Dinner celebrates, honors Alabaster’s firefighters

 

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – John Ellison stood near the entrance to Buck Creek Pizza and Wings on the night of Oct. 17, greeting the restaurant’s patrons with a smile as he handed out red bracelets supporting the Alabaster Fire Department.

For Ellison and fellow event organizers Dena Bedsole and Mary Harris, the evening was much more than just a simple night out at a local restaurant. It was a chance to show some of the city’s first responders how much the community appreciates the work they do to keep the city safe day in and day out.

“We appreciate all that they do, and this is well-deserved,” Ellison said after the first wave of firefighters entered the restaurant and sat down at their tables. “People don’t really think about how they put their lives on the line every day. I don’t think they get the appreciation they deserve.”

The event was the first of its kind in Alabaster, and gave the city’s firefighters a chance to enjoy a free meal with their families while members of the community gathered to show their support. Throughout the event, volunteers awarded several door prizes to the firefighters in attendance ranging from gift cards to a $250 pair of Maui Jim sunglasses – All of which were donated by local businesses.

Many of the firefighters in attendance said they appreciated the city’s show of support, but remained modest about their service to the community.

“It feels great and I’m glad to be appreciated. I feel like this is an overachievement for the community,” said firefighter John Aldrich. “We’re doing a job just like everybody else.”

Firefighters Jeral Moses, Stephen Davis, Robert Crawford and Zac White echoed Aldrich’s sentiments.

“This is a great city to work for,” White said. “We try to always be there for the community, and it’s great to know they have our backs too.”

Alabaster Fire Chief Jim Golden called the event “a blessing,” and said it was a perfect opportunity for the Alabaster Fire Department family to gather and fellowship.

“We’re really one big family. Not just everyone who works for the department, but their family members too,” Golden said. “Any time we have a chance to get together and fellowship, it’s great. We’re so appreciative to the community for doing this for us.”