As I write this last Shelburne Safety Spot, I look back on the last 14 or 15 years of submitting these columns to the Shelburne News and hope that you, as you read them, gleaned some information and knowledge that you could implement with your family or within your own home. I hope they have been informative and helpful.
I still remember the first time being approached by then-editor, Margo Callaghan, asking me to write a monthly article. At first, the task seemed daunting. I really am not a writer nor a journalist, but as I wrote and because the topic has always been near and dear to me, the thoughts and ideas did flow.
We have covered many fire prevention/safety topics; Fire prevention programs that your children have participated in at school, candle safety, holiday safety, motel/hotel safety, water safety, fall and spring clean-up safety and many, many more. My hope was to offer up some simple easy to implement tips but more importantly, to get readers to think about how to make their home and families safe. All of these little things (the house number on a post by the road, developing a home escape plan, for example) make our job as firefighters and emergency responders just that much easier to perform. We appreciate the help when residents implement something that benefits all of us.
I leave the fire prevention program in very capable hands and I know you will be hearing from Steve in the near future. I see the same passion to keep our community safe in him that has burned in me all of these years (I have been a firefighter for 43 years between Vermont and New York, where I was also an EMT for 27 years.)
It has been a pleasure serving the residents of Shelburne for the past 19 years of my firefighting “career.” This is a great town! Take pride in knowing that your emergency responders – police, EMS, Dispatchers and firefighters – are the best in the business. They serve with pride to ensure all of you remain safe and will be there when you call.
So, farewell Shelburne! My wife and I are heading into retirement and moving to North Carolina at the end of the month. We will always remember you (we will be back), read those Safety Spots, and remember …
Fire prevention/safety isn’t just one week of the year, but all 52!
Jim Buell is a past assistant chief, fire prevention/public education officer for the Shelburne Fire Department.