First Posted: 11/3/2009
Traveling around Surry County has become a weekly pastime for me during the past few weeks.
Ive been visiting one or two fire departments in the county each week to take group photos for the weekly special page The Mount Airy News has been running on Tuesdays to honor the men and women who help protect our homes from fire, assist us on medical calls and come to our aid in many other ways on a daily basis.
Already Ive been to Pilot Mountain, Pine Ridge and Mountain Park, and this week I made a trip to Elkin. C.C. Camp already had a group picture taken just days before I called to set up a time, so I was able to use that photo.
Yes, there are still many more pictures to take as there are 19 fire departments that serve the residents of Surry County.
For me, it is a special interest to go around and honor these people who volunteer their time to help others, because I have a husband who does the same thing.
I enjoy seeing the different kinds of trucks the firefighters are proud to operate, the way their stations are set up, how the new stuff differs from the old, and just visiting with the firefighters who are excited about having their pictures run in the newspaper.
This project is my way of saying thanks for what they do, and it is my way of letting the community know who it has working on its side when a time of need arises.
The next three weeks will feature group pictures from Elkin, Four Way and Bannertown fire departments, and I still have many other pictures opportunities to arrange with the fire departments which still havent been highlighted.
Im hoping at some point to give the same recognition to the volunteers with our countys rescue squads, but that hasnt yet been arranged.
My trips across the county have also given me an opportunity to revisit some areas that I dont get to travel to as much since taking an administrative position with the paper.
The leaves were so orange and red as I traveled toward Mountain Park a couple of weeks ago. They hadnt yet started changing colors in the eastern portion of the county.
There was a perfect view of the looming Blue Ridge Mountains on the trip to Pine Ridge, and in Elkin, a large doe stood right outside the back door of the station when I left to go to my car. She just stood taking in the view, not even 30 feet away.
I look forward to my other ventures around the county in the coming weeks, and I hope our readers take the time to also thank the volunteers as they are featured each week.
Wendy Byerly Wood is the associate editor of The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at [email protected] or 719-1923.