There are some new heroes in our midst.
Action can save lives.
Training can save families and property.
The firefighters of Avis Volunteer Fire Co. have done just that with the help, of course, of their fellow volunteers from neighboring communities.
Volunteer Firefighter David Closs Jr., with the help of Pine Creek Township Patrolman Phil Lowry, are to be highly commended for their quick actions in the early morning hours of Wednesday to save people trying to escape deadly smoke and flames in an apartment building along Central Avenue in the heart of Avis.
Just after 2 a.m., tenants at 6 East Central Avenue were abruptly awakened to screams of a fire in the building.
Anthony Workman, 9, jumped into his father, Daniel's, arms from a second floor bedroom to escape.
Closs and Lowry ran across Central Avenue to the fire station, grabbed a ladder off of a fire truck, ran back to the burning building and helped three trapped people escape - saving their lives.
Daniel Workman is credited with alerting other building tenants to the fire so they could flee.
After arriving, volunteer firefighters Jordan Welshans, Matt Heidrich and Rich Camerer used their training to quickly enter the two-story building and knock down the blaze.
Avis Fire Chief Randy Kehoe called the fire the "worst-case scenario we could have pulled into."
Of everyone's actions - especially firefighters Closs, Heidrich and Camerer, plus Officer Lowry - Keheo said: "We couldn't be more proud."
Anyone wishing to help the 17 homeless fire victims may drop items off at the American Rescue Workers at Howard and Allegheny streets in Jersey Shore. Those dropping off items should be sure to tell the attendant that their donation is for the fire victims. Or, call Darla at 814-359-8893 and make arrangements to have donations picked up.
We found this prayer on www.fellowshipofchristianfirefighters.org and believe it's worth sharing:
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.