We received an e-mail from the mother of one of my firefighters thanking Division Chief Weldon for teaching her son about the importance of wearing his seat belt. Her words were so heartfelt and important to all sons and daughters that I would like to share them with you. She wrote:
"Dear Chief Weldon,
I was thinking about the Firefighters program that William is involved in and the training he has received. I realized that I had never said 'thank you' to you. Let me explain.
From about the time William was 14 he was a pain in the backside regarding wearing his seatbelt. (other things too but we won't go into that here! :-) ) Without fail, every time we got in the car we heard "Why are you so anal about seat belts mom?', 'Did a seatbelt ever save your life mom?" "huh, huh, huh" ... No amount of logic about being buckled up before an accident, or about not having time to buckle up during an accident ... was of any value. Not to mention it being the law!
William called on Dec. 24, 2009, to tell me he had just totaled his truck. After making sure he was okay, I asked him 'Were you wearing your seatbelt?' His response chilled me 'I'd be dead if I hadn't.' Chief, but for his seatbelt, and the grace of God, I believe that his assessment is accurate. He'd either be dead or paralyzed.
The reason he was wearing his seatbelt was - 'The fire department told him to.' On Dec. 25 he hopped into our car, buckled his belt and said 'I'm a believer in seatbelts now.' Music to this mom's ears!
So with a grateful heart let me say: Thank, you, thank you, thank you to you and the Training Officer for the work you are doing. You saved one young man's life. I wanted you to know ... I am forever grateful."
Everyone should wear their seatbelt whenever they are driving or riding in a vehicle. We see first hand what happens when people don't and would prefer never to see that again. Learn from William, wear your seatbelt and make your mom happy!
Eric Mohrmann, fire chief
Capital City Fire and Rescue