Watson Firefighters Say Thank You


Published on September 12 2013 9:16 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Watson Fire Protection District Chief Matt Kulesza has issued a statement on his behalf and on behalf of his department, expressing appreciation to all who assisted in the search for Willow Long.  The statement is as follows:


To the Village of Watson, Effingham County, and surrounding areas:

The Watson Fire Protection District would like to take this opportunity to express the greatest level of gratitude for the assistance provided by all of the parties involved in the search effort to locate Willow Long.  The combined effort of the civilian and professional individuals who assisted in searching for Willow demonstrated the highest level of cohesiveness for any community.  It is an impressive showing for any community to bond together in such a magnitude to work toward a common goal. 

The unfortunate result of the search has not gone in vain.  The effort to find Willow showed that when there is a need in a community, there are individuals willing to go out of their way to provide any assistance necessary.  There was a call out for help to find Willow and this call did not go unanswered.  The magnitude of personnel and equipment was above and beyond the call.  It was overwhelming the response that arrived to lend a helping hand in the time of need.  It is refreshing to see there are still people out there who will lend any assistance they can without expecting anything in return. 

The Watson Fire Protection District would like to send out a special thank you to the businesses in the area that not only provided food, drinks, and supplies needed by all of the responders, but also allowed their employees to be temporarily excused from their employment obligations to provide a service to their community.  This search effort could not have been accomplished without the much needed supplies and personnel that were provided.   A special thank you is also extended to the spouses and the families of all of the responders.  The families of the responders showed an overwhelming level of support for their community by understanding  when there was a need for their loved one to provide a helping hand.  There were several responders who did not return home for several hours or days due to the extent of the effort to find Willow.  At a moments notice, the responders dropped everything they were doing, left their family, and went to the Village of Watson to assist in locating Willow, who to some was a perfect stranger. 

Again, the Watson Fire Protection District would like to send out an expression of gratitude to all of those who assisted in the search effort to find Willow Long.  There are too many individuals and organizations to list, so this thank you is for all who help both directly and behind the scene.  You all know who you are and you are all the reason why we are here to help every day.

God Bless all of you for your assistance.

Fire Chief Matt Kulesza and the members of the  Watson Fire Protection District.