Recognizing National Police & EMS Weeks

By Pastor Gary Cortese, Chaplain – Byron Fire Department

May is a wonderful time of year. The long gloomy months of winter have given way to the bright new life of spring. It’s a time of renewed vigor and excitement. It’s a time when we celebrate graduations with their promise of great potential. The bees are buzzing, the flowers blooming, the trees budding, and the birds they are a “singin’”.

During the month of May there are also two other significant events that you should be mindful of. National Police Week happens during the week of May 13 – 19 and National EMS Week happens during the week of May 20 - 26.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week

National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week is a unified effort to bring local communities and medical personnel together raising awareness, highlighting public safety, showcasing equipment and honoring the dedication of those who provide day-to-day lifesaving services.

We grow accustomed to having people and things in our life and it becomes far too easy to take them for granted. My first assignment as pastor was in a rural coal-mining town.  Our only law enforcement was a Game Warden (Conservation Police) who assured me he had full powers of arrest for any crime. That was good to know each time I saw his black jeep come through our town at least once a week!

And there were no ambulances to serve our “holler.” On my very first day preaching in that community someone’s uncle died while bathing and the response of his family was to “Draw the curtain, he’ll keep ‘till church is over.” Do you know the reason for leaving him in the bathtub with the curtain drawn? It would be 2 hours before an ambulance would get there anyway! The only fire protection was a single 1950’s model open-cab fire engine operated by a sick old man and his red-haired 12-year-old stepson (who cranked the siren by hand). They assured me they never lost a basement. It truly was a lonely outpost.

As you can imagine I was thrilled and delighted when we moved to scenic Byron, Illinois to have great Police and Fire protection, and awesome Medical services available round-the-clock.

Yep…May is a wonderful time of year. Thank you Byron Fire and Ambulance! Thank you Byron Police Department. Thank you Ogle County Sheriff’s Department. Thank you Illinois State Police. Thank you to the men and women across this nation who serve and protect us. You don’t just work a job you fulfill a Divine Call.