If your house caught fire back in the 1800s, neighbors from all around would stop what they were doing, grab a bucket and come running to douse the flames and rescue you and your belongings. Times have changed. Homes are safer. Structure fires are relatively rare. And the technology for preventing them and putting them out is better than ever.
One thing remains the same: When fire and other tragedies do strike in New Canaan, Darien and Rowayton, those who come running, whether you realize it or not, are your neighbors. Most of the firefighters in our towns are volunteers who live either in those communities or nearby. The three fire departments in Darien — Noroton, Noroton Heights and Darien — are all volunteer. As is Rowayton. And though New Canaan has a core of twenty paid firefighters, the department depends on thirty or so who receive not a cent.
Who are these unheralded heroes who, in addition to the time they devote to their jobs and families, put in countless hours of training and are ready to risk their lives for others? Why do they do it?