On April 6 a memorial will be unveiled in Sacramento honoring the 850 firefighters in California who lost their lives in the performance of their duties since California became a state in 1850. There will be firefighters from Imperial County whose names will be on that memorial, a sad reminder of the price they paid to protect the lives of others.
The memorial is also a reminder of the tragedy of Sept. 11, when hundreds of firefighters and police officers lost their lives trying to save thousands from death in the attacks on the World Trade Center. The memorial also serves to remind us the crucial role firefighters play in our communities on a daily basis.
Their job — like that of police officers — is to risk their lives when called upon to do so. It is easy to take them for granted, especially when we go through long periods without major fires. Still, what doesn't get reported on a daily basis are the numerous medical aid calls firefighters, paramedics and other emergency services respond to each day.