08/17/05 — Jaycees recognize teams of emergency personnel

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Jaycees recognize teams of emergency personnel

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on August 17, 2005 1:48 PM

For the first time, the Goldsboro Jaycees did not honor an individual police officer or firefighter during their annual appreciation banquet. Instead, they honored the two entire departments Tuesday night.

Police Chief Tim Bell said he and Fire Chief Bobby Greenfield had suggested the change so they could emphasize the team concept and eliminate personality conflicts.

"There is always a time and place for self-recognition," Greenfield said during the program at First Baptist Church.

"It's a team effort," said Allison Taylor, who chaired the banquet.

The Jaycees presented the police and fire departments with a picnic table with a plaque of appreciation.

For many years, each department nominated their members for the annual firefighter or police officer-of-the-year awards and then voted to determine the recipients.

Chuck Waller, the executive director of the Wayne County chapter of the Red Cross, summed up the feelings of those in the room.

"We can't make it without you," he told the police officers and firefighters.

Waller opened his talk by asking what emboldens someone to run into a burning house or to face danger while others are running away.

Waller said three things made heroes -- mental toughness, perspective and service.

The speaker quoted two deceased football coaches, Vince Lombardi and Paul "Bear" Bryant. It's not the number of times someone gets knocked down, Lombardi said, but it's the number of times he gets back up. Bryant said success was not determined by the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog.

"Success is 50 percent of what happens to us and 90 percent of how we respond to it," Waller said.

He said life was a long journey and everyone crosses the finish line, either by leading, pulling, being pushed or being carried.

"Life is less about what we accumulate," he said, "but what we do to." He said the traits of kindness, compassion, integrity, wisdom and faith touch the world.

Waller said the officers and firefighters serve without the want of recognition.

"The highest reason to serve," he said, "is because you care. The day before the greatest person who walked on the Earth died, he washed the feet of his disciples. ... He forever redefined greatness."

Waller said Helen Keller, the blind and deaf woman, said the greatest gifts are not heard by the ears or seen by the eyes but are felt in the heart.