Volunteer firefighters aren't in it for the glory and they're obviously not in it for the money. Ask any volunteer why they crawl out of bed at 2 o'clock in the morning and the answer you will get is that they just want to help their neighbor

It's two o'clock in the morning and you are awoken by the strong smell of smoke. You dive for the phone and call 911, the operator asks what the problem is. You tell her you think your home is on fire. You hang up with the operator and you immediately get your family out of the house.

The first on the scene is the volunteer fire company right around the corner from your house. They go to work immediately hooking up the fire hoses and getting set up to battle the fire.

The volunteer firefighters quick action salvages your home before the fire ran out of control. It turns out the fire started in your kitchen when a burner was left on. But if it wasn't for the quick thinking of the firemen, you could have lost everything in the blink of an eye.

What many people don't realize is just how hard these men and women work. Many don't understand the amount of training and dedication volunteers put in before they are even allowed to go near the scene of a fire emergency. The fact is that many people don't realize the integral part volunteers play in the town's safety whether it's responding to a minor car accident, a brush fire or a three-alarm blaze.

Volunteerism shouldn't be taken lightly by the community. These men and women selflessly give of themselves and often times put their lives on the line for complete strangers. They need more recognition than they are receiving. Volunteers don't just hang around the firehouse. Volunteers are there for the community 24 hours a day, giving up time with their own families for the good of the community.

If you're under the impression volunteers don't do much, you are sadly mistaken. Whether volunteers are helping set up hose lines, giving CPR in an ambulance or going into a burning building they are doing it for their community.

Volunteer firefighters aren't in it for the glory and they're obviously not in it for the money. Ask any volunteer why they crawl out of bed at 2 o'clock in the morning and the answer you will get is that they just want to help their neighbor.

So the next time you see the trucks pull out of your neighborhood volunteer firehouse, give the men and women on them the respect they deserve.