Dedication in Dunham Twp. well-deserved

Dunham Township volunteer firefighter Dusty Schwendeman died 17 years ago, but his family at the fire station is still paying tribute.

This Saturday, a new addition to the station will be dedicated to Schwendeman, who was killed in an accident on an icy road while responding to a fire.

We’re glad to see that Schwendeman is still remembered and loved. There are also many lessons to take away from his life, cut tragically short.

First, we should remember that no emergency response or law enforcement interaction is routine. We just had a state trooper injured while writing a traffic ticket near Marietta a few months ago. Schwendeman wasn’t injured by a fire, he was driving, going to help. These people put themselves in harm’s way–whether it be going into a burning building or setting out on an icy road–and we should appreciate that.

Second, Schwendeman was a hero after death, donating organs to others. Organ donation can be life-saving and life-changing to the recipients and he recognized this. For those considering being a donor, more information can be found at organdonor.gov

Third, in his rush to go and help that January night in 2002, Schwendeman didn’t put his seat belt on. Take the time to do this each and every time you’re in a vehicle. We’re sure Schwendeman, with his desire to protect his community, would urge the same thing.

We hope Dunham Township has an excellent turnout for its ice cream social and building dedication on Saturday, and that Schwendeman’s legacy of helping lives on.