Firefighters finish the call by repairing lake pier

Firefighters Cory Hill, James Lynn and Kayson Miles (not pictured) replace old boards at the Lake Gladewater pier to ‘Finish the Call’ after a recent incident when a child became stuck in a rotted plank. (Courtesy photos by Mike Simmons)

A trio of Gladewater firefighters finished the call at Lake Gladewater’s pier last week.
It’s a practical example of a guiding philosophy fire chief Mike Simmons encourages among his crews – to go above and beyond immediate needs when the opportunity arises.
In this case, firefighters were first called to the pier after a child stepped through a rotten board and got stuck. After seeing to the immediate need – relatively minor, fortunately – emergency responders Cory Hill, James Lynn and Kayson Miles took a closer look and pinpointed which slats needed to be replaced.
East Texas Homes donated lumber to mitigate the problem, and the firefighters set to work.
“We thought it would be a good idea to go down there and change them to prevent that kind of incident from happening again,” Hill said.
The goal is to ‘Finish the Call’ beyond the immediate circumstances. Among other things, it’s taking a moment to approach a situation from a different vantage point and identify a further need or, if possible, a solution.
“That’s our goal,” Hill added. “We apply that in every call.
“It’s going above and beyond just showing up and responding to the incident. It’s trying to prevent that incident from happening again or doing something to help that person that called us.”
In a lot of cases, Simmons agreed, it’s about showing kindness.
“It’s helping that person who’s having a bad day,” Simmons said, “going a little bit further to help them. It’s going above and beyond just what’s expected in the call in order to serve our community.”
Meanwhile, it’s about finding ways to make the community safer and empowering firefighters to be that change.
“If you see something more that needs to be done, you have my power and authority to come up with a solution.”


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