We Cannot Have a Bad Day

There are some really basic rules in the world of fire. Before you board the fire truck, you need to know what you are doing. If you want to perform your job correctly, you must train to the standards established for you. If you want your team to...

My friends, you and I are not allowed the privilege of having a bad day. The tasks our emergency service organizations are required to perform leave little room for error. Countless hours are spent each year creating operational procedures which are designed to allow us to perform our dangerous duties as safely as possible. More time is devoted to training and drilling on the skills we need to hone as close to perfection as humans are allowed to get.
We need to be on top of our game every time we head out to perform our chosen duties. There is no real margin for error in a field of endeavor where the penalties for having a 'bad day' are death and/or serious personal injuries. Perhaps the ongoing relationship I have had with highway safety for more than a decade now has made me more sensitive to the fragility of life. 
Each time we ride forth to do our duties, death is but a blinking of an eye away from our friends and us. I guess it was the geographical closeness of the latest line-of-duty death I posted on this website which has grabbed my attention and shaken it violently. The area where this tragedy occurred is one that I pass a couple of times each week as I go on my merry way to my Masonic Lodge or to my Monday band rehearsal.
New Jersey State Trooper Marc Castellano, of Howell Township, New Jersey, was struck on Interstate 195 right here in the township. Trooper Castellano died of his injuries at the Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune on Sunday June 6. He leaves a wife, two children, and a loving family to mourn his death at the far too premature age of 29 years. 
My friends, Sunday June 6, 2010 was a bad day. A dedicated public servant was killed in the line of duty on the highways of my community. Our prayers go out to his family, friends, and the members of the New Jersey State Police.