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Tribute to fallen firefighters

Don Hanen, a firefighter with the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept., read this tribute on the Internet following the death of nine South Carolina firefighters last week. He wanted to share it with others in hopes that ‘the community might understand (such a tragedy) could happen any where, any time and any place.’

‘Last Call’
I went to work thinking it would be just another day at the station. Same routine checks on the trucks. Doing things here and there to keep me busy.
Until that familiar sound that happens a lot around here, that tone that goes off. Someone is in trouble; got to go.
We all got into the trucks and off to the site like always. The only thing I thought was, ‘No big deal; we will be back at the station in a couple of hours after the fire gets put out.’
If I would have only known this would have been my last fire, my last call, my last ride in the fire truck going to help someone in need.
People have said many times nothing will ever happen to you, and I believed it.
I jumped out of the truck and ran into the burning building to help save a life then to do an internal attack on the fire that I thought was no big deal because I have fought many fires hundreds of times. I thought my attack would be completed then back on the way to the fire station without any trouble.
Little did I know the next few minutes would be (my) next few minutes alive.
The next thing that I remember is all the rubble falling on me and trapping me in, then I hollered, ‘Mayday! Tell my wife I love her!’ and then the fire won its fight, and I went home to meet my good Lord and Savior.
So next time that you think it won’t never happen to you, just remember me and the other eight firefighters who died on 06-18-07 in Charleston, S.C.
Also remember when God is ready for you to come home and be with him that he will take you then.
I just hope that he calls you home the way he called nine brave, good-hearted firefighters and that is doing what they love.