As we approach my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, I wanted to be the first kid on the block to brag about what I am very thankful for.
The reason I prefer Thanksgiving over other holidays is that it is the same concept of family and friends gathering, food, football, parades, naps, etc., but it rarely takes your debt ratio into the next fiscal year, i.e. Christmas.
Seriously, I do love Christmas, mainly for the celebration of our Savior over Black Friday savings.
Anyway, back on topic. I have been in the fire service for over 27 years and the premier, marquee highlight of my career has been the most wonderful people in the world with whom I have had the pleasure of working. From a lifelong friend in Richard Haney to the current WEMA director and my former captain, Joey Cooper, his wife, my former EMS/fire partner Shannon all the way to the recent addition to MJ Fire in Deputy Chief Joey Edwards, my career has been filled with the very best people imaginable.
In short, if we have ever worked together, I pledge to you, it was my genuine pleasure.
My purpose for this note is to let you know of the people I work with today that fit that very same bill. I have not known them for a career, some I have known only for a few months, but they are some of the best people doing the best job in emergency services.
I am writing about the dedicated men and women of REHAB 23. What is a REHAB 23 you ask? It is very similar to Box 55 for Nashville Fire Department. It is a group that specializes in the care and rehab of firefighters, police, EMTs and other responders working at the scene of an extended emergency event.
Most notably recognized by their Royal Blue golf shirts and their super-heterodyne fluorescent orange coats, the members of REHAB 23 serve those that serve you during your emergency. They provide warmth in the cooler months and cool in the summer months with a vehicle stocked full of coffee, Coke, water, cookies, crackers, and the “forbidden fruit” … frosted honey buns. Extra metformin, please.
Being self-sufficient in funding as a 501(c3), the members of REHAB 23 ask for nothing but an opportunity to serve the servants in the kindest spirit of true love. Being involved with their leadership started as a pleasant acquaintance and is now a collection of friends I will have for the rest of my life.
And it’s not just me or the Fire Department for the City of Mt Juliet. You can see by the decals on their apparatus. They serve ALL of the first responder agencies in Wilson County — MJPD, WCSO, WEMA, Lebanon Fire, Lebanon PD, Watertown PD and VFD, TBI and THP. Ask the chiefs, directors, and sheriff, we all agree.
The dedicated men and women of REHAB 23 are an integral part of our responder agency’s success. They thrive on their willingness to serve all responders in Wilson County. If you don’t believe me, just forget to call them one time when they could be of service. You will get the “brotherly love” stink-eye — almost harmless yet meaningful — stink-eye.
REHAB 23 does not get near the recognition for their contribution. They allow us to serve you better, so if you see them out and about at incidents, trainings, special events, parades and the like, please thank them for the care they give to your responders.
As written in red in the Book of Matthew 25:40 “When you do for the least of these my brothers, you do also for Me.”
I pray you never need us in the business sense, but if you do, when you look up, you’ll hope to see us. While we are there, we’ll look up and hope to see them. God bless, stay safe, everything matters.
Jamie Luffman is the Chief of the Mt. Juliet Fire Department.