Cascade firemen celebrate, all volunteers deserve thanks

HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY, CASCADE Fire Department. The department celebrated their anniversary in style last weekend.

It was their annual three-day picnic that culminated in a grand parade Sunday befitting a once-in-a-century occasion.

The parade was long enough that it almost lasted until the department’s bicentennial – and the crowds that lined the street of the little village loved every minute of it.

It added up to a fitting tribute to one of the county’s many volunteer fire departments and the dedicated men and women who fill their ranks.

Fire protection is one of the everyday necessities of the life that we all too often take for granted until we need it – and that we all hope we will never need, but want available nonetheless.

Volunteer firefighters are a tradition that goes back as long as any in our nation and, like so much else, it has changed dramatically over the years.

Today’s volunteer firefighter is a far cry from the legendary bucket brigade, neighbors grabbing a pail in an often vain effort to douse flames.

Today’s firefighters are volunteers in name only — regulations and modern technology require a level of training undreamt in earlier days.

Their training must be constantly updated and refreshed. It’s a job that demands many, many hours and a tremendous amount of dedication.

Even on a volunteer basis, firefighting today requires many long, hard hours of training and education to meet the varied challenges of battling fires in today’s modern world and society.

It requires attending regular meetings, putting in lots of hard work and the willingness to drop whatever one is doing at any particular moment to call. answer a fire

And all of it is for little, if any, compensation.

Many local departments are facing severe shortages of volunteers, and all department are always in need of more members.

It takes a special man or woman to be willing to meet the demands and pay the sacrifices required of a volunteer firefighter and those who step forward to do so deserve our thanks, our gratitude and our support.

It was a special weekend and a special occasion for the Cascade Fire Department. Congratulations to them for their years of dedication, devotion, service and sacrifice.

And those congratulations should go out every day to every man and woman who serves in every local volunteer fi re department.

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