I want to make a public THANK YOU to the Northern Tazewell Fire Department. As a wife of one of the firemen, I never thought I would ever really need to use their services. Of Course I knew they were there and yes, I support them, but never would I have thought I would actually have to use them for myself personally (and twice within two weeks).
A few weeks ago I began having problems with my stomach, I thought indigestion, and that I would be ok. It wasn’t hurting it was just an uncomfortable feeling I had from time to time. Then on August 23rd I was having a major issue with this uncomfortable feeling that wouldn’t go away. After dropping my son off at the park to practice foot ball I got out of my car as fast as I could and ran right into the bath room to have the worst case of projectile vomiting I had ever had. I was doubled over in a pain I had never in my life experienced and every time my husband would try to help me up I would get that nauseous feeling and couldn’t make it up. I at first thought it was just the flu, because it always feels “like the worst pain ever”. So I was trying my hardest to just keep getting up for him, when I was unable to he called East Peoria Dispatch and in no time the crew was there to help me into the ambulance. I was a bit embarrassed (I guess it’s just a wife of a fireman thing) and kept apologizing. They worked me up all the way to the hospital and did a great job. This night I have to thank Steve Tennant for putting in my IV with ease. I HATE NEEDLES!! He did a great job! Thanks Kevin Watts we made it to the hospital very quickly. I also want to thank Craig Biliter for driving my husband’s truck to the hospital! You guys are the best!!
I was released from the hospital at 4AM the next morning, but went back for a sonogram where they found nothing wrong. I was still feeling the major pain, but this time I was able to get to the hospital by my husband’s truck. I was admitted this time and went through so many tests and things and finally on August 30th I had surgery. The surgeon took out my gall bladder and also did a biopsy of my liver and a lymph node. I was discharged from the hospital on Friday August 31st to recover at home.
My husband went off to work on Sunday September 2st for the first time since my surgery. I began to have some strange feelings in my legs, but thought maybe I was just over reacting to being alone; I had been on the phone with my sister in law so I let her go, letting her know I needed to lie down. I began to feel bizarre, a feeling I had never had before. I felt myself pulling to one side in many muscle spasms. I was so scared, I had a 12yr old and a 3 yr old at home to be taking care of I couldn’t be feeling this way. I called my husband and let him know I was really scared, by this time my arm began to spasm as well and I couldn’t even hold the phone. My son took the phone as he spoke with my husband, my husband from work called 911 and had the fire department dispatched to my house. I was really embarrassed at this time because I just felt so bizarre I couldn’t explain the way I was feeling. I had never experienced such feelings, it wasn’t pain it was just a strange feeling. I was scared. So many of the men were there this time to help me and get me to the hospital.
Dave Houseworth drove to the hospital as Nick Sandifar and Kevin Watts were taking care of me in the back. Two men stayed back with my kids until my sister in law was able to get there, Brian Wagler (Wags) and Chief Ray Kiddy. I have to say a great big thanks to all of these men for making me comfortable and helping me through this time. My kids were devastated not knowing what was going on with me, but Wags and Chief both kept them from being scared and they took their minds off of the situation. I can’t thank them enough for this. My kids are my life and because those men were there to keep my kids from being afraid, it helped out tremendously. Dave got me to the hospital very quickly! A big thanks for this! Nick and Kevin helped me keep calm. I was so scared, I had no idea what was going on. All I could do in the back of that ambulance was pray to God that he was with these men and me so that I could live to see the next day. God was there with us because he kept those men’s hands steady and calm. As I lay there believing I was having a stroke, asking what was happening to me, instead of scaring me with the possible reality those men calmly told me they were taking care of me and everything would be ok.
We got to the hospital and everything happened so fast I couldn’t tell you how long I was even there. I went from one room to another, one test to another and come to find out I was having an allergic reaction to a medication that was keeping me from being nauseous. A side effect to this drug was stroke like symptoms that I had no idea of and thankfully all it took was the nurse to inject me with Benadryl. This I thank God for!!
