Mason Tradition Honors First Responders

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After-school time is usually playtime for eight-year-old Saisha Bonner.

But not today.

"I'm washing firetrucks," Bonner explained Monday.

She's one of more than 100 volunteers washing, waxing, and drying police cars and fire trucks and taking on other chores at Mason's fire station.

It's part of an effort to honor emergency responders for the work they do every day. Mason's paid-on-call fire department has only one full time staffer, so washing and waxing cars saves some time for the firefighters.

Organizer Colleen Briggs says it shows the spirit of the community.

"It's just a small thing we can do because they put their lives on the line for us," she said.

By her estimate, it's the fifth year for the Mason Cares event. It started shortly after the attacks on September 11th.

"The United Way was looking for ways to help local fire departments," Briggs said. "So we asked if we could help wash and wax vehicles."

Larry Howe is another of those helping out.

"I'm an honorary fireman -- not a regular one. Too old for that," he said with a laugh.

Howe helps with the department regularly. And he says it's nice to see so many others doing the same.

"It just shows their support," Howe said.

Support for first responders who risk everything at times.

"On every call, you never know. We don't dwell on that," Mason Fire Chief David Scutt said.

"But it's nice to know you're appreciated."

Appreciated by the volunteers taking time out of their day. A small sacrifice Briggs and many others say they plan to repeat.

"Every September 11th. We'll be here."