On the day of my retirement from the Sandusky Fire Department, I put my badge in my back pocket and my fire helmet under my arm and I walked home. On my way home, I paused for a moment at the Erie County Firefighter's Memorial by the courthouse. I took a moment and read the names of the firefighters on the monument. I realized that I was one of the lucky ones that did get to retire.
My thoughts drifted back to my first day on the fire department and all the days in between. I remembered the week I responded to three crib deaths. I remembered the times I performed CPR and how frustrated I was that so many of my efforts didn't succeed. I remembered the small and big fires.
Time and lack of manpower was a big enemy to me in the success of my job. How I wish I could just have gotten there two minutes earlier. How I wished at times there was just one more firefighter at the hose helping me or holding the ladder I had to climb. Just maybe the outcome of the call could have been different. Maybe, I wouldn't still wake up to the nightmares of the calls I would love to forget.
We, as a city, need to support our firefighters and police officers that serve us each day. I am so grateful to them for all they do to keep my family safe. Sure, at times they might make a mistake. They are human beings responding to things, that at times no human being should have to experience. Nevertheless, they try their best and most times they do succeed.
It is time that all the commissioners come together and present and support a safety levy, for the citizens of Sandusky to vote on, so we can restore the jobs lost by our safety forces.