Many lessons come from daring rescue

Warren police Officer Joseph Wilson did not hesitate when he rolled up on a southeast side house fire last week and learned that one of the residents, a 66-year-old man, who had escaped the blaze had re-entered the home in search of his pets.

Officer Wilson knew the clock was ticking and he couldn’t wait for firefighters, who were still en route. Wilson rushed into the home that was fully engulfed in flames. His own safety was not a consideration.

Wilson was able to locate the man who had become overcome with smoke and he was able to successfully pull him to safety just as the fire department was arriving to extinguish the flames.

There are so many things we should learn from this scenario. Residents should never re-enter a burning home. Get out and stay out, lest you risk your own life and those of first responders who will come in after you.

Second, we all must ensure our smoke detectors are working and the batteries are fresh. With the end of Daylight Savings Time this month, we were reminded to change our smoke detector batteries. If you did not, now is the time to check and change them.

Third, utilize all heating equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It is believed this fire began in the bedroom where one of the residents had been using a heating pad. Warren fire Chief Ken Nussle reminds us that manufacturers’ recommendations always should be followed when using heating pads.

Today, Officer Wilson is being hailed as a hero for his selfless actions — and rightfully so!

This is exactly the kind of reaction that police officers all over our area and everywhere, really, put forth every day. They act as public servants in the worst situations, they don’t hesitate, and if they fear for their own safety, they rarely show it.

When we need help, are a victim of crime or fear for our safety, police are the first people we call for help, and they are there!

So often these days, though, we read media reports about the disrespect that officers face, and the dangers of crazed and angry people who increasingly seem to be targeting them as the enemy.

The fact is, however, we need them. We need officers like Joseph Wilson who take their responsibility and their duty seriously and without hesitation.

Let’s remember that when we encounter a police officer — no matter what the scenario — show them the respect they deserve and thank them for their service.

Perhaps that is the most important item we should take away from this scenario.