Letter to the Editor

Firefighters respond to disaster area

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

To the editor:The recent ice storm in Southwestern Missouri created a state of emergency for many counties. President Bush declared these counties a federal disaster area. Gov. Matt Blunt implemented the statewide mutual-aid system, which called for resources in unaffected areas to assist.

Cape Girardeau and Jackson were among the many communities that answered our call of need. They responded with a fire engine from Cape Girardeau and firefighters from both towns.

I was assigned to work with this crew and help it find its way in the Logan-Rogersville Fire Protection District where I am a volunteer firefighter. We immediately bonded and formed a friendship that allowed us to work even more efficiently. This brave and well-trained crew and I worked together for about 3 1/2 hours in freezing weather conditions to save a building just two feet from a large building that was destroyed by fire in Rogersville.

These men responded to many other emergencies and continued to perform brilliantly with little sleep and no complaints. These men are battalion chief Steve Niswonger, firefighter and emergency medical technician Chris Venable, firefighter and paramedic Derrick Carlton and firefighter and EMT Terry Dunn.

Your community should be extremely proud of these men. I would like to thank them for their experiences and good times we shared. And I would like to thank Cape Girardeau and Jackson for allowing these men and their equipment to respond in our time of need.

GERRY D. GILLENWATERS, Rogersville, Mo.