It was indeed an honor to attend the annual Public Service Banquet hosted by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday evening.
At this event, the Chamber recognizes the outstanding dedication and service of our county's fire, emergency medical and law enforcement personnel, as well as the 911 Dispatch office.
I?am in awe each year at this event as each department shares the accomplishmemts and service of their award recipient for the year. The countless hours that our firefighters and emergency medical responders put in--most on a volunteer basis--illustrate their love of what they do and their love for the community in which they live and serve.
Our law enforcement officers have faced excessive criticism over the past year from every corner of our nation--from the president on national news to unknown folks on social media. Much of this criticism was brought on, I am very sad to say, by the media looking to exploit and "report" on stories for which they had no facts.
Despite the negativity, our local law enforcement officers continued to provide protection, diligence in their service and a concerted effort to attempt to stem the drug invasion permeating our area. Doing this with relatively low pay also shows the dedication of these men and women to their jobs and their community.
While the 911 Dispatch office this year chose to recognize a fellow department--GIS?and Mapping, let us not lose sight of the difficult job these individuals face day in and day out. They are the true first responders to a 911 call and the stress of this job is such that many of us never face.
Kudos to the department for all of their hard work and to their recognition of fellow workers in the mapping department who make sure that all of our responders know where they are going on any given call. Their efforts in keeping an ever-changing county up to date should never go unnoticed.
We should all, as citizens of this county who rely on these individuals potentially on a daily basis, join with the Chamber in recognizing their service and honoring all that they do.
While each department selected one individual they believed stood out this year, it is all of the firefighters, EMS personnel, paramedics, police officers, reservists and dispatchers to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. And we should recognize that debt at this time as well as throughout the year.
Take a moment to thank an officer, a firefighter, an EMT for all they do to serve. Remember, again, that many do these services as volunteers--not seeking out pay or recognition. But, recognition they do deserve. We at the Chronicle tip our hats and say thank you. Please join us in doing so as well.