Lighthouse Baptist honors first responders
June 9 was a special day at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Breinigsville.
For the past five years, first responders have been honored on the second Sunday of June. Cheryl Summerfelt and Bob Walker, organize the day.
Summerfelt contacted 18 organizations and invited their members to visit the church that day.
On the table in front of the altar were statuettes of a policeman helping a child and a fireman.
Pastor Hal Hopkins welcomed everyone.
“We are so glad you are here,” Hopkins said to the first responders.
“Thank you for being here and for all you do for us.”
Summerfelt then addressed the audience.
“We truly appreciate your putting your lives on the line every time you go out,” Summerfelt said.
She and the Rev. Hal Hopkins talked and they decided the first responders deserve more than just a thank you.
State Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, R-134th, and Samuel Day, the son of State Rep. Gary Day, representing the state House of Representatives brought citations of recognition.
Summerfelt said just from serving a warrant an officer may lose his life.
The 911 operators don’t get recognized enough. They have to know what a situation is before sending someone out, she explained.
Summerfelt said she has 40 years in various first responder positions and she will be retiring next year at age 64, “But not for this,” she quickly added.
She is certified for vehicle rescue and fire police, and is with a fire company and rescue in Boyertown.
She is a 25-year member with the ambulance and fire company in Pottstown and with Goodwill fire and ambulance.
After the gifts and citations were presented Summerfelt said there was a luncheon in their honor. “We hope you’ll stay so you can go out and do the Lord’s work.”
Anthony Bowen came a great distance from Neshannock Township as a way of honoring his brother who is ill.
They never know what they’ll find. Thank the Lord for each of them.
“God gives you glory for coming and helping us. Get the Lord’s shield around everyone of them and bring them back safely to their family. Put a special blessing on them, said Hopkins.
A video showed various first responders and the work they do from rescuing animals and kids to teaching kids and adults. It was called “One Call Away.”
“Sometimes God shows up as a first responder in a uniform and a badge,” Hopkins said. “But God is not limited to that. He is always found in times of trouble.”
At noon a medical helicopter landed. Rick Becker is the paramedic,
Matt Weintraub, a nurse, and Stewart O’Shannon, pilot. He is from Florida and is considered a reserve pilot who fill in if the local person is unavailable such as on a vacation.
There are four helicopters in the Lehigh Valley based in Kutztown. Fifty percent of their calls are for accident. The other 50 percent is transferring people among hospitals.
They travel up to 130 mph and get to Philadelphia in 20 minutes. The helicopter uses one gallon of jet fuel per minute. Most calls are within a 30- to 40-mile range from the base.
People were permitted to sit in the helicopter, but it was mostly the youngsters who did so.