Cheers to the volunteer brush boys

Written by Chris Case

I believe I owe the Steelville Volunteer Fire Department a big thank you.

A couple of weekends ago, on a Sunday afternoon, a brush fire broke out in the field in front of my house, and the fire department did a fine job of taking care of it.

No, I wasn’t burning trash in dry weather.

A dead tree fell into the electric lines running in front of the house and sparked a field fire. It was burning pretty darned hot and fast when I ran up to the house and dialed 911. The power had gone out about 15 minutes earlier, so I told the 911 operator to contact Crawford Electric, too.

I have to say it was a pretty frightening moment, watching the field in front of my house burning uncontrollably. It wasn’t that I worried so much my house would burn down – although the idea crossed my mind – it was the fear that the fire would get across the road or into the forest behind the house and burn all the way to Huzzah Valley. It hadn’t rained out in Cherry Valley since the week of the fair, so I was more than a little nervous waiting for the fire department to arrive.

As luck would have it, what little wind was blowing came from the north and nudged the fire towards the county road, where it was extinguished on two sides because it was cornered off at a turn in the road.

When the firemen pulled in with a pair of brush trucks and plenty of water to pump on the blaze, they didn’t have much trouble at all putting it down.

And let me tell you, it was 105 in the shade that day, so those men – who came out on a Sunday afternoon – were blistered with heat probably around 300 degrees in that blackened hay field.

Thanks guys for all you did and for all you do, day after day, week after week. Our local firefighters are all volunteer, and they take great pride in doing their jobs right. I truly appreciate their efforts, not just for me but for the entire county.

I think it’s a thankless job, but they do it because they want to, not for money or for gratitude. Just for the pride of it!

After my fire was out, the men even stuck around to wait for Crawford Electric to arrive and cut the tree out of the lines. Believe me, in the heat of that day, that was something extra that they really didn’t have to do, but did anyway.

Thanks also to Crawford Electric for taking care of the problem in a timely fashion, but you guys did get weekend call-out pay for your job. It’s a credit to our county the men who go out and fight brush fires like mine in incredible heat – and without compensation!

Three cheers to all the volunteer firefighters in this county!

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