James 4:14 states, “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” We have experienced great tragedy in our Chesterfield community recently. In the period of a week, two children were killed on the railroad tracks and two children died after being left in a hot vehicle. There is hardly a day that goes by that we do not hear about another structure fire that has displaced the occupants. There are also few days that an ambulance or engine does not travel down Harrowgate Road heading to an emergency incident. There comes a time that we all need to take a step back and take a breath.
To the men and women who have been responding to these calls, God bless you! Thank you for answering the calls, as tragic as they may be. Each of you is highly trained and has access to the best equipment and apparatus in the business. As you deal with these calls, take care of yourself and one another. As a chaplain, peer support member and a retired member of Chesterfield Fire & EMS, I have an idea of what you are facing. Be careful what you resort to as you process things. You are the most important part of the organization. As you take care of yourself, take care of your family as well.
To the families that are dealing with these tragedies: our prayers are with you. We must learn from these things in order that we might prevent them from occurring again. As I said, there are things that happen every day. Fire trucks and ambulances are poised for immediate response because there is not a single moment that something could not happen. I cannot even imagine the hurt and grief that is being experienced in Sante Fe, Texas. We must stop saying that it will never happen to us.
The run count in Chesterfield hits a new high every year. Eight out of 10 calls are medical related. An ever-increasing run count means that all types of calls are on the increase. We, the citizens of this county, must be vigilant, where we, our families and our neighbors, are concerned. We must do everything to prevent bad things from happening, while putting things in place that detect the bad things that happen. One example of prevention is parental supervision. One example of putting things in place would be a proper number of properly located smoke alarms. I pray that it never happens to you, but you must be ready in case it does.