols, to ensure our ability to respond, so that our volunteers can continue to demonstrate the resilience, professionalism and commitment to community they are known for. We remain vigilant and prepared, to make certain that we meet our mission.
In Response: April is National Volunteer Month. It was formalized as part of President George H. W. Bush’s ‘1,000 Points of Light’ campaign in 1991. In acknowledgment, we invite Town residents, businesses and visitors to take this opportunity to demonstrate their appreciation, In Response, to the critical work Canton’s Volunteer Firefighters, EMTs and Fire Police perform every day for everyone:
- Take A Moment to Say Thanks
It’s great to hear the roar of the crowd, during the annual Memorial Day Parade, as Canton’s Volunteer Firefighters, EMTs, Fire Police and trucks march by. That simple gesture is appreciated in May, and any other month of the year. So, may I suggest that when you run into a Canton Fire, EMS or Fire Police Volunteer in Town, you say ‘thank you for your service.’
- An Invitation to Volunteer
Like most small towns in Connecticut, Canton has a fire service because of Volunteers. While Canton’s EMS operation is augmented with a paid vendor, 12 hours a day, the other 12 hours are fully staffed by Volunteer EMTs. For some Canton Fire and EMS families, volunteerism is a legacy passed down from previous generations. In other families, there was no initial path, just a calling to serve the community at an exceptional level.
- Be Canton PROUD
In honor of their ongoing service, especially during this extraordinary time in our history, we are launching a new online campaign focused on your experiences, appreciations and support of Canton’s Volunteer Firefighters, EMTs and Fire Police. It’s called PROUD.
Through PROUD, we invite Canton’s residents, businesses and visitors to submit a Public Service Announcement, (PSA), that will be posted to the Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department’s social media platform. These 20 to 30-second videos, will follow a simple format, where participants state their name, their connection/appreciation for our Volunteers, and acknowledge that they are Canton PROUD. For example: “Hi, my name is Jane Smith. My husband is a Canton volunteer firefighter, and my daughter a volunteer EMT. I can tell you that we are all safer for their service and commitment to our Town. I am Canton PROUD.”
Anyone interested in being part of the PROUD campaign, should contact our Department’s Public Relations Officer, Sylvia Cancela at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write ‘Canton PROUD PSA’ in the subject line. We look forward to seeing how you too are Canton PROUD.
And remember, as we move through the ongoing challenges of the COVIDC-19 pandemic, Canton’s Volunteer Firefighters, EMTs and Fire Police are trained to handle all medical, fire, smoke, and hazardous emergencies. Prevention, however, is key to life safety in our community. That’s where you can help us keep you and your family healthy and protected throughout the year.
Yours in safety,
Bruce Lockwood, Chief of Department