A Room Full of Heroes

February 6, 2009

I don’t know what kind of courage it takes to run into a burning building and save someone.    But I saw that courage Wednesday night.  I saw it in dozens of faces as I looked out on dozens of firefighters during an event I was emceeing.  

The program was the Zenobia Shriners Burn Awareness and Firefighter Recognition program at the Erie Street Market.   The Shriners took nominations from fire departments across Northwest Ohio in 3 categories:  longevity, heroism, and prevention.   16 firefighters from 7 area departments received awards and applause…and received them with humility.    Three of them had rushed into burning buildings to save unconscious victims inside.    The majority received the longevity awards–one man had been serving on his fire department for more than 50 years.   50 years of showing up to work, not knowing if you’ll be asked to risk your life to save someone else’s.   50 years of your family praying you’ll make it home after your shift.   And then there were several who worked in the area of prevention…educating youngsters and adults on what to do in case of fire.  We know what a difference they make too.  Just last week, we did a story with a 9 year old girl who woke her family before sunup because she smelled smoke.   Their house was in flames–they ran out into the freezing weather in their pajamas.    Her mother said a firefighter from the Toledo Fire Department had just been to her daughter’s school and taught her what to do.    She saved her whole family.   They lost everything else.  

What these men and women do 24 hours a day, 365 days a year is nothing short of heroism, whether it’s rushing into a burning building, teaching a class of elementary school students or sitting at the fire station waiting for the next call to come in.      

Listening to stories of their service and dedication made me feel safe.  And it made me feel proud.  Proud to know that we live in a community so full of heroes.



  1. Hi Chrys,
    Love to see that you started a blog!! It is fantastic!!
    Miss you,

  2. Hi Chrys,

    I just wanted to say “Thank You” to you as well. You did a wonderful job at the event. I’m sure you have a million things going on, as most of us do, so thanks for taking time to help us honor our heroes. My father, James Micheal Andrews Sr., was one of the wonderful men recognized last week. He had been a Clyde Firemen for 41 years with the last several being chief. We sadly lost him in November and he will be greatly missed by many, but forgotten by none!!!! He truly was my HERO!!!!

    Thanks again,

    Jennifer M. Hohman

  3. Hi Chrys,

    Thanks for all you do for the community.


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