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Letter: Ponoka resident appreciates neighbourly help from fire department

Dear editor,

Dear editor,

During the long, cold and dark months of our Alberta winters where the roads are icy, the vehicles reluctantly start. I think we could all use a little TLC, sometimes at the hand of strangers.

On Thursday, Dec. 2 in the evening I was southbound on the 2A after leaving Highway 53 when I noticed a clattering on my tires. I pulled my car into the next available parking lot to stop and take a look. As I suspected there was an injured back tire bleeding air and sinking sadly into deflated oblivion by the second.

I wasn’t the only who took note of my plight. As it turned out the East District Fire Department of Ponoka were on a happier mission collecting donations for Santa’s Anonymous in the same parking lot at the time. They seemed to be enjoying a break from the usual to perform these light-hearted duties.

Within seconds a firefighter came over and surveyed the doomed tire expertly. “Oh that looks bad” he said sympathetically and properly introduced himself. Then he added “Do you have a spare? We have some young men here who would be willing to give you a hand.” I blurted out “Yes!” though I hadn’t seen the whereabouts or condition of the tire-changing equipment in a very long time. I was acting on pure assumption that my good husband who regularly does the maintenance had it all in order.

I would have been in that cold, dark parking lot for hours figuring it all out on my own. In no time at all a couple of agile, competent firefighters had the whole operation of tire-change-vehicle-rescue cheerfully completed with military precision as I stood by and watched helplessly and thankfully. These guys were not doing this out of official duty. They were just being neighbourly.

That evening I grew more appreciation for those firefighters and other responders like them. At the start of their day they never know what kind of a call will come in or what kind of tragedy or danger they will face but they are trained to respond well.

In that moment differences that separate us in our mind such as ethnic, religious, political, financial or age all seem unimportant. In that moment who we’re really looking for is just a friendly face and a nice guy or gal with a helping hand.

I’ve also realized that in any instant we could be the one in distress or the stranger who happens to be there to help. It need not be the biggest, most dramatic assist that means the most. I would like to encourage acts of kindness among strangers to make winter seem warmer and shorter.

To the East District Fire Department, “You guys are awesome! I think a fresh baked hot apple pie for you is in order. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Rema Marney,

Ponoka County

Emily Jaycox

About the Author: Emily Jaycox

I’m Emily Jaycox, the editor of Ponoka News and the Bashaw Star. I’ve lived in Ponoka since 2015 and have over seven years of experience working as a journalist in central Alberta communities.
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