OUR VOICE: Applause for response to 2 incidents

Farm Forum

Aberdeen’s emergency responders have been tested in the past several days in ways that are out of the norm but still part of the job.

On Friday afternoon, firefighters, police and ambulances were called to the US Bank building downtown for a report of a strange substance found in envelopes delivered to the offices of Sen. John Thune and Sen. Tim Johnson. A third envelope was reported at Rep. Kristi Noem’s office in the Capitol Theatre building.

Then Monday, emergency responders were tested by a raging fire at Eddie’s Northside Sinclair service station on North Second Street. The fire was made all the more difficult by the amount of combustible material in the garage — and the fuel pumps just feet away from the blaze.

From a hazardous material response and possible crime scene — warranting special preparation, gear and procedures — to a dangerous, toxic fire, our first responders took care of business.

The good news: The “hazardous material” on Friday turned out to be harmless tea bags. And no one was injured and no other property was damaged in the Monday fire that consumed the service station.

Two significant calls to bookend the weekend.

That’s not to downplay all of the other work these public servants do: manage accident scenes, respond to fire and burglar alarms and, yes, even those “life assist” calls we hear on the scanner, where someone has fallen and needs help to get up. These workers are there.

Most of the calls they go to are routine, but they are trained and ready for anything that happens. Like a hazardous material call. Like a dangerous fire.

We aren’t the first ones to say thank you today, but here it is: Thank you for your efforts in keeping us all safe.

If you see one of these brave, hardworking men and women today, don’t be shy to thank them for their efforts.

— American News editorial board