I feel that the Northern Tazewell Fire Department needs a great big way to go!! I was embarrassed because of the way this reaction was making me behave, but these men were very professional and did their jobs so well and so quickly that I was ok! I would also like to thank the Methodist Medical Center Emergency Department for what they did for me. And one person in particular that I feel needs to be thanked for doing the best job ever is the nurse Ron! Fabulous nurse!! I could write for years about how thankful I am to the department and the hospital for all they did for me the past few weeks, but I don’t know that anyone will truly understand the gratitude I have for all of the people who helped take care of me. Thank you so much for choosing to do what you do for people like me. Your job may not pay you well, but let me tell you should all be proud of the hearts you have. No one can ever know how thankful I am to each and every one of you! You are all a true blessing to our area!
I know absolutely nothing about politics, nor do I ever want to understand anything about politics. There was a time when I would send letters to the editor debating with Matt Hale about racism. Bottom line, I had to realize, I was never going to get Matt Hale to understand blacks are people too, and he was never going to ever get me to believe that I was any better than a Mexican because of my color. It’s just never going to happen. Just as I had to realize that, others must begin to realize the typical citizen is not going to think about the politics in something such as a fire department. Many people have no idea there are two different types of fire departments, the volunteer firefighters who take time from their days off of work and free time to help the average citizen’s they don’t even know, and the paid department who have done this as a job where they are paid to do something for others. Both departments go by an oath, both will fight fires until the fires are out, both will save your grandmother from the fall she has taken out of her bed, and both would even pull your son off the foot ball field after he has passed out from heat exhaustion. Both even have to have a heart and commitment to helping others. Before I was a family member of a fireman I just assumed that all departments were the same, but apparently you can’t take politics out of anything. There has always been and will always be the “Hatfield’s versus the McCoy’s” (pardon the pun Niki), but not everyone is involved in this type of issues.
As a typical everyday average citizen I want to just put some of the fireman’s minds at ease; the people who need your help the night they come home to find out their Christmas tree has burned everything they owned down to nothing, could care less whether or not you are collecting a paychecks for helping them with their belongings. Some may argue if they are collecting a paycheck they will be more willing to fight harder, but on the other hand others may argue that they don’t need a paycheck to put their full 100% into helping others. I say both would do the best job they took the oath to do. I know there are those who take a job as a fire fighter for the glory and they do it to get a pat on the back, this happens in both types of departments. Sadly, those are the people who tend to get themselves or others hurt in the middle of all the chaos. I don’t believe it takes a paycheck to do a good job.
A couple of issues I have heard are some paid fire fighters do not like the volunteer departments because they feel volunteer people are taking jobs away from people who are trying to make a career out of this or they feel the volunteers are not being properly trained in what they are doing to help others. The first thing I would have to say about the pay is, if you are paid and you are complaining, WHY? You have your job, you are not missing your paycheck and you aren’t going to not get paid when you clock in on any particular day just because up the road there is a volunteer department. There is much need for your line of work and I as an average citizen am thankful for all of you! I personally wouldn’t stop a fireman going into my house to save my daughter to ask if he is getting paid for this before he went in to attempt to find her in the midst of the blaze. As for the training, I can’t speak for all the departments, but I can say I know that my husband works for a volunteer department that holds two trainings a week, and more when there are other things they feel the men (and women) need trained on.
There are some individuals who are paid that came from a volunteer department, but now that they are paid they want to “take over” the volunteer departments and make them paid departments. I ask WHY? What is now wrong with that department that you aren’t on it? I am not an expert at all on fire departments and I would never say I am, I am just one individual who wishes there was “peace on Earth” in every aspect, but obviously it’s not going to happen. In some volunteer departments there are some people who are paid at different points and by different means. I have never really understood why it matters whether at the end of the day the firemen collect a paycheck or not. I guess I never will, but just for the ease of those of you who are upset because of the politics; don’t be upset at the people who aren’t on the same level as you, just keep your heads up, keep doing what you do best, and know there are people out there who love you, who believe in you, and who supports you to the end! I say God Bless every firefighter, man, woman, paid, or volunteer! You all mean so much to us who need you and as you know you are always needed!