Responding to Mr. Derek Lewers’ letter in July 16 Sooke News Mirror.
I am extremely disappointed with Mr. Derek Lewers letter, how he defines a hero and the clear reference to volunteer firefighters.
The residents of Sooke need these volunteers, for safety and insurance reasons. With everyone’s life becoming more complicated, attracting volunteers who can make the commitment to training and availability is becoming increasingly difficult. Sooke council has been working with the Sooke Firefighters Association on a positive campaign to attract new volunteers. We wanted a campaign that would emphasize the positive aspects of being a volunteer firefighter and how critical they are to our community. We chose the tag line “become a community hero” accompanied by a picture that depicts the respect and awe small children have for a working fireman.
Mr. Lewers should have done a little more research and he would have found that the Webster’s Dictionary describes a hero as a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities. I would suggest all of our men and women, who volunteer for the Sooke Fire Department by nature of the job they perform or may be asked to perform, have to be brave and surely they are people of fine quality.
I strongly disagree that the title of hero is being handed out too easily. From my observations it is used when people demonstrate their fine qualities whatever their station in life, by taking that extra step to help others. Each situation has varying degrees of risk or maybe even no risk, but the acknowledgment of taking that extra step and demonstrating fine qualities in doing so, deserves the recognition of hero. Let’s face it, the majority of people sit on the sidelines and offer comment and criticism but few actually come forward and walk the talk.
We have numerous volunteer groups who step forward and take the steps that help others. They are all heroes in my mind. Ask yourself where we would be as a community without volunteer firefighters, volunteers for Meals on Wheels, the Food Bank, Hospice, the Legion, Rotary, Lions and the Crisis Centre just to name a few.
So let’s quit playing with words and recognize the positive things we have in the community.