How often do you hear this instant response when tasking someone in an emergency assignment?: "Sure, where do I go and when?"
Well, it does happen, more so in units with strong and effective leadership that screens out those that lack capability and dedication. In such units there are almost always those who respond at what seems to be some sacrifice of family or personal affairs. At some level we've all seen it, whether radio officer, communications officer, emergency coordinator, director of communications, section manager, search and rescue captain, volunteer fire chief, coordinator, pilots or communications specialist.
What brings such dedication? What causes people like that to be so committed in time and effort? Perhaps it's an inner mental perspective or viewpoint, coupled with a sense of responsibility that says, in effect: "Once I've committed to this program, call me and I will respond. Whatever is needed, wherever, I'll try to be there."
Whatever it is, these natural leaders are the "gems" that get the impossible done. Like the FCC Amateur Licensee who was strapped to the skids of a helicopter and placed atop a mountain to help establish a relay link into an inaccessible canyon.
In an emergency this type responder is an extremely valuable asset. Key participants in Search and Rescue or Drowning Accident Recovery units are often of this type and worth their weight in gold. From them you never hear "I don't feel like doing it" or "There isn't anyone available." When needed, they are there. Period. They lead by "doing".
This is not to say that family or personal affairs are not vital to a unit participant, nor that they should not have first call on a responders priorities. Rather, it is to point out that there are those who ALWAYS find a way to be where they are needed and when. What is it that brings that dedication? Well, you name it. Whatever it is called it exists in more instances than we realize.
As the year becomes 1998 we take this opportunity to thank all emergency unit responders where ever you are, what ever your unit and level of participation. Thank you, thank you, thank you.