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Grateful citizens, resolve for officials

Tuesday was one of those days that demonstrates it need not be an “abnormal” day to strain the resources of local public safety departments.

Tuesday didn’t have any big disasters, either natural or man-made. There were no multiple-alarm fires, and the weather was gorgeous.

But it was the sheer number of calls that pushed the Suffolk Department of Fire & Rescue to the point it had to rely on not just one but two neighboring agencies for mutual aid.

According to a Facebook post by the department, the city experienced a “sudden and unusually high volume of critical calls” within a short period just before noon on Tuesday.

One of those calls was a parachuting accident at the Suffolk Executive Airport that resulted from military training. The man was taken by Suffolk Fire & Rescue to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and treated for injuries not considered life-threatening.

Another of those calls was a crash in North Suffolk that happened just seven minutes after the parachuting accident was reported. Five people, including two children, were taken to hospitals by Suffolk Fire & Rescue.

With yet more calls happening at the same time, Suffolk quickly had to call upon Chesapeake Fire Department and Carrollton Volunteer Fire Department to help respond to calls and transport injured people to hospitals.

Despite the hectic situation, we’re confident that all involved — whether Suffolk, Chesapeake or Carrollton — responded to the calls with the compassion that brought them into this field and the skills and professionalism they have learned and use every day.

Suffolk citizens can look at this situation and the response to it and be grateful that there are men and women — not just in our city but throughout the area — standing ready to come to our aid if we ever suffer a sudden illness or injury or have our homes or businesses threatened by fire.

Suffolk’s elected officials should look at this situation and resolve to ensure that the equipment and manpower needs of Suffolk’s fire and rescue department are met to the fullest, and renew working relationships with the city’s volunteer agencies that still exist.