Sometimes we all take things for granted and don’t realize or appreciate the important contributions individuals make to our communities.
These are our unsung heroes – individuals who can motivate others to be better people.
A clear example of this happened last week in the Town of Kensington. A police officer, Cst. Joseph Arsenault, placed his own safety and life at risk, rescuing a person from a smoke-filled apartment.
The officer didn’t know the individual and in fact was uncertain that there was anyone in the apartment. Yet he went in, found the man and brought him to safety.
Kensington Police Chief Lewie Sutherland said, “It was bad. We couldn’t even talk because the smoke was that bad. Anybody just could have said, we don’t know if there’s anybody in there, are we going to risk our own lives to go in?”
Arsenault went in and saved a life.
Police officers and firefighters put their lives at risk whenever they are called on, day or night.
What motivates these men and women in their service to the community?
Meredith Hall best summed up that motivation last March, after she and her family were rescued by Summerside firefighters during a major winter storm. “You can tell that they care.”
These are special individuals with families who experience and feel the potential danger a loved one could be facing. They may not be going on the actual call for help but their hearts and their minds are with their spouse, or son, or daughter who is placing their safety at risk to help others.
And it’s not just what they do on the job that makes them special people within the community. It’s their willingness to give of their own time to make communities better places to live.
Month after month at city council meetings, a litany of the volunteer work police officers and firefighters do in the greater Summerside area is read. The same holds true for all police and firefighters across the province.
P.E.I.’s police officers and firefighters are always willing to step up for individual causes. They take their community work as seriously as they do their professions.
There are heroes among us; you just have to know where to look.