Although Fire Watch requirements for weekend and evening use of our facility will continue, Fire Watch requirements ceased on Monday, March 7th, 2022 for regular business hours. The six crew members were paid from insurance funds specifically designated to meet Fire Marshal mandates for the safety of Salemtowne residents and employees using the facilities. This is important because none of their payroll adversely impacted the available funds for the building project.
The crew was made up of five Salemtowne residents and one “Honorary Resident”. Several worked from the very beginning seven months ago manning three to four hour shifts from 7am and ending at 5pm. Having a direct connection with the community, their simple walks evolved into a sense of pride and protection. Like your postman, those yellow vested residents did their Fire Watch routes during the heat this past summer, face numbing windy rainy days and yes, even in the snow.
Just Glad to Help!
“While firewalking the past few months, I really enjoyed meeting the people who were the reason we were on duty, to keep them safe. The biggest benefit was meeting and working with my neighbors, Cathy, Dee, Mel, Stan and Pete. We also met many normally unseen volunteers who ran the kitchen for various functions and were witness to many games, activities, events and meetings. Since we were entrusted with the master key, we were eager and able to provide entry for the quilters, woodworkers and crafters. Finally, although we completely failed to find any fires, we were glad to help out.” Rick
“We knew it was temporary however the abrupt nature of the cancellation of Fire Watch caught us off guard. At each shift change there would be a ‘changing of the guard’ ritual. The master key would be passed on along with any pertinent information. If time permitted, we would spend time getting to know each other, complain about the weather or have great discussions. This transition time would last only five to ten minutes but when you add them up, it was like an ongoing conversation which would get picked up on the next shift change. I hope to continue the interrupted conversations with the friends I’ve made. Mel
Overall, everyone agrees that their experiences are summed up in this poetic reflection by a crew member.
An unexpected benefit!
“I walked Fire Watch to help my community. A valuable thing happened while I walked around these grounds for seven months. I met our community. One person at a time. Good morning! Good evening! I watched the sun rise. I watched the sun set. I said hello and people stopped to chat. Salemtowne is full of good and interesting people. When we take the time to really connect- we begin to heal our souls. How are you doing today?” Cathy