While certainly not the first volunteer fire department in the area, the organization’s founding was an important milestone nonetheless. The creation of that department brought a sense of security to the burgeoning resort community of West Dover, and offered another firefighting unit to bolster the fire departments of neighboring towns. It also added to the sense of community in the town, and gave some peace of mind to business owners, second-home owners, and residents.
We think one of the most important things about the forming of the department was the volunteer effort by the founders. In fact, that’s something every fire department in the valley, and many around the country, can stake a claim to. Small-town fire departments are by and large all-volunteer organizations. A couple of towns have paid chiefs, but many of the men and women who serve do it out of a love for their community. They want to do the right thing and help protect their town.
It’s often take for granted that the local fire department will be there when the call goes out. And inevitably it will be there. But sometimes the effort that goes into the behind-the-scenes preparation is also taken for granted. There are countless work and evening hours given up for training. Fire and rescue calls come at all times of the day and night, and in all kinds of weather. In fact, some of the worst fires happen during some of the worst weather. Yet the men and women who volunteer their time soldier on, fighting fires and saving lives and property.
We hope readers will keep that in mind this weekend as they celebrate the anniversary of the West Dover Fire Department. Many will stand along the parade route, cheering as the shiny fire trucks and spit-and-polish marching squads pass by. While this weekend is a celebration of one local fire department, and deservedly so, we should also be celebrating all of those men and women who serve our communities.