Small Town News
Impossible to express too much appreciation
Delaware's emergency responders - volunteers and professionals - closed ranks this week to show empathy and respect following the death of one of their own. Dedicated and devoted firefighter and rescuer Tim McClanahan lost his life in the line of duty when he fell from a helicopter during a training exercise on Monday evening. Nighttime processionals and daytime processionals, known as fallen firefighter escorts, clearly demonstrated the strong familial bonds among the corps of emergency responders. They would not allow Tim and his family members to be alone from the time of his fatal accident through funeral services this weekend. Firefighting and emergency response apparatus from throughout the region accompanied the hearse that brought Tim's body south from Wilmington on Wednesday morning.
While Lewes volunteers and equipment led the procession, volunteers from other departments stood at the ready at the Lewes stations to respond to the never-ending fire and accident alarms, and other requests for assistance. People all along the way stood respectfully and saluted. The network, redundancy, coordination and dedication of all of these organizations working together and supporting one another for the benefit of all their communities are nothing less than amazing. They are surreally evident in circumstances like this.
Tim McClanahan was emblematic of that dedication. Like so many volunteers, he trained constantly to keep himself in a position to save the lives of others. Despite the obvious dangers that helicopter rescue missions present to those involved, he chose to specialize in that area. In the end, he gave his life while working to keep his lifesaving skills as sharp as possible.
Holidays like Memorial Day and Veterans Day remind us of the sacrifices made by those who choose lives dedicated to helping others. The seriousness of those choices, however, comes most clearly into focus when someone from our own communities loses his life while exercising that choice. As a community, it's impossible to express too much appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice made by Tim, and the dedication and service to all by the emergency responding community he represents.
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