EDITORIAL: Tragedy highlights dedicated service

The North Okanagan is known for its volunteer spirit.

The North Okanagan is known for its volunteer spirit. Day after day, a countless number of people give freely of their time to make the region a better place.

The most visible demonstration of that occurred Thursday when a firefighter died while tackling a blaze in Enderby while another firefighter sustained injuries.

Like the rest of their colleagues, these individuals were trained and experienced firefighters. But they are considered volunteers because firefighting is not their full-time career (a small stipend is received annually).

They didn’t have to be there early Thursday morning. They could have been home in bed or preparing for the day with their family. But instead, they were putting their lives at risk because of a commitment and passion to serve the community they live in.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the fallen firefighter, but also to the members of the Enderby Fire Department and everyone in Enderby. Being a small community, this loss will touch everyone.

As we move into a new year, all North Okanagan residents need to make a resolution and that is to thank our emergency workers — whether they are volunteers or career, full-time. Because firefighters, police, ambulance paramedics and Search and Rescue are there to serve us, we have a sense of security.

All of our communities are a better place because of their efforts and they and their families — who are often left wondering if their loved ones will come home — deserve our respect.

—The Morning Star