Vera Cruz Fire Department Firefighter Kris Bawden, shows Bill and Sally Kneller, of Emmaus, hand tools used by firefighters at a fire scene during activities at Emmaus Public Library Sept. 13, which recognize local first responders.PRESS PHOTO BY JIM MARSH
Sally Kneller, of Emmaus, takes the opportunity to try on a self-contained breathing apparatus which provides good air for firefighters to breath in a smoky or fire environment. Kneller is attending the annual local heroes night held every year in commemoration of 9/11 first responders.
Mom Rebecca Begec, of Whitehall, takes cellphone photos of her children, from left, Zeynep, Iso, Safiyae and Yakub Begec as they visit the local heroes night held annually at Emmaus Public Library.
PRESS PHOTOS BY JIM MARSHJefferson School student Adalyn Montero, of Emmaus, is interested in the kite she was given at the Emmaus Ambulance Corps table during local heroes night.
Emmaus Fire Chief John Price likes to surprise youngsters at community gatherings with the shrill beeps of a home smoke alarm, then pose the question, “What do you do next?” Attesting to annual school fire safety programs, he was greeted with a chorus of, “Get out and stay out.”
Emmaus Police Department Patrol Officer Austen Thompson demonstrates the use of the computer terminal in his patrol vehicle to Jefferson School students Joseph and Aurora Mascari during activities held Sept. 13 at the Emmaus Public Library.
Emergency medical technician Kent Fitzgerald, of the Emmaus Ambulance Corps, demonstrates emergency medical equipment carried in an ambulance to St. Ann School students Evelyn and Liliana Scholz, of Emmaus.
EMMAUS PUBLIC LIBRARY
Community honors local first responder heroes
Well over 100 area residents turned out to see fire, police and ambulance vehicles and talk to first responders at the 18th annual Community Heroes Day hosted by the Emmaus Public Library.
The event was first held at the library shortly after the terrorist attacks on America Sept. 11, 2001. It was created by the late Martha Vines, then the children’s librarian. Vines wanted to reassure children there were still firefighters and police officers available to protect them after seeing reports about the first responders who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks.
Vine’s brainchild is now one of the biggest and most important events the library hosts all year. It has proved to be not only a lot of fun for “kids of all ages,” but it gives community residents a chance to meet and thank the people who put their lives on the line every day to save others.
The evening showcased units from the Emmaus Police, Ambulance Corps and Fire Department, as well as the Upper Milford Fire Department’s Vera Cruz Station. First responders kept busy providing handouts and answering questions from youngsters and adults alike.
One firefighter said he and his fellow crewmates, “look forward to this night every year.”