Fire is breaking out in the Texas Panhandle.
We aren’t there to witness it up close, first hand. I am hearing reports of serious scorching in an area southeast of Amarillo.
I also am hearing reports of firefighters coming from far and wide to assist the assorted Panhandle firefighting units in battling the blazes. The Mallard Fire has burned 73,000 acres in Armstrong County, creating something called a “pyrocumulus” cloud that developed above the blaze and triggering a severe thunderstorm.
Holy moly, man!
It’s time once again to offer word of thanks and eternal gratitude for the selflessness exhibited in times of need by these heroes. So help me, I can’t say it enough.
These men and women run toward trouble when it erupts. It’s the same ethic that drives police officers to do the same thing.
Man, oh man. If society needs heroes to honor daily, they wear the fire and police uniforms. Many of them are volunteers, which means they get paid next to nothing to risk their lives to protect the rest of us.
They are coming from Bexar County in South Texas, or so I’ve heard; let’s see, that’s about 500 miles from the Panhandle. Other reports have firefighters traveling from the Metroplex (Flower Mound, to be precise).
These individuals represent the best of us. They embody selfless public service. They are the pure definition of the term “public service.”
I wish them well, safety, and God’s blessing as they do their work on our behalf. Many thanks go to them all. They’re heroes.
Police officers’ image has taken a hit in recent days with the controversy swirling around the shooting death of a young man in Ferguson, Mo., by a police officer. The young man was black, the officer is white. Questions are surrounding the community and the aftershock of the shooting has rippled into police departments all across the nation.
Then something like this happens in a small South Texas town that makes you take pause and ponder the risk that our law enforcement officers face every single day they’re on duty.
Elmendorf Police Chief Michael Pimentel was shot to death while trying to arrest a man. Pimentel had been waiting outside Joshua Lopez’s home to issue an arrest warrant. A man came out and shot Pimentel twice. The chief was taken to a local hospital, but died from his wounds.
I’ve long supported the work of good police officers and understood instinctively that every single call they make is fraught with potential danger.
There’s no word yet on the nature of the arrest warrant Chief Pimentel was seeking to serve. I haven’t yet read whether the suspect had a record of violent crime. Perhaps he did. Thus, the chief knew he was putting himself in danger by waiting for the suspect to come out of his house. The chief also might not have expected the suspect to agree quietly to being arrested.
It still brings to light the hazards that police officers face every time they put on the uniform, strap on their weapon, pin on their badge and go to work.
Nothing is “routine” in police work. Nothing at all.