I never realized how important firefighters are until my son joined our local fire company: The Main Transit Fire Department. I can't even tell you how he made the decision to be a volunteer. I never did that and neither did my father.

Think about this: What kind of person gladly gets up in the middle of the night and leaves their warm bed to go help someone they don't even know? I often hear the fire radio in my son's bedroom going off at all hours of the night. The next thing I hear is him quickly getting dressed and shooting out the front door.

These men and women who do this are a special breed of human being. Many times they have no idea what they will face when they get to a call. Will someone be having a heart attack and need CPR and a defibrillator to bring them back to life? Will the fire fighters have to go into a burning home to save a young child who is trapped ? Will they have to use the Jaws of Life to cut someone out of a mangled car so they can get that person to the hospital?

My hat is off today to every man and woman in the fire service, paid and unpaid. You may not even know these folks, but they are willing to put their life on the line for you. God Bless our firefighters everywhere! Today is International Firefighter Day.