Being a firefighter requires a lot of dedication and true selflessness. It takes a lot of training, effort and time. And, oftentimes, firefighters’ efforts go unnoticed. To protect complete strangers, firefighters face hazardous and risky situations without expecting anything in return.

Seeing their devotion to serve and put others first, the Church of God wanted to turn the tables and serve the firefighters for a change. On June 15, 2016, the Church of God in New Windsor organized an Appreciation Dinner for the Vails Gate Fire Department at the fire station. The members themselves prepared a savory banquet and musical performances. Cory McClellan sang “Wind Beneath My Wings,” and several other pieces.

Firefighters respond not only to fires but vehicular accidents, fire alarms, and other emergency events. Also, they have to maintain the trucks and all of their equipment and continue in their training; their work is nearly unending and they always have to be ready to respond to the next call. With each call, they face different situations and risks. Yet somehow they are always there, prepared and willing to help—whether the task or danger is big or small. It takes a special kind of person to take on such a difficult, demanding and, oftentimes, thankless job.

To honor and thank those who tirelessly serve our community, the World Mission Society Church of God presented an appreciation plaque to Fire Company President Stephen Bedetti.

Many of the firefighters at the Vails Gate Fire Department began volunteering at the department as young as 16 years old and have been involved for decades. And for all of their time spent keeping the community safe, we thank them.