The Edmond Sun

July 12, 2013

Helping citizen highlights human side of fire service

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Helping a resident with yard work to get the property back up to code reminded Edmond’s fire recruits about the human side of the fire service, a fire official said.

Friday morning, the Edmond Fire Department’s nine recruits were at a home on West Hurd Street, edging, trimming, cutting and clearing the property. It has become a part of the training schedule for the city’s in-house firefighter academy.

Recruit Johnny Gibson said earlier during the academy the recruits learned they would be doing some community service, but they didn’t know what they would be doing.

“It’s just a good feeling to be able to help the community in which we serve,” Gibson said.

The event is a reminder that no matter what the day is or the nature of a call firefighters are there to help others, Gibson said.

Recruit Jason Dillon said serving others is primarily why he applied with the Edmond Fire Department.

“It feels great. I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Dillon said.

Jon Neely, chief training officer for the Edmond Fire Department, said the agency hires top candidates and tries to create a service attitude.

“We really feel our occupation is that we are servants of the community,” Neely said. “And this is a way to get down in the nitty-gritty and serve those in a time of need. This job is about serving people.”

Terry Humphrey, Edmond’s code enforcement officer and neighborhood initiative coordinator, said it’s important for city employees to be involved with citizens.

“We try to take care of our citizens in every way we can,” Humphrey said as the recruits worked. “We look for a needy citizen somewhere in the community to come in and assist them with things around the house that they are not able to do.”  

Humphrey said those who are helped are always appreciative. Citizens often do not realize that the city helps members of the community in this way. | 341-2121, ext. 108