Editor’s note: The following letter was submitted to every firefighter in Lapeer County in recognition of International Firefighters Day (May 4) by Jeffrey Satkowski, executive director at Lapeer County Central Dispatch.

To be a firefighter takes a special type of dedication. It takes a person who is willing to sacrifice not only their time and effort but sometimes their lives.

The all-volunteer fire service in Lapeer County is made up of people who give freely of their time to serve and protect our community. This includes highly technical and physical training, education, regular meetings, and continued learning. It also means these volunteers keep a pager on hand at all times and get up when it sounds and respond to the calls for help. This can be during the day, in the middle of the night, in the rain, snow or heat and even on holidays. The people who serve are ready and willing to go at all times to save people, children and even animals from fires.

While we’re running out of a burning structure, you are running into it to make sure everyone gets out and is safe. You’re there to rescue us from automobile crashes and cut us out of the vehicle. You’re there to pull us out of the ice cold water when we fall through. You’re also there to help educate us about fire safety and show us how to prevent fires. Sometimes you give your lives in order to save ours.

It is because of these sacrifices that we are eternally grateful for your service to our community. On behalf of myself and all of the people at Lapeer County Central Dispatch, thank you.

—Jeffrey Satkowski, Executive Director
May 08, 2019