September 11, 2006, five years after the tragedy of the terrorist attack on the innocent. In Virginia, the morning was quiet,and a few clouds drifted overhead. Chesterfield Fire and EMS Truck 14 (Dutch Gap Station) had just rolled into quarters from a call.
One by one the firefighters, scuba team members, medics, officers and truck company members based at the Dutch Gap station, along with members who were attending a class, respectfully began to line up around the station flag pole where the flag rested at half mast. Quietly they paused to reflect on the fallen.
Emotions were then stirred at the reciting of a Firefighter's Prayer:
The Firefighter's Prayer
When I'm called to duty God
wherever flames may rage
give me strength to save a life
whatever be its age
Help me to embrace a little child
before it is too late
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate
Enable me to be alert
to hear the weakest shout
and quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out
I want to fill my calling and
to give the best in me
to guard my neighbor and
protect his property
And if according to your will
I have to lose my life
bless with your protecting hand
my children and my wife.
Dutch Gap Station has shown its support of the fallen in many ways, one of which is a special sign that on this 9-11 fifth anniversary, it was on display for the public in the front of the station.
Dave Hammond, Training Co-ordinator for Chesterfield Technical Rescue, and member of Chesterfield Fire and EMS for 16 years,was stationed at Dutch Gap when 9-11 occurred. His signature is on the special remembrance sign.
"Signing my name to the sign," Hammond said, "was a way of showing how I care."
One change that we saw,Hammond continued, was that after 9-11 we received more funding for terrorist attack training and awareness. New equipment was also purchased to increase our preparedness.
Lt. Greg Jones, of Chesterfield Fire and EMS, who is currently serving as Head Paramedic for Virginia State Police Med-Flight, also was stationed at Dutch Gap during the 9-11 attack. His signature is included with those of his fire service brothers and sisters,and the civilians who signed.
"The sign was the idea of Firefighter Mike Thompson," Jones explained, "it expressed our feelings and every type of emotion you can think of that we were feeling. It was a way of honoring the Fallen's sacrifice, a way of expressing our grief, it noted the tremendous loss from a professional stand point."
After the reverent service at the flagpole Dutch Gap station resumed the duties of their busy day.