So, you think your job is hard?

Imagine laboring in some of the most harsh conditions on the planet: torrential rain, numbing cold, blizzards, tornadoes, severe temperature shifts — the wrong way — and, every now and then, the aftereffects of a hurricane or land tremor, i.e., an earthquake. And worse, often dealing with a mixed bag of these conditions at the same time.

Welcome to North Alabama and the professional life of our first responders, utility workers and front-line employees in occupations from medicine to mercantile — our neighbors, friends and, in many cases, strangers who make it their mission to be at work … just in case.

Just in case you need urgent care at 4 a.m. during a thunderstorm. 

Just in case the power goes out and and your 72-year-old mother is left in the cold.

Just in case that prescription refill is one you absolutely need — although the national weather service advises everyone to stay inside.

And just in case you didn’t consider this: not only are all of these service workers ready to provide these services, they also have urgent care needs, a 72-year-old mother and prescription refills of their own — personal needs they often must subjugate for others.

We saw this most recently in Limestone County when storms knocked out electrical power, and heat, for thousands. Coming on top of a tornado, significant snow and a temperature drop of nearly 50 degrees in hours, those whose job it is to get the power back on, keep the roads clear, safeguard the streets and ensure the stores stay open did just that: their jobs. 

From those who braved the environment, to those who volunteered to drive older and disabled residents without heat to shelters, we could not begin to recognize you individually. But we will say this en masse: Thank you. 

As difficult as the past week was for many of us, it would have been much, much worse without your dedication, your loyalty and your decision to serve others before yourself.

Trending Video

Recommended for you