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Friday, January 13, 2017

Bill Pekarski: Day 135, Living life on my terms

Bill Pekarski:

Day 135, Living life on my terms.

My fellow firefighters are often the subject of my stories. It is fairly easy because their actions are so visible and honorable, but today I want to recognize a few people behind the scene. Some of the wives and girlfriends who go to the hall and prepare food and drinks during emergency calls and are always there to lend a hand with various fire department functions.

First up is Calee Phelps; the wife of Fire Chief Bryan Phelps. The only thing that keeps her from showing up at the hall is if she is home watching the children of firefighters at her daycare so that they can go to the emergency. Otherwise, rarely is she not down there getting food together to feed the hungry masses.

A nice benefit of having Calee around is that when she responds to the hall, rarely is she alone. Her sisters, Cheri Sherwood Tubbs and Holly Sherwood are usually not too far behind. They have sort of turned into Station 48’s female Three Musketeers. The way that they work together exemplifies the credo of “All for One and One for All!”

With the new young blood that has joined the hall in recent years, there are some mothers and even sisters who are always ready when Calee calls needing a hand. Chelle Wilhelm has become a regular fixture at the hall for fund raising events, functions and emergencies.

Sometimes, there are entire families stretching from the hall to the scene. Take the Dunn family for instance. There is Glenn Dunn, the patriarch of the family and Assistant Chief, and Glenn Dunn II who is the current Captain of the Rescue Squad who will be busy at the scene. However, while they are out there, Glenn I wife JoAnne and Glenn II fiancĂ© (summer 17 nuptials are planned) Ashlynn Beacker will be doing what they can from Coudersport Red (scanner lingo for the Coudy Firehall). Glenn I’s daughters Amber (engaged to marry Assistant Chief Tim Haskins) and Emily (Green) have also become regular fixtures as well. They however, like to don the gear and go out on calls when they can.

Let me tell you something, when you have been out for a few hours battling a blaze in freezing cold weather there is nothing better than getting back to the hall and sitting down to some hot food. It doesn’t matter if its eggs, sausage, and pancakes or if its burgers, dogs, and fries; after an emergency it will be the best tasting food you have had in weeks.

Sometimes, the gang at the hall will put together deli style sandwiches for the returning battlers. They have also developed relationships with Sheetz and the grocery stores to get supplies as needed. Sheetz has a long established history of taking care of the volunteers as they often provide free coffee and baked goods when they are available. All of the local merchants are greatly appreciated.

Sometimes, it does take a village to make the department go. But we are so much more than a village; in fact we are much more than a community, we are all family.

Today I want to dedicate my progress to all of those people behind the scene that keep us going at Station 48. I know there are people I have not mentioned and I would encourage anyone to add their names in the comment section below this post. Any omissions be me are not intended to offend anyone, it’s just late and my mind is starting to wander.

Hail to the Fighting 48!


Anonymous said...

that's wonderful! A huge thank you to you all! I enjoy reading your posts!

Anonymous said...

Kudos and dildines to the dedicated ones behind the scenes who support our dedicated firefighters.