What did you do this weekend?
On September 24 and 25, the answer for roughly 20 Island firefighters from all six Island towns was training. We trained to better serve our departments and communities. We trained to better protect ourselves, our fellow firefighters, and our communities. We trained because we want to be the best we can be. We trained because we care. The list is long, and I'm sure they all had their reasons for training, as I did. But one thing is common, we all volunteered.
I looked up the definition of volunteer in several places. The one I like most defines it as, "(noun) someone who does a job or gives services freely and usually without pay (verb) to give or offer, usually without being asked." We volunteer to protect the citizens of Martha's Vineyard in their time of need. Whatever that need may be.
We could have spent our weekend doing our jobs, being with our families, or enjoying our hobbies. Again, the list is long. But, we chose to put whatever else that could have been done aside to give of ourselves.
I wish I had all the names of the firefighters from the towns of Edgartown, Tisbury, West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah who attended, to thank them publicly, but I do not. They know who they are and I thank you.
I can however publicly thank the firefighters from the town of Oak Bluffs: Deputy Chief Tony Ferreria, Assistant Chief John Rose, Captain John Gonsalves,
Lieutenant Manny Rose, firefighters Chris Wiggin, Brendan Cooney, Enrico Holley, and Ben Stevens.
So, please, when you see us, do us one kind deed and say thank you.
Captain Shawn Broadley
Oak Bluffs Fire Department